Buffalo 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Elijah Blades, CB
Strengths: Florida transfer who displays big-time ability on occasion. Athletic, possesses terrific size, and easily moves about the field. Fluid flipping his hips, loses nothing in transition, and is smooth pedaling in reverse. Plays fast and shows the ability to recover. Effective facing the action, gets vertical, and times his pass defenses to knock the ball away. Fires up the field and gives effort defending the run.
Weaknesses: Struggled at Florida before he was eventually dismissed from the program. Marginally productive throughout his college career. More of a flash player than a consistent playmaker.
Overall: Blades is a size-and-speed prospect who always had high expectations in the scouting community, yet never really delivered. He showed flashes of ability last season for Buffalo. If teams are convinced football is his priority, Blades deserves a practice-squad opportunity this fall.
Gabe Wallace, OL
Strengths: Massive lineman with terrific power who is best in a small area. Quickly sets up off the snap, is explosive at the point, and works his hands throughout the action. Keeps his feet moving, always works to get a pad on defenders, and works blocks. Strong, moves defenders off the line run blocking, and anchors in pass protection.
Weaknesses: Struggles to adjust. Lacks footwork in pass protection and bends at the waist.
Overall: Wallace has right-tackle size but the playing style of a guard. He’s a power-gap lineman who could make a roster if he loosens up.
Isaiah King, CB
Strengths: Feisty corner who flashes ability. Engages receivers at the line, fluidly flips his hips in transition, and mixes it up throughout the route. Quickly diagnoses plays, battles to break up throws, and works hard defending passes. Fires upfield and gives effort defending the run.
Weaknesses: Must improve his footwork pedaling in reverse. Slow getting his head back around. Possesses an average closing burst. Deep speed may be an issue.
Overall: Though unspectacular, King was a solid cornerback at Buffalo and projects as a zone defensive back/special-teams player on Sundays.
James Patterson, LB
Strengths: Tremendous run-defending linebacker who combined for 236 tackles the past two seasons. Displays terrific awareness, stays with assignments, and quickly locates the ball. Fires upfield to fill gaps against the run, scrapes well laterally, and wraps up tackling. Breaks down well, does not bite on ball fakes, and plays within the system. Gets depth on pass drops.
Weaknesses: Displays average quickness and lacks a closing burst. Inefficient. Short with small hands.
Overall: Patterson is a hard-charging, run-and-chase linebacker who really stands out against the run. He comes with limitations, yet can be an eighth linebacker on the inside of a 3-4 alignment and also add value on special teams.
Justin Marshall, WR
Strengths: Louisville transfer coming off a sensational senior season. Tracks the pass in the air, extends his hands, and snatches the ball away from his frame. Possesses soft, strong hands and natural pass-catching skills. Uses his frame to shield away defenders, gets vertical, and exposes himself to the big hit.
Nicely times receptions, displays terrific eye/hand coordination, and makes the difficult over-the-shoulder reception. Uses his hands to separate from defenders, sells routes, and possesses short-area quickness. Keeps the play in bounds and is tough to bring down after the catch.
Weaknesses: Must improve his route-running footwork and isn’t quick in or out of breaks. Lacks deep speed and isn’t a vertical threat.
Overall: Marshall is a big-bodied receiver with long arms and reliable hands. He displayed the ability to take over games last season, and while he plays to one speed, Marshall has the potential to be a real good fifth or even fourth receiver on Sundays.
Want more information on Marshall? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Justin Marshall, WR, Buffalo | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Quian Williams, WR
Strengths: Eastern Michigan transfer who had four productive seasons on the college level. Smooth releasing off the line of scrimmage, comes back to the ball out of breaks, and extends his hands. Gets vertical to high point the throw over defenders, exposes himself to the big hit, and looks the pass into his hands. Tracks the deep pass at full speed. Gives effort blocking downfield.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Weaknesses: Rounds off routes and isn’t sharp in or out of breaks. Struggles in battles. Plays to one speed and lacks the second gear. Average run-after-the-catch ability.
Overall: Williams was a very productive college receiver who comes with solid size and large hands. He has an upside but must really polish the details of his game to make it out of camp this summer.
Robbie Mangas, TE
Strengths: Dartmouth transfer who was a solid college tight end. Explosive at the point, displays good blocking vision, and squares into opponents. Turns defenders from the action and seals them from plays. Gives effort blocking downfield and remains disciplined with assignments. Works hard to make himself an available target as a pass catcher.
Weaknesses: Plays slower than his 40 time. Lumbers around the field. Lacks a quick release off the line of scrimmage into pass routes. Loses focus as a receiver and drops catchable throws. Limited next-level upside.
Overall: Mangas possesses a solid build, but he lacks the speed, arm length, and athleticism to play on Sundays.
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