The 2021 NFL Draft finished up on May 1st, and Buffalo walked away with quite the draft class. They added an ACC duo at edge rusher with Greg Rousseau and Boogie Basham along with a monstrous tackle duo in Spencer Brown of Northern Iowa and Tommy Doyle of Miami, Ohio. Some later additions include Marquez Stevenson, Damar Hamlin, Rachad Wildgoose (name of the year candidate), and Jack Anderson. All in all, the Bills had a very good draft, filling in holes all while preparing for the future. For the rest of the AFC East, some monsters were taken. The Jets kicked it off by selecting BYU’s Zach Wilson. The Dolphins then took Alabama speedster, Jaylen Waddle, at six, and to cap it off, Alabama’s Mac Jones gracefully fell into New England’s lap at 15. So, that brings me to this week’s community poll. Which of these first-round picks by our fellow AFC East little brothers scares Bills Mafia the most for the next 10-15 years?
Zach Wilson (14.3%): This was a surprise to me. Despite being baby-faced and eerily similar to a Ken Doll, Zach Wilson is one of the most polarizing prospects in this past draft class. I had him ranked ninth in overall talent and for many reasons. First off I believe Wilson is a prototype for modern day quarterbacks. He has the ability to set up in any system and use his: mechanics, play speed, decision-making, accuracy, ability outside of the pocket to torture defenses. Obviously, the Jets lack of weapons and the fact that they are the Jets may inhibit him from being successful right away, but long-term, it seems that the Bills are going to have to play a Kyler Murray/Patrick Mahomes hybrid (in play style, don’t light the torches yet) for the foreseeable future, and that surely scares me.
Jaylen Waddle (50%)
Now, this guy has me and half of Bills Mafia trembling. I humbly ranked Waddle third in overall talent going into the draft. He has “get away from the cops” speed, and let me tell you this now if you were unaware: he is not just a sprinter. Waddle works best when cutting corners, jolting between secondaries, and is one helluva tap dancer. His giddy-up ability in the short field is already elite at the NFL level and made SEC secondaries look foolish in all three years at Alabama. When we look at weapons that have beaten the Bills in the past the answer is pretty simple: blazing speed. He didn’t run his 40 at his pro day due to his ankle injury sustained during his Junior campaign, but if he had run it, it would most likely be in the 4.24 range. I mean this guy is Tyreek Hill. There is one positive thought; his quarterback will be his former teammate in Tua Tagovailoa, who had a disastrous rookie year. Barring any injuries, Jaylen Waddle is a plug-and-play franchise receiver who will be giving Bills Mafia troubles for the next decade.
Mac Jones (35.7%)
I was taken aback by this response from the community. I think Belichick and the Patriots have brainwashed us to be scared of them because of what they COULD make out of a prospect. Regarding Jones, I didn’t have him ranked in my personal prospect evaluation (I only did the top 50.), and there are plenty of reasons why. First of all, he is nowhere near an athlete in NFL standards. And yes, I know, neither was Brady, but after watching Brady and co. hoist the Lombardi in February, I am much more on the Brady side in regards to the age-old debate of who the more influential and meaningful Patriot is between Belichick and Ol’ Tom. Second of all, Jones’s deep-ball accuracy is excruciatingly overrated. Watch his pro day when he wasn’t throwing to DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, or John Metchie. He sailed balls, lead incorrectly in terms of placement, and his release mechanics just bother me. Obviously, Jones was an elite college quarterback and broke the accuracy record, but in New England’s chewy offense and lack of elite receiver talent, I just don’t see a possible way in which Jones and the Patriots of the future rival Josh and the rest of the Bills. So, to the 35% of you who voted for Mac Jones – Why? Let me know.
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