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Buffalo Bills Announce 8 Draft Pick Signings; Who Will Make The Biggest 2024 Impact?

The Buffalo Bills have almost their entire 2024 NFL draft class under contract. Who's ready to make an immediate impact as a rookie?

The Buffalo Bills announced Tuesday that it signed eight members of their 2024 NFL draft class to four-year rookie contracts. The group includes second-round pick Cole Bishop and third-round selection DeWayne Carter.

Travis Clayton, a seventh-round pick, signed his rookie deal in early May. Wide receiver Keon Coleman, the team’s first choice of the draft at pick No. 33, is the only one unsigned.

Tuesday’s announcement comes one week before the Bills open mandatory minicamp on June 11. After an offseason of immense roster turnover, including the departure of veterans Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Micah Hyde, and Jordan Poyer, several rookies could contend for key roles for the reigning AFC East division champions.

Buffalo Bills Sign 8 Draft Picks, Where Do They Fit On The 2024 Roster?

S Cole Bishop (Utah)

Bishop showcased his versatility during a terrific 2023 season with the Utes. He recorded 60 total tackles, four passes defended, three sacks, two interceptions, and a forced fumble in 11 games. His 21.5 tackles for loss in 36 college appearances illustrated his success playing in the box. It could make him an ideal replacement for Poyer, who signed with the rival Miami Dolphins.

The Bills are slated to have a three-man battle for the two starting safety spots. Bishop will join Taylor Rapp and Mike Edwards in that competition. It’s possible a late free-agent signing could add another contender to the fray ahead of training camp, though.

Bishop will be given every chance to open his NFL career as a starter, but even if he ends up as the No. 3 safety he’ll likely see a fair share of snaps on the early downs.

DT DeWayne Carter (Duke)

Buffalo’s losses on defense didn’t just impact the unit’s playmaking ability, but also its leadership. That’s where Carter comes in. He was the first player in Blue Devils program history to get named a captain three times.

“It means the world to me because I think my teammates viewed me as the ultimate teammate at the end of the day,” Carter told Spectrum News’ Andy Young last month. “And that’s what I set out to do every day, is be the best teammate I can be and just be an overall good person. Not only that, but being a good person but not being a pushover, right? So, being the standard.”

The Bills already feature one of the NFL’s best defensive tackle tandems in Ed Oliver and DaQuan Jones. Yet, the coaching staff leans heavily on a line rotation, so Carter could still see around 33 percent of the defensive snaps in his debut campaign.

RB Ray Davis (Kentucky)

Davis was a force in the UK backfield last year. He accumulated 1,452 yards from scrimmage — his third time topping 1,000 total yards in five collegiate seasons — and found the end zone 21 times for the Wildcats. He scored 41 touchdowns in 44 college appearances for Temple, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

His between-the-tackles prowess will make him a perfect complement to James Cook, who ranked sixth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (1,567) in 2023. That should help him hold off Ty Johnson and fellow rookie Frank Gore Jr. for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart.

The Bills will likely lean heavily on the rushing attack, especially early in the season as the new-look passing game gets up to full speed. Davis will need to hit the ground running as a result.

C Sedrick Van Pran-Granger (Georgia)

Van Pran-Granger could be the X-factor from the 2024 Bills draft class. Former starting center Mitch Morse was one of the veterans released by the organization in March. It’s created some uncertainty about how the offensive line will look come September.

Dion Dawkins (left tackle), O’Cyrus Torrence (right guard), and Spencer Brown (right tackle) are locked in, but left guard and center are up for grabs. Buffalo is set to open camp with David Edwards at guard and Connor McGovern at center.

If Van Pran-Granger impresses (or Edwards struggles), it’s quite possible the Bills will shift McGovern back to left guard and let the rookie start Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals.

LB Edefuan Ulofoshio (Washington)

Ulofoshio is where the class begins to shift from potential instant-impact players to likely reserves and developmental projects. He enjoyed a breakout season with the Huskies in 2023, tallying 94 total tackles, three sacks, and an interception in 15 games.

The Bills only feature two linebackers in their base defense, Matt Milano and Terrel Bernard, but their lack of depth at the position was exposed when that dynamic duo suffered injuries last season. They worked to rectify that problem during the offseason.

Ulofoshio will compete with Deion Jones, Nicholas Morrow, Dorian Williams, and Baylon Spector for a depth role on the 53-man roster. His first impact figures to come on special teams.

DE Javon Solomon (Troy)

While Solomon is coming off a monster 16-sack season for the Trojans, questions about whether his production from the Sun Belt Conference will translate to the NFL led him to slip to the fifth round. That said, it’s hard to ignore 31.5 sacks across his last 40 college games.

How the Bills handle their defensive ends is going to emerge as a key camp storyline. They’ll likely carry five with Greg Rousseau and A.J. Epenesa as locks, and they’ll probably want to give Solomon a year on the roster to see how he develops.

That leaves two spots in Buffalo for Von Miller, Dawuane Smoot, and Casey Toohill, among others. If Miller, one of the worst players in the NFL last season (three tackles and no sacks in 12 games), struggles during the preseason could the future Hall of Famer get cut? It’s possible.

OT Tylan Grable (UCF)

Grable is a long-term project. The Bills are hoping his size (6’6”, 306 pounds) and athleticism eventually translate into a starting tackle in the NFL. It’s unlikely he’ll see significant snaps in 2024 barring a rash of injuries, though.

Buffalo has nearly 20 offensive linemen on its 90-man roster, so the competition for roster spots will be fierce over the next few months. Depending on Grable’s performance, the Bills may try to sneak him on the practice squad with an eye toward 2025.

CB Daequan Hardy (Penn State)

The Bills haven’t featured a true backup to standout slot cornerback Taron Johnson in recent years. Backup safety Cam Lewis typically filled the role whenever Johnson exited the lineup, but that represented a major downgrade. Hardy could be the solution.

Although Hardy won’t crack the starting lineup as a rookie, he’ll have an opportunity to earn a role as Buffalo’s punt returner. He took two punts back to the house for the Nittany Lions last season.

Biggest Rookie Impact On The 2024 Buffalo Bills?

Coleman, who should sign soon and has already become a fan favorite thanks to his entertaining press conferences, is the obvious choice and the likely correct answer. Yet, among the players who signed contracts Tuesday, Bishop and Van Pran-Granger are both contenders.

The Bills desperately need a couple of safeties to step up to the challenge of replacing Hyde and Poyer, who were among the league’s top safety tandems for seven years. Bishop has all the tools to replace Poyer as the hard-hitting punisher.

Van Pran-Granger is the sleeper pick because Buffalo can’t afford a leaky offensive line in front of superstar quarterback Josh Allen. Even if he doesn’t start Week 1, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in the lineup by the end of the regular season.

Main Image: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


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