Going into the 2023 NFL draft, Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid was rated as a top 15 prospect on several big boards from draft experts — NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah led the way by having the dynamic pass-catcher at No. 9 overall.

That’s why several national media members, including Jeremiah, rated Kincaid as an excellent value pickup for the Buffalo Bills with the No. 25 overall selection during the first round of the draft on Thursday night.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., like many others, had Kincaid as the draft’s top tight end prospect, and he liked the pairing with Buffalo. 

“How about the Bills moving up for my top-ranked tight end Dalton Kincaid at No. 25 to pair him with Dawson Knox? That’s a fun combination, and you know Josh Allen has to love it. Kincaid has the speed to outrun safeties,” Kiper wrote.

Why Utah tight end, and first-round pick, Dalton Kincaid could contribute right away in Buffalo

The NFL Next Gen Stats group listed Kincaid’s selection as one of the top five value picks of the first round.

“General manager Brandon Beane traded up two spots (from No. 27 to No. 25) in a deal with the Jaguars to secure the highly productive prospect,” Next Gen Stats wrote.

“Kincaid caught eight touchdown passes in back-to-back seasons, becoming one of the key cogs in a Utah offense that put up a show against USC for the Pac-12 title (Kincaid had 16 catches for 234 yards against the Trojans). Kincaid entered the draft with the highest NGS production score among tight ends in a historically talented group.”

Media draft experts across the country weighed in on the Bills’ selection in a time-honored tradition of grading each first-round pick.

While the majority of media members gave the selection a top grade, there were others who saw it as a strange fit.

Here’s a look at a few of those grades:

The Ringer’s Danny Kelly

Grade: A.

Kelly said: “Kincaid is one of my favorite players in this draft class, so I love this pick for the Bills, who land a versatile playmaking pass catcher who reminds me of Travis Kelce on tape. There were rumors that some teams had a red flag on Kincaid because of a back injury — which may be why he was still on the board at this spot — but Buffalo is obviously comfortable with his outlook. The Bills did have to give up a fourth-rounder (No. 130) to move up two spots, but they land my 12th-ranked player in the process.”

The Athletic’s Scott Dochterman

Grade: B+

Dochterman said:Josh Allen needed another talent in the passing game, and Kincaid gives it to him. Working in combination with Dawson Knox, Kincaid has a good frame, large hands and is a tremendous pass catcher. At this point in his career, Kincaid is more effective as a pass receiver than a full-service tight end.”

Yahoo Sports’ Charles McDonald

Grade: C.

McDonald said: “This one feels like a weird pick for Buffalo. Kincaid should play a similar role to Dawson Knox, who is still locked in on the Bills’ roster for at least the next two seasons. Perhaps they have a different idea in mind for how this duo will play together, but right now it looks crowded. Kincaid is a stud, at least. It’s not a reach in terms of talent.” 

NFL.com’s Chad Reuter

Grade: A-.

Reuter said: “Buffalo needed to add more offensive weapons to catch up with the Bengals and Chiefs in the AFC, so I’d been projecting the team to move up in the first round to nab a playmaker. With the top receivers off the board, Kincaid’s superior pass-catching skills came into focus for the Bills, as he moves like a receiver in the open field and contorts his frame to grab high and wide passes. Hopefully his back issues are behind him and he’s able to connect with Josh Allen down the seam and in the red zone on a regular basis.”

Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski

Grade: A.

​​Sobleski wrote: ”After the unprecedented run of wide receivers earlier in the first round, the Bills still needed someone to contribute from the slot and in the red zone. The team had to re-sign Cole Beasley last season because it was lacking in both areas.

“Kincaid is an instant upgrade in both instances. Technically, he’s a tight end. But he’s at his best when working as a detached option. His catch radius and toughness over the middle of the field cannot be questioned. Josh Allen should be one of the happiest guys in the league right now based on what the Bills accomplished in the first round.”

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco

Grade: C.

Prisco said: “This is a strange pick when you consider they have Dawson Knox and have a few more pressing needs. Kincaid is a good player, but the position doesn’t make sense and they traded up to get him.”