If you don’t know by now, the Buffalo Bills don’t have a fourth-round pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. That pick the Bills are missing was part of the trade package to acquire Stefon Diggs last offseason. Although the Bills don’t currently hold a fourth-rounder, they do hold two fifth-round selections.
A solid part of Buffalo Bills 2021 draft talk is aligning with either #TeamTradeDown, #TeamTradeUp, or content with staying put. For the majority of the off-season, I was part of #TeamTradeDown. Initially, I assumed that the Bills would have multiple holes to fill with little salary-cap space and a handful of quality free agents to re-sign. However, Brandon Beane and his salary cap team did an amazing job this off-season. They brought back more of their players than expected and still had space to sign others on the free-agent market.
Without glaring holes on this roster and only areas to improve, the mantra of this draft for the Bills should be quality over quantity. This doesn’t mean I want to trade up in the first round now. Instead, I feel like the Bills should try to get as many selections in the top four rounds as possible. There are a couple of ways they could get that done. Firstly, they could trade out of the first round to acquire extra draft capital for trade-ups in the middle rounds. Secondly, the Bills could stay put in the first round and package a couple of their late-round picks to get into the fourth round.
Regardless of what they actually end up doing on draft day, I think there’s just too much talent in between Buffalo’s third-round pick at 93rd overall and their next pick at 161st overall. Some of my personal favorite prospects that I project to go in this range include James Wiggins, Darren Hall, Sadarius Hutcherson, and Shi Smith. The Bills have been linked to all four of these players one way or another. They met with former Cincinnati Bearcat safety James Wiggins back in March. Furthermore, the Bills were also linked to former San Diego State cornerback Darren Hall back in March, and it was recently reported that Hall met with the Bills for a second time last week. Lastly, Hutcherson and Smith both played for the South Carolina Gamecocks, and Brandon Beane was personally in attendance for that Pro Day.
More than any other year, the 2021 NFL Draft will be very unpredictable. The pandemic has significantly influenced various aspects of the prospect evaluation process. The lack of a properly regulated NFL Combine has seemingly lessened the importance of Pro Day testing numbers. NFL evaluators have to get to know these prospects primarily in a virtual capacity. Additionally, some prospects opted out of the 2020 college football season entirely. All of these factors could push some talented players out of the first two days. The Buffalo Bills could take advantage of this scenario by snagging a premium talent in the fourth round.
For instance, it may be unlikely but Bills Mafia’s favorite nose tackle, Tyler Shelvin, could slip out of the first three rounds. I think this is a possibility because of various components. Firstly, Shelvin opted out of the 2020 season. While that alone shouldn’t be a disqualifier, he then proceeded to test poorly at his Pro Day. It’s tough to assume that a 350-pounder would run a fast 40-yard dash. However, it’s fair to assume that he opted out of the 2020 season to stay safe and train for his pre-draft process.
Additionally, there isn’t much to Shelvin’s game that could lead you to believe that he could remain on the field for all three downs during his rookie season. The combination of these factors could drive Shelvin out of the first three rounds even though it probably shouldn’t. All that being said, his 2019 tape is impressive. If he slips into round four, the Buffalo Bills should absolutely trade up to grab him.
Yesterday on The Air Raid Hour, we went through our “All-Value teams” on the offensive side of the ball. Aside from quarterbacks, we touched on every position group, naming multiple players we believe to be good value picks in the third round or later. I talked about four guys that I like, but two of them play on the defensive side of the ball. If you’re interested to see who we believe are good value picks for the Buffalo Bills on offense, check out the replay. It’s embedded and linked above.
As always, we run through a mock draft at the end of our shows, but yesterday had a twist. The guests in the live chat were largely in control of each selection. In my opinion, it actually turned out pretty favorably. However, Judge didn’t like it so much. Check out the replay to see how the loyal fans of The Air Raid Hour did yesterday with some guidance.