4 things to love, 3 things to question about the Bills’ 2022 draft class

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The Buffalo Bills have settled into their 2022 NFL draft class as we’re now well removed from the event. There, the team made eight selections.

Some of the team’s actions were easy to love.

Others left us curious.

With that, here are four things to love and three things to question regarding the Bills’ 2022 draft:

Love: Addressing the top need

Buffalo Bills first-round NFL football draft pick Kaiir Elam (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

The Bills entered the draft with one overwhelming need: Cornerback. Not only did Buffalo take one cornerback with their top pick in Kaiir Elam, the Bills picked up two (Christian Benford).

Love: Not being scared to move

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane. (AP Photo/ Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Bills general manager Brandon Beane traded four times at the 2022 draft. Once again, he showed he’s not scared to move around to take players he wants.

Question: But moving up two spots...?

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane . (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Trades are cool when they work, but moving up two spots to take Elam in the first round (from pick 25 to 23)? That was a very small jump and cost Buffalo a fourth-round pick.

With the No. 24 selection the Dallas Cowboys took an offensive lineman, one of their largest needs. The Bills made that trade with the Baltimore Ravens, so clearly they didn’t want Elam. Could a wait have happened? We’ll never know.

Love: Getting value late

Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

With some of their Day 3 selections, it does appear Buffalo got some value. Love it.

In Round 5, wide receiver Khalil Shakir was taken and many have praised the Bills for that one. Then in the sixth round, almost everyone was surprised punter Matt Araiza was still there for Buffalo to get.

Love: Not giving up 2023 picks

A general view of the NFL Draft 2022 logo . (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)

Despite the four trades made by Beane, even the questionable one in Round 1, he managed to not give up a single 2023 draft pick.

Heading into next year’s draft, Buffalo only has six picks. That’s not the worst thing in the world, but going down to four or five might be difficult for Beane and the team’s scouting department to endure.

Question: Round 3

Buffalo Bills linebacker Terrel Bernard (43) . (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

While there was value found in Day 3, some thought that linebacker Terrel Bernard, taken in Round 3 by the Bills, should have been selected at on that third day as well instead of Day 2.

Did Buffalo reach? Perhaps.

Interestingly, after the draft Beane did say one of the only times he did not have a team wanting to trade with him during the event was when the Bills took Bernard. Maybe Beane wanted to move back, but couldn’t?

Question: Not many well-rounded players

Buffalo Bills cornerback Christian Benford (47) . (AP/ Photo Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Elam is good, all-around player. That’s why he was a first-round pick.

Almost all of the Bills’ other draft picks are really good at one thing and not exactly well rounded. Even second-round running back James Cook can be included.

Cook is a pass catcher, but didn’t run the ball a lot in college.

Bernard in Round 3 is undersized and it’s unclear where his best position is.

Fifth-round receiver in Shakir has had issues with drops.

Araiza is dubbed the “Punt God” but hasn’t been a holder.

Once you get to very late picks, almost no one is considered a complete package–but even hign picks by Buffalo aren’t that.

Not that this is going to be a problem, but the Bills certainly do have trust in the coaching staff’s ability to improve players… and perhaps for good reason.

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