Bills Sign Defensive End, Former No. 4 Overall Pick in CFL Draft

Daniel Joseph

Getty Daniel Joseph makes a sack in a game against Clemson.

The Buffalo Bills are adding even more depth to the defensive line, signing a former NC State standout and No. 4 overall pick in the Canadian Football League.

Jay Skurski of Buffalo News reported this week that the Bills signed defensive end Daniel Joseph as an undrafted free agent, a week after he had gotten a tryout at rookie minicamp. Joseph had a strong season as a fifth-year senior at NC State in 2021, racking up 46 total tackles including nine for a loss and five sacks. He also led the team the previous season with 6.5 sacks.

While the signing secures Joseph a spot in training camp, it could be difficult for him to make a final roster among a group of edge rushers that includes two potential young stars and an eight-time Pro Bowler.

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Joseph Joins Bills

As Skurski noted, Joseph impressed the Bills enough at minicamp to get a contract despite a less-than-stellar performance at NC State’s pro day. He logged a 5.08-second 40-yard dash and a 29-inch vertical leap, which played a role in his going undrafted. Joseph was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 Canadian Football League draft, but decided against going pro early and returned to NC State to play for a fifth season.

Joseph took to Instagram to announce the signing with the Bills, saying he was “beyond grateful for the opportunity.”

Joseph has put a lot of work into improving his health, both physical and mental. The 6-foot-2 defensive end admitted that he had some struggles with mental health during the pandemic, and committed after the 2020 season to taking better care of himself. Joseph credited the change to a conversation with friend and former Penn State teammate Cam Brown, who suggested that he take up meditation.

“It changed the way I prepared for football in this offseason,” he told the Fayetteville Observer. “This is year six now (in college) and I feel like it’s something that gives me that edge I haven’t had before. Making my mental health a priority is something that brings a lot of benefits to the game.”

Bills Improve Pass Rush

Joseph joins a strong group of pass rushers in Buffalo that includes first-round pick Greg Rousseau and second-round picks A.J. Epenesa Boogie Basham. Bills general manager said All-Pro Von Miller, the biggest offseason addition for the team, could be the key to unlocking the potential of the unit.

“There were a couple of guys that we said are potential, I will call them closers to use a baseball term,” Beane said during an appearance on The Jim Rome Show. “We wanted to upgrade our pass rush. We felt like we had a steady rush last year but some of the biggest games we couldn’t get the quarterback to ground. There was some times we needed that big moment, somebody to make that sack and Von is obviously a proven Hall of Famer.”

Beane had said before the 2021 season that improving the pass rush was a major focus for the Bills, and has put some big investments in since then.

Joseph’s signing brings the Bills roster to 89, leaving room for one more addition before the team heads to training camp.

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