Bills Hope to Bolster Defense with Addition of Corner in Draft’s First Round

Bills Hope to Bolster Defense with Addition of Corner in Draft’s First Round
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Mobile New York sports betting was new on the scene on Jan. 8, in plenty of time to watch the Buffalo Bills make their second consecutive deep run into the playoffs.

But did the Bills do enough during the 2022 NFL Draft to get over the hump and finally make it back to the Super Bowl? Let’s take a look at all of their selections and their current odds to win the Super Bowl, the AFC and much more.

Bills History with Defensive Backs in the First Round

The Bills traded up for Florida cornerback Kaiir Elam, selecting him at pick No. 23.

Buffalo has selected several cornerbacks in the first round as of late, with the latest being Tre’Davious White. Buffalo has selected 13 cornerbacks in the first round and they've combined to make 14 Pro Bowls during their careers.

Buffalo’s best selection was Stephon Gilmore (2012), although his best years in the NFL came with the New England Patriots rather than the Bills. Still, the Bills have had a lot of success with cornerbacks in Round 1 throughout team history and they are hoping that Elam can be the next star in Buffalo.

NameYearPick No.Pro Bowls
Tre’Davious White2017272
Stephon Gilmore2017105
Leodis McKelvin2008110
Donte Whitner200682
Nate Clements2001211
Antoine Whitfield1999233
Jeff Burris1994270
Thomas Smith1993280
Henry Jones1991261
James Williams1990160
Derrick Burroughs1986140
Mario Clark1976180
John Pitts1967220
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Who the Bills Got in the Draft

The biggest need for the Bills entering the draft was at cornerback and they addressed it with Elam. He is an incredibly gifted cornerback who allowed only 191 yards last season in coverage. He can be a bit inconsistent, but he is a fantastic fit in Buffalo’s defense.

Outside of the first round, the Bills also got a dynamic running back in James Cook from Georgia. While he's not an every-down back, he is a phenomenal receiver who can hit home runs with his speed. Look for him to be part of the rotation right away. 

Keep an eye on Khalil Shakir (Boise State), as he could wind up being the steal of the draft for Buffalo. He was one of the most productive receivers in the country last season and has some traits reminiscent of Stefon Diggs. He could be a factor as the team’s No. 4 or No. 5 receiver in 2022.

  • Round 1 (23rd overall): Kaiir Elam (Florida CB)
  • Round 2 (63rd overall): James Cook (Georgia RB)
  • Round 3 (89th overall): Terrel Bernard (Baylor LB)
  • Round 5 (148th overall): Khalil Shakir (Boise State WR)
  • Round 5 (177th overall): James Mitchell (Virginia Tech TE)
  • Round 6 (180th overall): Matt Araiza (San Diego State P)
  • Round 6 (185th overall): Christian Benford (Villanova CB)
  • Round 7 (209th overall): Luke Tenuta (Virginia Tech OL)
  • Round 7 (231st overall): Baylon Spector (Clemson LB)

Bills Picked As Favorite to Win Super Bowl

The Buffalo Bills are still the favorites in NFL betting to win the Super Bowl this year, ahead of teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. It's not hard to see why as they have one of the best rosters in the NFL and one of the top quarterbacks in the league in Josh Allen. Despite the AFC East getting much stronger this offseason, the Bills should again win the division with 12 to 13 wins.

DraftKings Sportsbook New York has the Bills as a +650 favorite to win the Super Bowl, +350 to win the AFC and an overwhelming -175 to take the AFC East.

The only real question: Is this the year they finally beat the Chiefs (or Bengals/Chargers) and make it to the Super Bowl? This is easily the best roster they've had in several decades and the stars appear to be aligning for them to make a run.

Here are the top 10 in odds, per DraftKings:

TeamSuper Bowl oddsConf. title oddsDivision odds
Buffalo Bills+650 +330 -175
Tampa Bay Buccaneers+700 +350 -280
Los Angeles Rams+1000 +450 +125
Green Bay Packers+1000 +500 -175
Kansas City Chiefs+1000 +550 +160
San Francisco 49ers+1400 +700 +205
Los Angeles Chargers+1600 +850 +250
Denver Broncos+1600 +850 +250
Dallas Cowboys+1700 +750 -110
Cleveland Browns+1700 +900 +175

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is a pretty good draft class for the Bills. They added multiple contributors and the best punter in the draft (Matt Araiza). There is no reason why the Bills shouldn't be the favorites to win the AFC going into the season.

You also need to factor in Buffalo's free agency and the acquisition of Von Miller.



Marcus Mosher covers the NFL, NFL Draft and NFL news for The managing editor of The Raiders Wire is also a contributor to The Athletic DFW, Pro Football Weekly and FanSided, and previously wrote for FanRag Sports. He hosts Locked On Cowboys Podcast.

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