In the most ballyhooed tight end class in recent NFL history, the first player at the position to come off the board was Utah's Dalton Kincaid. The Buffalo Bills traded up from No. 27 to No. 25, jumping in front of the Dallas Cowboys to land their preferred pass-catcher.
Kincaid was coming off a season in which he caught 70 passes for 890 yards and eight scores for the Utes, which followed a 36-catch, 510-yard, eight-touchdown campaign the year before. He was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded receiving tight end in the nation in 2022, and with the Bills needing additional weaponry to complement Stefon Diggs as Josh Allen's top target, they clearly felt strongly that Kincaid was the best they could get at that point in the draft.
As for how he'll be used this upcoming season, the Bills don't quite know yet. "We're nowhere close to knowing what the big picture is going to be because we have to learn him and he has to learn us," offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey said, via The Athletic. Dorsey added that Kincaid's role is "to be determined" when the Bills get to training camp and live reps.
Tight ends tend to take a few years to really round into major contributors. It's tough for them to even get on the field all that often as rookies because they have so many responsibilities as run-blockers, pass-blockers and receivers. The Bills also already have Dawson Knox at tight end, and while he is a bit of a different player than Kincaid, who was essentially used as a slot receiver by Utah (he aligned there on 55% of his snaps, per PFF), he has been in the league for a few years and likely has a better handle on the demands of the position.
Still, the Bills obviously saw something they liked in Kincaid's skill set, and with the team's title window wide open as Josh Allen approaches his prime, they will need their new pass-catcher to blossom into a top target and difference-maker, whether in the slot, in-line or out wide.