Bills Taking Heat After Losing 2023 Draft Pick on Waivers

Brandon Beane, Sean McDermott

Getty Buffalo Bills dead coach Sean McDermott (R) and general manager Brandon Beane (L) may lose their senior director of pro scouting, Malik Boyd.

The Buffalo Bills used a seventh-round draft pick on guard Nick Broeker, who impressed the team in the pre-draft process and played with tight end Dawson Knox’s late brother at Ole Miss.

Now they will have to watch Broeker play for another team this year.

The Bills placed Broeker on waivers at final roster cutdowns, with the expectation that he would return to a spot on the practice squad. But Broeker never made it through, with three different teams putting in waiver claims and the Houston Texans ultimately winning out.

As The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia noted on Twitter, the Bills made a failed attempt to keep Broeker from being seen at the conclusion of the preseason.

“It looked like the Bills attempted to hide Broeker by not giving him a single offensive snap in the preseason finale. To no avail,” Buscaglia wrote.

Bills Criticized for Losing Promising Player

While Broeker fell short of earning a spot on the 53-man roster, he was seen as a promising player and his departure was met with some criticism by Bills fans. Some believe that the team’s strategy of trying to hide his potential late in the preseason may have backfired on the Bills.

“Hiding him was a pretty strong tell to other teams of how much they liked him,” one fan wrote on Twitter.

But others noted that losing players to the waiver wire is a strong sign of a deep roster. The Bills lost a number of players last season between the waiver wire and practice squad pickups, including wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins who went on to play an important role with the New York Giants.

Broeker was not the only recent draft pick to be claimed away from the Bills. Cornerback Alex Austin, a fellow seventh-round pick, was also claimed by the Texans and will join Broeker on the active roster in Houston.

Bills Liked What They Saw in Broeker

The Bills appeared to be high on Broeker, with general manager Brandon Beane saying shortly after the NFL Draft that they were glad to be able to snag him late in the seventh round.

“Really thrilled with the guys we’ve added  some beef up front,” Beane said in his post-draft press conference. “Broeker was clearly the best player on our board when he went.”

Broeker was also happy to be joining the Bills, noting that he got to know Dawson Knox while playing with his brother, Luke, before Luke’s sudden passing last year.

“I know Dawson Knox pretty well, so that’ll be cool to get back with him as well,” Broeker said in April, via USA Today’s Bills Wire. “I actually played with his younger Brother Luke at Ole’ Miss, and Dawson would come back and visit, and some of the guys I played with were really good friends with Dawson.”

Broeker added that he was hoping the Bills would take him in the draft.

“Yeah, definitely really kind of hoped for Buffalo, just seeing all the success they’ve had lately and how many games they’ve won, definitely on the Super Bowl trend so definitely a really cool call to get,” Broeker said in the April interview.

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