2024 NFL Draft: The Bills got their safety of the future in Cole Bishop

The Bills’ formerly amazing secondary got very old in a huge hurry last season. Safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde are now off the roster. Cornerback Tre’Davious White is now with the Rams. And pre-draft, the potential starting five of cornerbacks Christian Benford, Rasul Douglas, and Taron Johnson, with safeties Taylor Rapp and Mike Edwards, probably didn’t inspire a ton of fear in opposing quarterbacks and receivers.

Buffalo is in an obvious rebuild in that department, but the good news is that the Bills got themselves a perfect fit in Utah safety Cole Bishop with the 60th overall pick in the second round. Head coach Sean McDermott wants safeties who are interchangeable, and can do just about anything on the field. Bishop qualifies after a 2023 season for the Utes in which he allowed 14 catches on 26 targets for 170 yards, 58 yards after the catch, two touchdowns, two interceptions, one pass breakup, and an opponent passer rating of 67.8. Bishop also had three sacks, 12 total pressures, 47 solo tackles and 22 stops, playing everywhere from the defensive line to the deep third.

Bishop majored in multiple disciplines for the Utes, playing more than 400 snaps in the box, in the slot, and at free safety over three collegiate seasons.

“They want their safeties to do a lot,” Bishop said after he discovered where his new home would be. “I think my versatility is something that kind of separates me, so being able to go to a team that you’re able to be versatile is huge. So I think I’m going to be able to excel as best I can.”

Bishop is so fast on the field, he’ll get in his own way at times from an assignment perspective. But you’ll accept that and work on it with him, because having safeties who can roam the entire field effortlessly is a big deal… and you really know when you don’t have one. Whether he’s coming down to lay the wood on a receiver who just caught a short pass, or matching deep with a vertical opponent, Bishop can do just about everything back there.

“He really impressed us throughout the process, his knowledge of the game, his smarts, everyone at Utah raves about him,” Beane said of Bishop. “Probably one of the most consensus players on our board.

Beane didn’t think he’d be able to get Bishop with the 60rh pick, and that had him trying in vain to trade up. In the end, he got his man.

“To add a guy that fits our defense the way he does and where we had him on the board … I would have been thrilled giving up something in the draft, you know fourth, fifth round to go get him.”

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire