Buffalo Bills draft picks 2022: Round-by-round selections and analysis

ORCHARD PARK – One of the primary goals general manager Brandon Beane sets for himself each offseason is to rebuild the Buffalo Bills roster as much as he can through free agency so he can then approach the NFL Draft from a position of strength.

“The goal in free agency is always to try and fill as many holes as we can so that I don’t have to feel the pressure of, ‘I cannot leave the first round or the second round without player X or position X,’ he explained.

The Bills were scheduled to make eight picks this weekend, but now that they traded their fourth-round pick so that they could move up to take Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam in the first round, they now have six remaining. They still have one in each in the second, third, fifth and seventh rounds and two in the sixth.

Here’s my analysis of how each player fits into the team.

Buffalo Bills draft needs: Cornerback | Wide receiver | Linebacker| Running back | Tight end | Safety | Defensive tackle | Offensive line

Round 1

No. 25: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

There should not have been any doubt that the Bills were going to pick a cornerback. Everything else you heard was just noise because the one position that they had the greatest need was always cornerback.

In Elam, they get a 6-foot-2, 191 pound athletic freak, long, lean and fast.

Over his last three seasons at Florida, Elam allowed a completion percentage of 46.0 on 113 targets, playing 959 snaps in coverage. He had six career picks and 26 popular passes defensed and had been a player for Buffalo in mock drafts.

He was also a high character player who represented Florida at the SEC Leadership Council in 2021, and he certainly knows what NFL life is like as his father, Abram, played seven years in the league as a safety, and his uncle, Matt Elam, Also a safety was a first round pick of the Ravens in 2013.

One of the things that attracted the Bills to Elam was when he came to Buffalo for a top 30 visit, he was asking questions about “What has Tre’Davious White done to be so good? And what do you see in my game I need to do?” That impressed Beane and his staff.

Another thing the Bills loved is that he played in the SEC, against the best competition in college football, a level Beane said is as close to the NFL as it comes.

Here’s what Dane Bruggler of The Athletic wrote about Elam in his draft guide.

“Elam needs to tidy up his timing and processing issues, but he is a good-sized athlete with natural cover talent and NFL-ready intangibles. With his physicality for press-man, he compares favorably to Tampa Bay’s Carlton Davis when he was coming out of Auburn.”

More: Bills trade up to take Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam to fill team’s biggest need

Kaiir Elam: 3 things to know about Buffalo Bills first-round pick

Round 2

No. 58

Round 3

No. 89

Round 4

No. 130: Traded to Baltimore Ravens with No. 25 overall for pick No. 23

Round 5

No. 168

Round 6

No. 185 (from Carolina Panthers)

No. 203

Round 7

No. 231 (from Atlanta Falcons)

Buffalo Bills’ previous five top draft picks

2021 (No. 30 overall): Gregory Rousseau, edge rusher, Miami

2020 (No. 54 overall): AJ Epensa, DE, Iowa

2019 (No. 9 overall): Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

2018 (No. 7 overall): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

2017 (No. 27 overall): Tre’Davious White. CB, LSU

Sal Maiorana can be reached at maiorana@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana.

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Buffalo Bills NFL draft picks 2022: Round-by round-selections, analysis

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