ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. switches pick to Bills offense in latest 2023 mock
Well this one makes much more sense.
ESPN’s NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. changed the player he has going to the Buffalo Bills in his latest mock ahead of the 2023 NFL draft.
In the first, it was a puzzling one. The selection was Auburn pass rusher Derick Hall. A promising player, but Buffalo has used a slew of resources in recent years on that position so using a Round 1 pick on a defensive end seems unlikely.
The new player is an oft-mocked one to the Bills in recent weeks: Bijan Robinson.
The Texas running back is projected as one of the top talents in the upcoming draft class. However, NFL teams are often hesitant to use top selections on rushers because it’s believed that value can still be found in the position in later rounds.
But this idea could pay dividends for a team like the Bills. In a scenario like Kiper’s mock, Buffalo lands the first RB selected in the draft.
If Robinson is taken by the Bills, it would be because Devin Singletary has departed. Free agency comes before the draft and Singletary is a pending free agent.
In Robinson, Buffalo would land a more well-round back. Singletary is a bit undersized but shifty. Robinson can move but has a solid six-foot frame.
The Draft Network raves about Robinson’s build and athleticism. But he has dealt with injuries.
Last season, Robinson rushed for 1,580 rushing yards, an average of 6.1 per carry, with 20 total touchdowns in 12 games.
Regarding Kiper making this selection, here’s his full breakdown of Robinson to the Bills at the No. 27 overall selection:
Robinson is a top-10 prospect just based on talent in this draft, but it was tough finding a perfect fit for him. Teams (rightly) aren’t taking running backs in the top 10 anymore, choosing instead to find values in the middle and late rounds. While I agree with that strategy, there comes a point in Round 1 in which it does make sense to snag a running back as talented as Robinson, and that’s here. The Bills could get a complete back — Robinson is stellar between the tackles and has great hands as a pass-catcher — and a player who can make quarterback Josh Allen’s life easier. This is a way for the Buffalo offense to take the next step.
If general manager Brandon Beane passes on Robinson, keep an eye on the offensive linemen. Guard O’Cyrus Torrence (Florida) is a mauler in the run game who could start immediately.
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