Cole Bishop will be teaming up with an old friend in Buffalo.

After the former Utah safety was selected No. 60 overall by the Buffalo Bills, tight end Dalton Kincaid voiced his approval by posting a GIF of Kip from “Napoleon Dynamite” pumping his fist.

The two former teammates are back together again.

“I got to meet with them a couple of times during the combine … then having a couple Zooms throughout the process with my guy Dalton out there. I was always hoping that that would be a possibility. So super awesome when I got that call,” Bishop said.

For Buffalo, Bishop fills one of its most-needed positions. Starting safety Jordan Poyer is headed to the Miami Dolphins, and their other starter, Micah Hyde, is a free agent, so the Bills could have two starting spots open at safety.

“I mean two great players like you said … I haven’t studied them or anything, but just watching them on TV and everything, obviously great players,” Bishop said about possibly filling Poyer or Hyde’s spot. “So going to come in, first thing I got to do is learn the playbook and then just try to add as much value as I can and just try to be the best I can be every day.”

Bishop was the third overall safety selected in the 2024 draft, his stock rising after an excellent NFL combine performance that featured a 4.45-second 40-yard dash time, a 39-inch vertical and a 10-foot-4-inch broad jump. His combination of athleticism and football IQ, along with his game film, resulted in being at the top of Buffalo’s board when the Bills selected late in the second round.

Bishop starred from the beginning in Salt Lake City, playing in 10 games and starting the last six as a true freshman, and never relinquished his starting position. He was part of two Pac-12 championship teams at Utah, finishing with 197 tackles (21.5 for loss), 7.5 sacks, three interceptions, 14 pass breakups, a forced fumble and four fumble recoveries.

He had a tendency for big hits at Utah, and was as comfortable playing in the box as he was dropping back in coverage. That versatility will be key in Buffalo’s defense.

“Their defensive schemes, they let their safeties do a lot. I think my versatility is something that kind of separates me, so being able to go to a team that you’re able to be versatile is huge,” Bishop said. “So just I think I’m going to be able to excel as best as I can.”

From his size to his knowledge of the game, his athleticism, versatility at the position, and ability to cover well and hit hard, Bishop is as “pro ready” as any safety in the NFL draft and could contend for a starting job in his first year with the Bills.

How did analysts react?

On the ABC broadcast, former Alabama coach Nick Saban highlighted Bishop’s versatility, which he showed in spades while at Utah.

“I think this guy is what people are looking for to play safety because the safety has to guard somebody at some point in time. People run empty, there’s four wideouts. He can do that. He can play in the box. He’s tough. He’s a good tackler, but he’s athletic enough and fast enough to play man too,” Saban said.

CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso graded the pick an A-minus.

“Large, intimidating safety with magnificent movement skill. The QB of the defense. Aligns everywhere. Can wear many hats. Excelled as slot defender and vs. TEs in coverage and runs the alley on outside runs as well as any safety in the class. Ball skills and tackling must improve. Short arms. Need filled,” Trapasso wrote.

ESPN analyst Kirk Herbsterit touted how Bishop perfectly fit the mold of a Kyle Whittingham defensive player.

“This guy became a guy that they could really rely on with his instinct. Size, speed became a great leader for him. You can see how he moves around, plays on the back end, which coach (Saban) would love, willing to come up, has great instincts, vision. Just a guy that can really do a lot of different things for them,” Herbsterit said.

“(He) ran a 4.45 (40-yard dash) as a safety with a 39-inch vertical, which gives you an idea of his athletic ability, then to have length to go with that, it’s 6-2, 206 pounds.”

ESPN’s Robert Griffin III called Bishop the “perfect pick” for the Bills.

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“He can play at all 3 levels of the defense, but is best when he can attack downhill. The Bills just lost the heart and soul of their defense in Poyer and Hyde, so they went to church and got them a Bishop,” Griffin wrote on X.

Joe Buscaglia, who covers the NFL draft for The Athletic, gave the selection a B-minus grade.

“A big, speedy safety from Utah who made nearly 200 tackles (including 21 ½ for a loss), Bishop played a lot in the box as a nickel defender as well as back deep at safety for the Utes. A very instinctive player, sometimes too aggressive, Bishop is explosive and still just 21. A versatile back-end defender who could be a starter sooner than later. I would’ve preferred Washington State’s Jaden Hicks — but this is a solid choice in an area of need for Buffalo,” he wrote.

Yahoo Sports gave the pick a B, writing that “this is a safe pick that should give the Bills a multiyear starter at a position of need.”

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