Bills earn these draft grades from NFL analysts

NFL Staff | Pro Football Focus

R1 (23) — CB Kaiir Elam, Florida

R2 (63) — RB James Cook, Georgia

R3 (89) — LB Terrel Bernard, Baylor

R5 (148) — WR Khalil Shakir, Boise State

R6 (180) — P Matt Araiza, San Diego State

R6 (185) — CB Christian Benford, Villanova

R6 (209) — T Luke Tenuta, Virginia Tech

R7 (231) — LB Baylon Spector, Clemson

Day 1: The Bills had a need at cornerback, and they got one who excels at the line of scrimmage in Elam. The Florida Gator put up an 89.8 PFF coverage grade as a true freshman in 2019 followed and that up with an 81.0 grade as a sophomore in 2020, dominating so much that opposing offenses largely avoided him in 2021. Elam was targeted three or fewer times in over half of his games this past year. However, penalties dragged down his PFF grade, which speaks volumes about how overly physical he can get.

Day 2: James Cook — Dalvin Cook’s brother — is a scat-back type with great play speed. He earned an 85.0 PFF grade and totaled 728 rushing yards with Georgia in 2021. He’s a great complementary piece to what the Bills already have in their backfield in Zack Moss and Devin Singletary.

Bernard is fast and plays fast. At the same time, he’s firmly undersized at 6-foot-1, 224 pounds and comes with serious tackling issues. Bernard owns a 14.8% missed tackle rate for his career and is teetering toward safety territory. He doesn’t let the lack of size get in the way of his mindset, and he does have quality instincts and athleticism. Still, Bernard should have been a Day 3 pick.

Day 3: Shakir was a human highlight reel for the Boise State Broncos. His body control and hands are the stuff of legend. He likely profiles best from the slot after putting up over 1,000 yards there in 2021. The 102nd-ranked player on the PFF big board, Shakir adds depth and a high upside to the Bills’ passing game.

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