Bills trade up to take TE Dalton Kincaid 25th in NFL draft

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills traded up two spots to select Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid with the 25th pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night.

The Bills traded their 27th overall selection and their fourth-round pick, 130th overall, in a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The move allowed Buffalo to jump ahead of Dallas, which had a need at tight end.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 246 pounds, Kincaid was Utah’s top receiving threat in finishing with 70 catches for 890 yards and eight touchdowns in 12 games last season. Kincaid’s eight touchdowns led FBS tight ends last season and led him to be a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award while also earning third-team All-America honors.

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He spent three seasons at Utah, where he also scored eight touchdowns in 2021, after playing his first two seasons at San Diego.

While the Bills already have an established tight end in Dawson Knox, they did fill a pass-catching need for their Josh Allen-led passing attack.

Among the Buffalo’s more pressing needs was receiver with Gabe Davis entering the final year of his contract, and coming off an inconsistent season in starting opposite Stefon Diggs.

The chances of the Bills filling that need ended with receivers being taken with four straight selections. The run began with Seattle picking Jaxon Smith-Njigba at No. 20, followed by the Chargers drafting Quentin Johnston, Baltimore selecting Zay Flowers and Minnesota taking Jordan Addison.

Barring trades, Buffalo is scheduled to make the 59th and 91st picks on Friday.

In the days leading up to the draft, general manager Brandon Beane said the odds were better of him trading back in the draft order to increase Buffalo’s six selections — one in each round but the seventh — to help him fill more roster holes.

Salary cap constraints led to the Bills not only losing several key parts in free agency, while also handcuffing the team’s ability to spent to fill needs.

Among Buffalo’s most notable free agent losses were starting middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who signed with Chicago, running back Devin Singletary (Houston) and slot receiver Isaiah McKenzie (Indianapolis). As for additions, the Bills most prominent free agent signings were guard Connor McGovern (Cowboys), safety Taylor Rapp (Rams) and running back Damien Harris (Patriots). ___

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John Wawrow, The Associated Press