While the Buffalo Bills had several holes to fill through the 2023 NFL Draft, finding a solid playmaker to back up Stefon Diggs was a major concern.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane’s surprise move on Day 1, trading up two spots to land Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid, garnered high grades across the board and made quarterback Josh Allen a very happy man.
While visiting the Oak Hill County Club ahead of the start of the 105th PGA Championship Tour in Rochester, New York, Allen admitted to The Buffalo News that he was not shy in pushing hard for the team to draft him some serious offensive support in the first round.
Landing Kincaid, the 6-foot-4, 234-pound pass-catching tight end who earned an impressive 91.8 overall grade from Pro Football Focus last season, more than completed the task for Allen. “I didn’t think he’d be there by the time we were picking,” Allen said of Kincaid. “We’ll just say I was persistent in my talks with Beane and who I wanted. I was very, very happy with how it happened.”
While Allen and Kincaid won’t hit the field together until organized team activities kick off on May 22, the former MVP candidate is looking forward to building a rapport with the rookie.
“Obviously super excited to get a weapon like him,” Allen said. “He’s very fluid in his route running. He’s a very fluid ball catcher. He tracks the ball well, so any time you get to add a piece to your offense like that, I can’t help but be excited. He seems like he’s a smart kid…. He’s going to help us out a lot.”
Beane did tell reporters after the draft concluded on April 29 that his ultimate goal this offseason was to ease the pressure on Allen. “So all of it is to make it to where Josh can play quarterback and not feel like he’s got to do everything.”
Josh Allen Trusts That Ken Dorsey Can Run a 12 Personnel
Beane mentioned using a 12 personnel (one running back and two tight ends) after drafting Kincaid, and Allen is excited to see how that plays out. “Not sure how we’re going to do it, but (offensive coordinator Ken) Dorsey has got a plan to do it,” Allen told The Buffalo News. “You’ve just got to trust what’s being called and try to go out there and execute it.”
Analysts are split on how Kincaid’s rookie season will go since it historically takes tight ends a while to find their footing in the NFL. The Ringer‘s Sheil Kapadia wrote of the Bills on May 8, “They traded up for tight end Dalton Kincaid in the first round, but expectations for Kincaid in the first year should be tempered.
“Tight ends selected in the first round over the past 10 years have produced 37.7 catches for 483.4 yards and 2.9 touchdowns on average as rookies. In other words, Kincaid can be a contributor, but history suggests he’s unlikely to become a true difference-maker immediately.”
However, Touchdown Wire‘s Doug Farrar sees Kincaid becoming the Bills new “alpha receiver” right away, and compared him to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ No. 1 offensive weapon.
“Detaching Kincaid from the formation could and should set up some of the same kinds of mismatches presented over the years by Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who was my NFL comparison for Kincaid,” Farrar wrote. “The Bills are working overtime to change their offense into something that doesn’t require Josh Allen to be Superman on every play, and the addition of Kincaid is a major step forward in that positive direction.”
Dalton Kincaid Is Excited to Start Working With Josh Allen & Dawson Knox
While Allen was excited for the Bills to snag Kincaid, who led Utah with 70 receptions, 890 yards and eight touchdowns last year, the love goes both ways. Kincaid said he was pumped to be teammates with Allen and Bills’ starting tight end, Dawson Knox.
“Josh Allen’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league,” Kincaid said, per the Bills’ website. “Knox is just right up there with the tight ends as well, so it’s going to be awesome to just learn from him and learn from Josh. I think just joining the Bills Mafia’s going to be one of the coolest things. They’re such an established fanbase and they’re very well-known.”