The closer we got to the draft, the more I thought a trade up would be the move for Brandon Beane. Again. Beane moved up two picks to grab Kaiir Elam in the first round of the 2022 draft (ironically, the pick traded in both drafts was exactly the 130th overall).
A glut of receivers and tight ends seemed poised to go off the board just in front of the Bills. I thought the Giants and Cowboys with the last two picks before Buffalo could be very interested.
Beane, apparently felt the same way. He packaged the late fourth round pick along with pick 27 overall to flip with Jacksonville and move up two spots, leapfrogging Dallas in the process. The move was to grab tight end Dalton Kincaid.
There was pre-draft hype the Cowboys were very interested in Kincaid after losing Dalton Schultz in free agency. Beane said late Thursday night that was his belief. It likely makes the trade up the draft board very shrewd.
I like the trade and I like the pick. A lot. In fact, Kincaid was my favorite tight end in the pre-draft process and he ended up being the first tight end off the board.
Kincaid is a smooth route runner who wins with quicks often. He has very good hands, as well. I like that he tends to pluck the ball out of the air. He can win the contested catch and even has some trick catches on tape that showcase his concentration.
For Bills fans concerned about the offense’s lack of run after the catch, Kincaid should also help there. Not only does he have elusiveness on the speed side, but he can shake tacklers with strength to break away. He’s a good blocker for his size and has dominated defensive backs in space.
The size is an issue for Kincaid. He goes only about 240 pounds which is 10-20 pounds lighter than the Travis Kelce’s and Mark Andrews’ of the world.
Beane said during the post round one press conference that Kincaid would not be an “in-line” tight end. Which means he would not be lined up often right next to the offensive tackle. He’ll more likely split out wide. That will prevent the lighter Kincaid from having too many reps blocking defensive ends.
Kincaid is also coming off a back injury he suffered last Thanksgiving that forced him to miss Utah’s Pac-12 Championship game and the Utes’ appearance in the Rose Bowl. He was fully cleared to play earlier in April.
I’m not all that worried about the size problem. I think the NFL is a speed league and Kincaid has the wheels to be dangerous at tight end. Kincaid started playing football late in life, so there’s still might be some upside from a player with a bit less experience in the game.
Upside might be the best part of this pick for the Bills. I think Kincaid has the best ceiling of any tight end coming out this year and has a potential that might be among the top five or ten players in the entire draft.
He’s not quite a receiver. Not quite a tight end. A bit of a hybrid, but his athleticism could make him a very scary weapon in this Bills offense alongside Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen.
I really like the move by the Bills. It’s no guarantee, but no pick in the mid-20’s is ever going to be that. Even if it cost the Bills two draft picks, I think it’s a smart short term and long term swing by Beane.