2024 NFL Draft Review: Buffalo Bills

Review of all 32 teams draft, with grades and UDFA signings. This time it’s the Buffalo Bills
Florida State v Florida
Florida State v Florida / James Gilbert/GettyImages

Previously we reviewed the Baltimore Ravens draft selections, now it’s time to take a look at how the Buffalo Bills drafted and grade the picks. Which player was the best value and earned the team choice award, and who did the team sign during the undrafted free-agent period? Let’s break it all down.

2 (33): WR Keon Coleman, Florida State

This was a double trade-down for Buffalo and traded right out of the first. They desperately needed a receiver after shipping Stefon Diggs and went out to grab Florida State’s prime receiver, Keon Coleman. He’s a very effective X-type receiver the Bills desperately need but there are two factors to consider with him. In 2023, he scored three touchdowns in Week 1 against LSU and came back the following week to score another.

After Week 4, his production completely fell off and scored only five touchdowns for the rest of the season. His biggest problem, however, comes in the form of his contested catches. He caught just seven receptions off 26 contested targets. But the Bills will have a plan and he needs to be used the right way or be destined for failure. The fact the team traded down and still got Coleman also increases the value of his grade. 

Keon Coleman
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Grade: A

2 (60): S Cole Bishop, Utah

The top draft needs were mirror images of each other, wide receiver, and defensive back. The Bills hit both of those holes with their first two picks which needs to be commended. Not only was Bishop one of the top safeties this year, he is easily one of the most blue-collar safeties that has unstoppable hustle. The only part holding this grade back is the fact the safety class was a little subpar this year and Bishop was seen as mid third-round prospect making this a slight reach. Not a terrible reach by any stretch as it filled a need, but still a reach. 

Grade: B+

Cole Bishop
Arizona State v Utah / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

3 (95): DL DeWayne Carter, Duke

Carter is insanely productive. This is an inside defensive lineman who creates havoc and pressure all on his own and his 114 pressures the last two seasons is a testament to that. People keyed in too much on his agility drills at the combine and pointed out the lack of mobility. But at the defensive tackle position teams want power and explosiveness, and Carter has that. His 1.72s 10-yard split (72nd percentile) and his 32” vert (80th percentile) are really the numbers scouts should be looking at. Carter now helps a rotation at DT for Buffalo only making this position more effective in more ways than one. 

Grade: B+

DeWayne Carter
Duke v Louisville / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

4 (128): RB Ray Davis, Kentucky

This pick is aimed toward the passing game believe it or not. Davis is perfectly fine as a runner and will make big splash plays frequently. But Buffalo is really trying to stick with the passing game here. Davis finished with 32 receptions last season, that’s 12th most among running backs. He also finished 11th in receiving yards and first in receiving touchdowns last year among running backs and finished with an insane 140.9 passer rating when targeted, the highest in this year’s class. 

Ray Davis
Kentucky v Louisville / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Grade: B

5 (141): C Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia

The Bills get huge value with this pick for a guy who was a fringe third-rounder. 1,419 pass-blocking snaps since enrolling for Georgia, with only one sack and one quarterback hit allowed in that time. That is insane production for a guy taken in the middle of Day 3. Another factor to consider that isn’t talked about much is snap accuracy with the center position. Where some taken centers in this draft have questions with that, Van Pran has been consistent. A very smart pick by the Bills. 

Grade: A+

Sedrick Van Pran
Missouri v Georgia / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

(Team Choice Award)

5 (160): LB Edefuan Ulofoshio, Washington

Ok, so the Bills have concerns at linebacker in terms of Matt Milano’s injury. But the team did well at linebacker with all things considered. But is Ulofoshio going to push the rest of that unit to be better or compete for a rotational role? Not unless things head south again. This is a pick more for the special teams with the hope he develops in time to be something more on defense. 

Grade: B-

Edefuan Ulofoshio
Washington v USC / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

5 (168): ED Javon Solomon, Troy

The Bills get back on the train with this pick. Solomon has a lot of interesting traits with a huge amount of potential. A bag full of pass rush moves and his 32 sacks in the last three years show he has confidence and consistency. His athletic profile is outstanding and at the combine, he really showed off getting a 4.56s in the 40-yard (85th percentile), 39½" in the vertical (93rd percentile), and 128” in the broad (94th percentile). Toolsy, athletic, productive, what more do you want in the fifth-round?

Grade: A-

Javon Solomon
NFL Combine / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

6 (204): T Tylan Grable, UCF

Another athletic freak this far down in the draft. The Bills certainly had a plan in mind. Grable is wildly undersized for the position but he cranked out a 4.95s in the 40 (94th percentile) and jumped a 117” in the broad (97th percentile). Get some sand in the pants and the Bills could be onto something here. 

Grade: B

RJ Harvey, Tylan Grable
Cincinnati v UCF / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

6 (219): CB Daequan Hardy, Penn State

Buffalo had to watch Tre’Davious White and Dane Jackson both leave this offseason meaning defensive back was a need. They took safety early but left cornerback considerably late. But this is the Bills who find cornerback gems late in the draft and Hardy could be the next guy. He’s going to defend the slot or play in nickel packages. He struggled somewhat last year after getting a bigger role, let’s see what he can do in a defined role in the NFL.

Grade: C+

Daequan Hardy
Penn State v Maryland / G Fiume/GettyImages

7 (221): G Travis Clayton, England (IPPP)

A steep curve for Clayton here who hails from Basingstoke in England. He’s as raw as they come having not played any football and played rugby at an intermediate level. This a pick for upside and see what he’s got. If anything he falls under the IPPP rules of the roster meaning he’s essentially a free player right now. Can he make a practice squad position? It’s possible, but it’s also likely he will swing in and swing out this year, although everyone will be rooting for him. 

Grade: C+

Travis Clayton
2024 NFL Draft - Rounds 4-7 / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

UDFA Signings-

RB Frank Gore Jr., Southern Miss

WR Xavier Johnson Jr., Ohio State

WR Lawrence Keys, Tulane

OL Gunner Britton, Auburn

OL Keaton Bills, Utah

CB Keni-H Lovely, Western Michigan

P Jack Browning, San Diego State

DL Branson Deen, Miami

OT Mike Edwards, Campbell

DL David Ugwoegbu, Houston

Overall Grade: