After an incredibly successful few months of free agency, the Buffalo Bills added depth to numerous areas on both offense and defense while snagging eight-time Pro Bowler Von Miller and locking in the team’s No. 1 receiver, Stefon Diggs, the franchise is now focused on the 2022 NFL Draft.
While numerous Top-30 prospects have visited the Bills, and it’s highly expected for the team to draft a cornerback in the first round, there’s a solid chance general manager Brandon Beane leans toward a skills player in Round 2. According to New York Upstate‘s Ryan Talbot, Buffalo held a private workout for Colorado State tight end Trey McBride.
ALL the latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here!
Talbot wrote of the 6-foot-4, 246-pound prospect, “McBride has not been brought in for a top-30 visit to date so the team either [conducted] a formal interview with the prospect at the combine or held a Zoom meeting with the tight end in addition to their private workout.”
McBride, who despite playing on a team with a run-heavy offense, finished last season with 90 receptions for 1,121 yards and a touchdown, per Jets Wire, and is one of the top tight ends available in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Athletic‘s Dan Brugler predicts the 22-year-old will be selected on either Day 1 or Day 1, calling him “a better version of Hayden Hurst,” a former first-round pick. McBride is “not super dynamic, but a competitive receiver and blocker with the reliable focus and urgency that will translate to the NFL game,” Brugler wrote. “He can play either the Y or F tight end positions.”
The Draft Network’s Justin Melo first reported the Bills were interested in McBride on March 25, as were the Giants, Bengals, Jets, Buccaneers, and Titans.
If the Bills Draft a TE — What Does that Mean for Dawson Knox & O.J. Howard?
Learning the Bills are interested in adding a top-tier tight end with one of their early picks comes as an unexpected surprise. Tight end Dawson Knox, 25, is coming off the best season of his career, and the Bills added former Bucs tight O.J. Howard in free agency.
While selecting a top prospective running back would make more sense for the Bills — the team has met with Texas A&M standout Isaiah Spiller — Talbot surmised that adding another tight end could be hinting at offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey’s new plans moving forward while also adding insurance for the future.
“Buffalo could be looking to utilize more two tight end sets in Ken Dorsey’s offense which makes McBride an intriguing target,” Talbot wrote. “Buffalo has a strong 1-2 punch at the position in Dawson Knox and O.J. Howard, but both players are set to become free agents in 2023.
As it Stands, The Bills Can’t Afford to Extend All Pending Free Agents in 2023
The Bills only signed Howard to a one-year $3.5 million deal, therefore adding a player like McBride offers the prospect a chance to study under an NFL veteran before getting elevated to the active roster.
As for fan-favorite Knox, the Bills will need a way to keep him in Buffalo, which will be difficult considering Devin Singletary, Tremaine Edmunds, and Jordan Poyer will also be in line for new contracts following the conclusion of the 2022 NFL Season.
Poyer, for one, is trying to lock down a new deal right now. The first-team All-Pro safety, who turns 31 in a week, hired high-powered agent Drew Rosenhaus to secure an extension. On April 8, The Athletic’s Tim Graham tweeted, “Jordan Poyer’s new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, tells me: ‘We have approached the Bills about a contract extension for Jordan, and he would very much like to finish his career in Buffalo.'”
WROC-TV’s Thad Brown tweeted, “#Bills could likely give Jordan Poyer an extension that creates more cap room this year. Concer[n] is next year. An appropriate Poyer contract likely means a $10M+ cap hit in 2023. Bills currently projected with about $20M room next year. And Knox/Devin/Edmunds all unsigned.”