2022 NFL Draft: Assessing Buffalo Bills Draft Injury History

2022 NFL Draft: Assessing Buffalo Bills Draft Injury History
Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane, left, and head coach Sean McDermott speak to the media before camp opened at the NFL football team's training camp in Pittsford, N.Y., Thursday, July 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

We are just days away from the 2022 NFL Draft and speculation is at an all-time high as to what the Buffalo Bills will do at pick 25. 

Every year, the press conferences and Top 30 visits are microscopically analyzed to determine if there are any hints as to what the Bills will do. Needs and wants are justified on social media by the fan base. All of this culminates at a boiling point up until the card is handed in and that first-round selection is walking across the stage.

The Bills appear to have a tell though when selecting in the draft, at least from a medical standpoint. Since 2018, Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane have been together, and they have shown remarkable consistency in the type of medical profiles they consider when selecting a player. 

They don’t necessarily pick injury-free players, this is football after all, but they appear to have certain criteria when selecting players. Last year, I wrote an article for Buffalo Rumblings highlighting the same information over the prior three drafts. This is an update along with several prospects that could be available based on their medicals. Read below to identify trends over the past four years of Bills draft picks. 

2018 NFL Draft

Pick No. 7 Wyoming QB Josh Allen

2015: Right collarbone fracture, missed ten games

2017: Right A/C joint sprain, missed two games

Pick No. 16 Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds

2014: Collarbone fracture (High School)

No publicly reported collegiate injuries

Pick No. 96 Stanford DT Harrison Phillips

2015: Left ACL tear, missed 13 games

2016: Right knee injury, missed one game

Pick No. 121 Weber State CB Taron Johnson

2017: Hamstring strain, missed two games

Pick No. 154 Jacksonville State CB Siran Neal

No publicly reported collegiate injuries

Pick No. 166 Virginia Tech G Wyatt Teller

No publicly reported collegiate injuries

Pick No. 187 Clemson WR Ray-Ray McCloud III

2015: MCL sprain, missed three games

2016: Ankle injury, missed one game

Pick No. 255 North Carolina WR Austin Proehl

2017: Left collarbone fracture, missed six games

2019 NFL Draft

Pick No. 11 Houston DT Ed Oliver

2017: Left knee injury, missed one game

2018: Right knee bone contusion, missed four games

Pick No. 38 Oklahoma OT Cody Ford

2016: Broken left fibula, missed three games

2017: Undisclosed injury, missed two games

Pick No. 74 Florida Atlantic RB Devin Singletary

No publicly reported collegiate injuries

Pick No. 96 Ole Miss TE Dawson Knox

2015: Dislocated ankle (high school)

2017: Foot injury, missed two games, Offseason: left stress fracture requiring surgery; torn meniscus, side not specified, required surgery

Pick No. 147 Florida LB Vosean Joseph

No publicly reported collegiate injuries

Hamstring strain during pre-draft training

Pick No. 181 Miami S Jaquan Johnson

2018: Right hamstring strain, missed two games

Pick No. 225 North Carolina A&T DE Darryl Johnson

No publicly reported collegiate injuries

Pick No. 228 Boston College TE Tommy Sweeney

No publicly reported collegiate injuries

2020 NFL Draft

Pick No. 54 Iowa DE A.J. Epenesa

Broken leg, missed half of the season (high school)

No publicly reported collegiate injuries

Pick No. 86 Utah RB Zack Moss

2016: Turf toe, missed two games

2018: Right knee meniscal tear, missed five games

2019: Hand injury, missed zero games, AC Joint sprain, missed two games

Pick No. 128 UCF WR Gabriel Davis

No publicly reported collegiate injuries

Pick No. 167 Georgia QB Jake Fromm

2018: During the offseason, fish hook caught in calf; left-hand fracture. Regular season: right leg contusion, missed zero games

2019: Left ankle sprain, missed zero games

Pick No. 188 Georgia Southern K Tyler Bass

No publicly reported collegiate injuries

Pick No. 207 Oregon State WR Isaiah Hodgins

2018: Hamstring strain, missed one game

2019: Right knee injury, missed zero games

Pick No. 239 Pittsburgh CB Dane Jackson

2014: Left meniscus tear, missed five games (high school)

No publicly reported collegiate injuries

2021 NFL Draft

Pick No. 30 Miami DE Gregory Rousseau

2018: Right ankle fracture, missed eleven games

2019: Training camp lower back injury, missed zero games

Pick No. 61 Wake Forest DE Carlos Basham

2014: Sore knee, side not specified, unknown if he missed time in high school due to this injury (High school)

2018: Undisclosed injury, missed one game

2020: COVID, missed one game

Pick No. 93 Northern Iowa OT Spencer Brown

2015: Broke left femur playing basketball, later suffered osteochondral defect under the patella, required surgery to repair. Tore meniscus during football season, required surgery in April 2016 (High school)

2017: MCL tear with a patellar tendon injury, required surgery, missing eight games

Pick No. 161 Miami (OH) OT Tommy Doyle

2016: Shoulder labrum tear, redshirted freshman year, missed twelve games

2017: Foot injury, missed seven games

2018: Leg injury, missed two games

Pick No. 203 Houston WR Marquez Stevenson

2016: Fractured left clavicle in training camp. Later suffered additional undisclosed injuries. Missed eleven total games

2017: Tore left ACL during spring practice, missed the entire season, missed 12 games

Pick No. 212 Pittsburgh S Damar Hamlin

2015: Core muscle injury, required surgery (High school)

2016: Dealt with core muscle repair revisions, required two revisions, missed 10 games

2017: Continued to recover from core muscle repair, missed three total games with an undisclosed injury late in the season

2019: Undisclosed injury, missed one game

Pick No. 213 Wisconsin CB Rachad Wildgoose

2020: Right scapular fracture, missed five games

Pick No. 236 Texas Tech G Jack Anderson

2019: Shoulder injury, season-ending, possible labrum tear, missed 12 games. Had possible other shoulder injuries in the off-season as bracing was on each arm at different points


Looking at the collegiate injury histories over the past four seasons, the Bills tend to avoid any soft tissue concerns such as strains or big ligament injuries. 

Broken bones and minor sprains appear to be the exception with games missed due to those injuries, not a major deterrent. Once the third round hits and beyond, then the team begins taking more risks, looking at skills, traits, and scheme fit. After the fourth round and beyond, they will take some risks with injuries including torn ACL’s, meniscus injuries, core muscle injuries, and labrums tears to name a few.

The Bills want their top draft picks available and able to produce. There were seven players that were selected in the first two rounds over the past four years. Of those, only Cody Ford has dealt with several injury issues that have certainly reduced his ability to perform, landing him in the bust category. A lot can be said for the other players, but they have either been available to play or have played at an elite level if they have missed some time here and there.

Of the 31 players taken over the past four years, 25 have been retained. Only Rachad Wildgoose and Jack Anderson were picked off the practice squad to the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively out of last season’s draft class.

With the biggest needs for the team being cornerback, wide receiver, interior offensive lineman, and running back there are certainly players who fit the Bills’ draft criteria below. 

To note: these are players that are considered to be Round 1-2 prospects.


Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner

Trent McDuffie

Roger McCreary

Wide Receiver

Garrett Wilson

Drake London

Chris Olave

Jahan Dotson

Interior offensive lineman

Tyler Lindenbaum

Zion Johnson

Running back

Breece Hall

Isaiah Spiller

Kenneth Walker

Possible draft selections

While not every name on that list is a Bills target, the front office did meet with Trent McDuffie, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Jahan Dotson, Breece Hall, and Isaiah Spiller according to Cover 1.

While there are a number of other variables in play, this is one factor to consider when identifying possible selections at either pick 25 or even later in the draft.

The Bills have also met with a lot of other prospects with complex injury histories that are not on the above-mentioned list. While past results do not guarantee future outcomes, the Bills do not have to stick to what they’ve done the past four seasons. They could elect to draft someone with some injury concerns that the doctors have checked out and are comfortable with. 

There are patterns noted above, though identifying the actual pick is still nearly impossible. There are plenty of prospects that the Bills met with that have not been publicly reported, making this exercise difficult to predict. 

I have a strong feeling that the trend of minimal injury issues being selected in the first two rounds will continue. I will not be surprised if it is one of the names listed above. We can only wait to see what happens this weekend.

Top Photo Credit: Photo by: (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)