What are Buffalo Bills’ plans for new defensive Von Miller in 2022 NFL season?


PITTSFORD, N.Y.—The last nine months of Von Miller’s life:

Oct. 21: In his last game as a Denver Bronco, Miller played 33 snaps in a 17-14 loss to Cleveland.

Nov. 1: Denver traded Miller, who was stunned by it, to the Rams for second- and third-round picks in the 2022 draft. “You wanna make God laugh, make plans,” a subdued Miller said.

Jan. 2: In his seventh game for the Rams, Miller was the biggest player on the field, recording two big sacks of Tyler Huntley at Baltimore in a 20-19 win. “This is what you play the game for,” Miller said post-game, and I remember (I was there) hearing how exultant Miller and his mates were through the locker-room door. Miller loved the Rams.

Feb. 13: Six years after his Super Bowl MVP performance for Denver, Miller sacked Joe Burrow twice in the Rams’ 23-20 Super Bowl victory.

Early March: Miller, a free-agent, reportedly told friends he’d re-sign with the Rams because it’s where he wanted to finish his career.

March 16: Miller, torn between the Rams and the significantly bigger money offered by the Bills, chooses Buffalo’s six-year deal with $51-million guaranteed and worth up to $120-million. Buffalo GM Brandon Beane was both happy and surprised by the decision, because the Bills kept hearing his heart was in L.A.

July 7: In Dan Pompei’s profile of him for The Athletic, Miller says the day after he agreed with the Bills, he was having so many second thoughts on the flight to Buffalo to sign that he planned to tell them he’d changed his mind. But the Bills had such a good plan for him that, per Pompei, Miller prayed on the Bills’ home field and decided to sign with Buffalo after all.

July 24: Wearing a blue number 40 jersey, Miller jogged out to his first practice with the Bills on the St. John Fisher campus in a leafy Rochester suburb. He signed autographs for 20 minutes afterward for some of the 5,500 fans who crammed camp.

“Free-agency is crazy,” Miller told me after practice. “You gotta make life-changing decisions, career-changing decisions, in two hours.”

We live in a transactional sporting world, with players famous and unfamous changing teams day after day. When something like Miller happens, and he’s emotional about it, the reaction by some is Man up, millionaire. I’ll change cities for $100 million any day. Well, of course. But think of what Miller went through. He loved L.A., he loved his Super Bowl mates (especially Aaron Donald, as a player and person), he loved playing for Sean McVay. The Rams wanted him back, and he was happy with his moderately reduced workload (he played about 75 percent of the snaps in his 12 Rams games). But then the Bills threw the money and the love at him, and here we are.

Miller went to the Rams’ Super Bowl ring ceremony last week in California. “So hard to let go of L.A.,” he said. “So hard to let go of Coach McVay, [GM] Les Snead and especially Aaron Donald, man. Every time I think about it, man, I get sad thinking about not playing with them anymore.”

I say: Good for him for admitting it. Who can blame Miller for being human, for having a few ounces of regret for leaving a team he’d grown to love. He’s not betraying the Bills; he’s simply getting over a heartbreak. In due time, he’ll be fine, and he’ll be a Bills Mafia favorite. Emotions now, pragmatism later. But let’s be real about the opener, Bills at Rams, Sept. 8, with America watching. That’ll be a tough night for Miller.

Von Miller after winning Super Bowl LVI with the Rams (Getty Images)

Speaking of pragmatism, how will the Bills keep the 33-and-a-half Miller healthy and contributing for 17 weeks of the season and maybe four more in the playoffs? He can’t be an every-down player, and probably shouldn’t play even 75 percent of the snaps.

“We got Von to close games for us,” GM Brandon Beane told me.

So this seems logical to me: The Bills are so good that in games they’re leading big at the start of the fourth quarter, coach Sean McDermott should say to Miller: Take a shower. You’re done. That could save 100, 150 snaps. And for the big ones (at Baltimore, at Kansas City, Green Bay, at Cincinnati, maybe a New England or Miami game), he could give Buffalo 65 snaps. The rest of the time, let a strong rotation of youngsters get time to get better.

McDermott told me: “If I said that we don’t have to rely on him to play full games, and he reads that, he’s gonna be like, ‘Oh no. No way.’ Because that’s how competitors are. Right? I fully expect him to be able to do it if we need it.”

“Peter, it’s the first day of training camp!” Miller said when I asked him about not overdoing it this year. “I don’t want to miss that game-changing play being on the sidelines. Of course I’m gonna listen to the coaches and the GM and everyone I trust here. But I wanna play as much as possible.”

Of course. But McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will need to be conservationists, and adults on the sidelines. The Super Bowl favorite doesn’t need the former Super Bowl MVP to be watching in a parka in a big January playoff games.

Three Bills things:

1. Josh Allen’s a rock star, and more. The crowd was batcrap for him for two hours of practice and then a few signing binges post-practice. I got coffee in Pittsford later and I came upon this devotional candle in his image in the coffeeshop. 

Josh Allen has captured the hearts of Buffalonians. (NBC Sports)

At practice Sunday, Bills EVP Ron Raccuia told me he was in the Bills group that went to the site of the mass grocery store shooting in Buffalo in May. He saw Allen approach city and county leaders to offer condolences. “He shook hands with the three politicians, including the mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown,” said Raccuia. “He spent time talking and listening to each one. And he leans into [Erie County legislator] April Baskin, and I heard him say, ‘April, have you been okay through all of this?’ He meant it. He is one of the most authentic guys I’ve been around.” Athletes are important to communities. Sean McDermott brought up David Ortiz taking the mic after the Boston Marathon terrorism and saying, “This is our f—ing city!” Allen is not Ortiz—yet—but he’s becoming a very big part of the fabric of western New York.

2. Tre’Davious White (torn ACL eight months ago today) is valuable, and is also on the Physically Unable to Perform List. No one’s predicting if he’ll be ready to face the Rams in 45 days, but the Bills will spend lots of manhours getting first-round pick Kaiir Elam ready just in case.

3. Spent some time watching wideout Gabriel Davis, who scored four touchdowns in the playoff loss to Kansas City, catch balls off the JUGS machine. He’s cut, he’s got soft hands, he’s very ready to be a 1b to 1a Stefon Diggs in this offense. He’s a worker bee too. All you fantasy players: Don’t let Davis slip too far down your receiver rankings. He’ll get his targets. Allen throws to the open guy, and Davis is good at getting open.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft CB Rankings: Devon Witherspoon highlights loaded draft class


The 2023 NFL Draft is growing nearer, with just weeks remaining until teams make selections that could alter the future of their franchise forever.

A solid secondary is crucial to any team’s defensive prowess, and for the teams looking to tighten up in coverage, this year’s draft is the one to do so.

The 2023 NFL Draft cornerback class is an incredibly deep one, but which corner will be first off the board? Chris Simms unveiled his 2023 NFL Draft Cornerback rankings this week on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast, posting Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon at the top of his list of corners in this year’s crop.

But trailing Witherspoon very closely are four other potential NFL superstars, with Simms ranking Michigan’s DJ Turner at No. 2, Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez at No. 3, Maryland’s Deonte Banks at No. 4 and Georgia’s Kelee Ringo at No. 5.

The 2023 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 27, and end on Saturday, April 29. The first round will take place on Thursday with rounds two and three airing on Friday and rounds four through seven on Saturday. Click here for Simms’ quarterback rankings,and here for his list of top wide receivers.

RELATED: When is the 2023 NFL Draft? Date, start time, location, Round 1 order

Simms’ Top Five CB prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft

Tier One

1. Devon Witherspoon, Illinois

2. DJ Turner, Michigan

3. Christian Gonzalez, Oregon

Tier Two

4. Deonte Banks, Maryland

Tier Three

5. Kelee Ringo, Georgia

RELATED: 2023 NFL Draft order: Complete list of every pick from Round 1 through Round 7

Simms Breaks Down 2023 Draft CB Rankings

The following are highlights from Simms’ CB draft rankings. For Simms’ in-depth analysis, read below for a breakdown on each prospect and be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for an unfiltered look at the NFL, featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown, and stories from a life in and around football.

No. 1: Devon Witherspoon, Illinois

What Simms said: “This guy is must-see TV. He’s up there with one of the most twitchy, sudden people I’ve ever seen in my life to the point where when he takes off, you’re like, ‘Wait, is that real? Did he really get to full speed in half a step?’ … Bump or off, both are phenomenol —  it’s rare to have that. He’s got very good play strength for a guy that’s 5’11” and a half at 181 lbs. He doesn’t know that, he thinks he’s 220 … It’s efficient and easy. He’s sudden and can see the ability to accelerate whether it’s downhill or sticking the foot in the ground and changing direction. As compared to my No. 2 and No. 3 guy, he might be a hair tighter in his hips, but his twitchiness and explosion and acceleration … you just start to go, ‘What does this guy not have, besides the fact that he’s not 6’2” or over 200 lbs.’ He’s phenomenol.”

No. 2: DJ Turner, Michigan

What Simms said: “To me, (DJ Turner is) the most technically sound corner in the draft. There’s nobody better at technique. Like Witherspoon, the ability to mirror receivers at the line of scrimmage, the quick feet, it’s phenomenol. His hips are better than Witherspoon … His ability to flip those hips, turn and break on the ball, it’s right up there. It’s actually more smooth hip-wise than it is for Devon Witherspoon … What more can you say about the guy? Start-stop ability, amazing. Make-up speed, amazing. Other than Witherspoon, I think he’s put in the second-most tough spots out of anybody I’ve watched in this. He plays man-to-man, in your face a ton against big-time receivers. He’s awesome defending double moves. He could be the best nickel or outside guy, and he’s also the fastest guy in the draft. He’s got it all.”

No. 3: Christian Gonzalez, Oregon

What Simms said: “There’s not much to pick apart here … He’s got a little more size and meat on his bones. The Tee Higgins of the world, the bigger receivers of the world, they’re gonna have a harder time pushing him around and doing that stuff. He’s got incredible ball skills … He looks prototype. He looks Darrelle Revis, Champ Bailey-ish in his uniform …  He just wasn’t as edgy as the other guys … He’s gonna match up better with DeAndre Hopkins than the other two. But I don’t know if he’ll match up better with Jaylen Waddle or Ja’Marr Chase than the other two … But his technique is real. He’s a top-20 pick. You talk size, technique and straight speed, of course this guy is one of the top corners in the draft.” 

No. 4: Deonte Banks, Maryland

What Simms said: “He has more measurables like Gonzalez. 6 foot, 197 lbs., there’s a thickness to him and a power and strength element that certainly jumps out. Let alone, speed is Real Deal Holyfield … man-to-man, great legs, runs easy … He’s comfortable in his speed. He’s never panicked. He’s comfortable in going, ‘You have a step on me? That’s fine, I’m good,’ … But he’s also incredible, like Witherspoon and Turner, at getting on top of people when they try to run a go-route. No one can ever really get around him for the most part … He’s sticky as hell, he’s got very good feet, but he doesn’t know how to use his hands at all yet. So he’s not really that great at jamming people at the line of scrimmage, but he’s never not there … I thought his ability to play the ball and create PBUs in those 50/50 situations where the quarterback tries to throw the ball back shoulder and all that, he’s got a great feel and vision to be able to cover and see the throw at the same time that I was very impressed with.”

No. 5: Kelee Ringo, Georgia

What Simms said: “When you turn on the film, you go, ‘What? This guy’s a corner, he’s not a safety?’ Because he has a prototype safety vibe … Against the bigger, straight-liner guys, nobody’s gonna push this dude around. That’s certainly not going to be an issue, that along with the straight speed. Hey, the change of direction stuff is not beautiful. He’s a little heavy-footed because he’s a bigger guy … but it’s not bad … When he opens up, he can really go; obviously with a 4.36 second 40 time … He’s very smooth as far as an athlete overall.” 

For more preview content of the 2023 NFL Draft, stay tuned to Chris Simms UnbuttonedProFootballTalk and NBC Sports EDGE for all the latest updates, player analysis and mock drafts.

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft Position Rankings: The top QBs, WRs, RBs, and more ahead of draft weekend


The 2023 NFL Draft takes place on Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Click here for the full first-round draft order to find out when your team is picking.

Ahead of this year’s draft, Chris Simms has already started analyzing the top prospects by position on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast. So far, Simms has revealed his highly anticipated list of the top 5 quarterback prospects and wide receivers. See below to find out who made the top 5 names for each position and be sure to check back for updates!

Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL Draft as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL, featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown, and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: When is the 2023 NFL Draft? Date, start time, location, Round 1 order

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft Position Rankings:

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft QB Rankings:

  1. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
  2. Bryce Young, Alabama
  3. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
  4. Anthony Richardson, Florida
  5. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA and Will Levis, Kentucky

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft WR Rankings:

  1. Zay Flowers, Boston College
  2. Jaxon Smith-Njibga, Ohio State
  3. Quentin Jonston, TCU
  4. Michael Wilson, Stanford
  5. Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee

Chris Simms 2023 NFL Draft Cornerback Rankings

  1. Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
  2. DJ Turner, Michigan
  3. Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
  4. Deonte Banks, Maryland
  5. Kelee Ringo, Georgia

How can I watch the 2023 NFL Draft live?

ESPN, ABC, and NFL Network will air all seven rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft.

What time does the NFL Draft start?

The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft will get underway on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Rounds two and three will commence Friday at 7 p.m. ET, with Saturday’s final rounds at 12 p.m.

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2023 NFL Season and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!