Very little information is being leaked from One Bills Drive these days. GM Brandon Beane and his company are running a pretty tight ship, so it’s unclear exactly where the team will go from Thursday night in the 2021 NFL Draft.
the Buffalo Bills come out of a 13-3 season that saw them make it through to the AFC Championship game. With few glaring needs, Buffalo can go in a variety of directions in this year’s draft. While Bills don’t leak much information, this mock draft has been compiled using some of Beane’s quotes – and a quote from Sean McDermott – since the end of the 2020 Buffalo season.
With that in mind, here is my last fictitious draft before Thursday night.
1 (30): Joe Tryon, DE, Washington
Quote from Beane: “We’ll be thinking long term more than short term,” Beane said. “I think there are other guys that we have on the set, where we’re going: ‘This guy is a hell of a player, but he’s not going to start on day 1, but we’re going to be counting on him and maybe be that in a year he will leave. be the starter. We’re going to have a player who is in the last year of their contract, and he’s going to kind of support that player, learn from him, compete with him, but we don’t necessarily expect him to start.
If the Bills think long term at Pick 30, there’s no better position to approach than defense. Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison are both over 30 and in the final year of their respective deals with the Bills. AJ Epenesa, last year’s second-round pick, will likely be heir to one of the starting jobs, but the squad don’t have a second option. Enter Joe Tryon.
Try, my second round pick in my previous simulation project, has been stealing drawing boards lately and is in the process of being seriously discussed as an end-of-first-round pick. Benjamin Allbright, an NFL insider from Denver, recently reported that Tryon will be leaving sooner than some think.
The defensive end recorded eight sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss in 2019 in his sophomore, but hasn’t had a chance to capitalize on that campaign after choosing to retire from the 2020 season. Tryon has shown that the year off did not affect his athleticism by posting an elite relative athletic score on his professional day.
At 6-foot-4 and 259 pounds, Tryon has a build similar to many defensive ends on the Buffalo roster. Tryon can fit into training as a rookie while taking on a starting role in 2021.
Other potential options: Jayson Oweh, Gregory Rousseau
2 (61): Quinn Meinerz, IOL, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Quote from Beane: (See Round 1)
In addition to thinking long term on board rusher, Beane thinks the same when it comes to his offensive line. The Bills enter 2021 with Cody Ford, Mitch Morse and Jon Feliciano as starters inside their offensive line. There’s also some depth there too with Forrest Lamp, Ike Boettger, Jamil Douglas and Jordan Devey, but Beane doesn’t think about depth with Meinerz. No, Meinerz is said to be Mitch Morse’s heir in the center.
Morse, 29, has suffered at least five documented concussions during his professional career. He missed most of training camp and preseason in his first season with the Bills and suffered a concussion last season against the Patriots. By now Morse has been able to come back but Buffalo has to start thinking about finding his replacement. His contract runs until 2022, but Buffalo can release Mitch Morse next spring for a dead cap of $ 3.75 million and $ 7.5 million in savings.
Meinerz, a small school prospect, warned the league at Reese’s Senior Bowl. He has the ability to play anywhere along the Buffalo interior and has a future at the center. As a rookie, Meinerz may become Buffalo’s best indoor lineman while also taking the center spot in 2022.
Another potential option: Josh Myers
3 (93): Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
Quote from Beane: “We never really had that position,” Beane said. “By the end of the year I thought we had done a bit, Dawson started to have his pace. But that was never where the opposing defense was like, ‘man, we’ve got to keep their tight ends from going off.’ So we’re going to take a look at this group … we have guys here that we want to continue to develop and see what happens. Obviously, if there are ways to add competition, either in free will or in the project, we would as well. “
Brandon Beane has added Jacob Hollister to the team’s list in free agency. Starting in 2021, the team will include Hollister, Dawson Knox, Tommy Sweeney, Nate Becker and FB / TE Reggie Gilliam. It’s entirely possible that Beane would roll with the unit above, but there’s a lot to love about Aspen. The tight end is one of the best blockers in the draft class and it only scratches the surface of his pass-catching ability.
“I think for the next level, what I’m going to bring is a guy who’s a complete tight end – a guy who can do anything,” Aspen said. “My biggest strength is my versatility in all aspects of the game. No matter what other people say, they haven’t seen me do it all like this yet. They only saw a tiny part of it.
Buffalo’s happy offense will improve further if they can make Aspen the all-out threat he has the potential to be in the NFL.
Another potential option: Hunter Long
5 (161): Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
Quote from McDermott: “You never want to lose your fastball, in terms of what we were able to do last season,” McDermott said. “We thought it was important, Brian [Daboll] and me, brandon [Beane] also, to make sure we don’t lose our fastball.
The Bills have Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, Gabriel Davis, and Isaiah McKenzie as their top five recipients. The competition behind the quintet includes Isaiah Hodgins, Jake Kumerow, Tanner Gentry, Duke Williams and Brandon Powell, but that doesn’t mean the team have to sit idly by at the post.
In round 5, Buffalo adds Anthony Schwartz of Auburn. What does Schwartz add to Buffalo’s expansive reception hall? Blazing speed. The catcher was the 2018 Gatorade Men’s National Track and Field Athlete of the Year. On his pro day, Schwartz was recorded with a 4.26-40 yard scorecard. The wide receiver is raw and in need of development, but he can be an out-of-the-gate gadget player and possibly fight for the team’s slot role.
Another potential option: Dazz Newsome
5 (174): Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU
Quote from Beane: “Our running defense hasn’t always been the best,” Beane said after the 2020 season. “We lost a bit of beef on the inside…”
Brandon Beane was referring to the team losing Jordan Phillips in free agency and then Star Lotulelei withdrawing from the 2020 season. Lotulelei will return in 2021, but Buffalo still has to add extra beef. This is where Tonga comes in.
At 6-foot-4 and 322 pounds, Tonga provides Buffalo’s defensive line with beef behind Lotulelei. Tonga has been a great runner-up at BYU and can bring that to the Bills.
Another potential option: Tedarrell Slayton
6 (213): Darren Hall, BC, San Diego State
Quote from Beane: “(Dane Jackson) has got some height, a straight line (speed), but no need to stop-start or faster than fast, or something like that. He’s a young man who we think will be able to compete to start next year. We will obviously be competing for it. But he’s a guy we have high hopes for as a young player and who has shown us that it’s not too big for him.
Buffalo appears to be keen to give Jackson the opportunity to win the No.2 position against Tre’Davious White, which is why the team don’t address the cornerback position until late in the draft. At Darren Hall, Buffalo adds a explosive athlete which they met twice during the drafting process.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com thinks Hall may be best placed in a zone defense.
Another potential option: Deommodore Lenoir
7 (236): JaCoby Stevens, LB / S, LSU
Quote from Beane: “It’s a difficult point because there is a lot of mind that goes into this great nickel role.”
Brandon Beane certainly gave the impression that finding a big nickel in defense was not a high priority in the draft during his press conference with the media last week. That said, if a versatile prospect falls into their rounds late in the draft, Buffalo could still go that route.
Buffalo met JaCoby Stevens during the draft process and former LSU Tiger has the makings of a big nickel. He’s a bit undersized to be a linebacker (6-1 / 2, 212 pounds) and a bit too fat to be a safety at his current weight. At the end of the draft, the team only looks at one player they hope to develop.
Another potential option: Christian Uphoff
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