The NFL Draft is so close I can almost feel it! The more I write and talk about the draft the more I truly believe the Buffalo Bills won’t go edge in the draft at all. Now you’re probably thinking I’m insane and you’ve probably zoned out of this article by now.
Well, hold those horses my man! I believe Big Baller Beane has done enough in Free Agency to run it back this year. Sacks are flashy and really get the crowd pumped up, however McDermott’s defense is built on pressure.
Going off that narrative, finding a good quality number two cornerback is a priority. As much as I want Dane Jackson to be that for the Bills, drafting a high-value corner could add that needed pressure and competition for him to take his game to the next level.
Beane has done so many little things in Free Agency that it has helped him draft the best value player out there.
Round One (Pick 30): Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL – USC
Round Two (Pick 61): Brevin Jordan, TE – Miami
Round Three (Pick 93): Trill Williams, CB – Syracuse
Round Five (Pick 161): Caden Sterns, S – Texas
Sterns can fill that Dean Marlowe role so many people want to have filled. (Death, taxes and Dean Marlowe in a McDermott defense.) Sterns is a great value safety with fluid hips to use in man coverage. At 6 foot even and 200 plus pounds I would have no issue throwing him in a package designed just to attack Tight Ends.
Round Five (Pick 174): Shi Smith, WR – South Carolina
This year’s Wide Receiver class is a deep one. After writing that sentence out I realize we say that every year. Watching Shi Smith turn into the McKenzie role for this offense will be a treat for us fans to watch.
Cole Beasley isn’t getting any younger and we all wonder if McKenzie can be that guy when and if the Bills move on from Beasley. Best practices dictate you continue to load up on talent and Shi Smith is that talent.
Round One: Trade #30 & #236 to Chargers for #47 & #77
Round Two (Pick 47 via LAC): Joseph Ossai, Edge – Texas
Round Two (Pick 61): Hamsah Nasirildeen, S/LB – Florida State
Round Three (Pick 77 via LAC): Quinn Meinerz, G/C – Wisconsin-Whitewater
Round Three (Pick 93): Trade #93 & # 174 to Jaguars for #106 & #130
Round Four (Pick 106 via JAX): Israel Mukuamu, CB – South Carolina
Remember how I said I got one of my best players available at 93 in the fourth round? That player was Israel Mukuamu. In a nutshell, Mukuamu looks like Levi but plays like Dane. The 6’4”, 212-pound South Carolina product showed good instincts and aggressiveness both in coverage and run support during his time opposite Jaycee Horn. Furthermore, Mukuamu can play outside, in the slot, and at safety, providing positional versatility that McDermott and Frazier could utilize even if he doesn’t win the CB2 job.
Round Four (Pick 130): Kenny Yeboah, TE – Ole Miss
Things have been all quiet on the TE front since the Jacob Hollister signing a few weeks back, which seems to indicate Beane may be targeting one in the draft. There has been much talk among Bills fans about Freiermuth, Jordan, Long, Tremble, and even Pitts. However, Kenny Yeboah from Ole Miss could also fit the bill (pun intended).
But why would we take another developmental Ole Miss TE? The answer: Yeboah is a better, and more experienced, TE now than Dawson Knox was coming out. He is sure-handed and a smart route runner who can be effective as a short and intermediate passing threat from the TE position. (He actually reminds me a bit of Hollister in this sense.) While Yeboah could use some work in run blocking, he should be able to compete for touches with Hollister and Knox immediately and can refine his skills going forward.
Round Five (Pick 161): Tedarrell Slaton, DT – Florida
For the record, I love the depth of day two and three talent in the big boi class (Tufele, Shelvin, McNeill, and Wilson in particular). It just so happens that Slaton, like Hamsah, fell into my lap once again. Even with the confirmed return of Star Lotulelei in 2021, the Bills would still be wise to find a long-term answer at one-tech going forward. I have nothing more to add from my previous mock, but I do have a new highlight gif. This one is of Slaton running over the Left Guard en route to the QB:
Round One (Pick 30): Trade #30 & #174 to Cincinnati for #38, #111, & #149
Round Two (Pick 38): Elijah Moore, WR – Ole Miss
Round Two (Pick 61): Asante Samuel Jr, CB – Florida State
Round Three (Pick 93): Payton Turner, Edge – Houston
Round Four (Pick 111 via CIN): Tyler Shelvin, DT – LSU
We all know big Tyler Shelvin from LSU. Standing at 6’2″ and 350 pounds, Shelvin is an anchor with the best of them on the interior. Shelvin has an uncanny ability to stack and shed blockers at the exact moment he wants to in order to make a tackle on the ball carrier. The fact that he can physically dominate other 300 pound human beings really goes to show the level of strength he plays with.
Unfortunately for Shelvin, he opted out of the 2020 season which may be contributing to his slide down some draft boards. Additionally, he didn’t test very well with a low explosion, speed, and agility grades. However, that is not what the Buffalo Bills would be drafting him for. We would want Shelvin for his ability to be stout against the run and clog running lanes. It would be nice to have a 1-tech defensive tackle that is also an effective pass rusher but with the amount of rotation on the Bills’ defensive line that isn’t necessarily something the Bills need. Shelvin could come in and play a valuable role as a rotational run stuffer on this defense in 2021 and maybe even develop into the heir apparent to Star Lotulelei.
Fortunately for the Buffalo Bills, Shelvin’s year off and some poor pro-day testing could lower his draft stock more than it probably should. This would make selecting Shelvin in the fourth round a great value pick and an absolute home run to start day three of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Round One (Pick 30): Jaelan Phillips, EDGE – “The U”
Round Two (Pick 61): Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB – Syracuse
Round Three (Pick 93): Tyler Shelvin, DT – LSU
Round Five (Pick 161): Mister Elias De’Angelo “Whop” Philyor, WR – Indiana
This offseason for the Bills, the front office painfully let go of Josh Allen‘s first #1 Wide Receiver in John Brown and replaced him with seasoned veteran Emmanuel Sanders. Now Sanders is a great player, but at the ripe age of 34, it looks like this will be his first and last season in Buffalo.
With pick #161, I have the Bills taking Whop Philyor out of Indiana. As a current Penn State student, watching him and the rest of the IU offense tear the Lions a new one was not fun to watch. His playmaking ability, ball skills, and his overall repertoire of skills will help the Bills tremendously. He may not be what “Smoke” was for the Bills, but adding Phylor as his long-term replacement sounds pretty good to me.
Round Five (Pick 171): Jack Anderson, IOL – Texas Tech
There’s no such thing as “too much depth”, especially for Mr. Brandon Beane. With the Bills’ second fifth-round selection, I have them taking Jack Anderson out of Texas Tech. The former ESPN 2017 Freshman All-American had four great seasons in an underachieving Red Raiders offense. He has some injury concerns here and there, as he sat out most of 2019 with a shoulder injury. However, the man is an absolute mauler. One of the grittiest offensive linemen in the entire class, he would be another great day three get for the Bills.
Round One (Pick 30): Kwity Paye, EDGE – Michigan
Round Two (Pick 61): Hamsah Nasirildeen, S -Florida State
Round Three (Pick 93): Tommy Tremble, TE – Notre Dame
Round Five (Pick 161): Dazz Newsome, WR – UNC
Commonly projected in the NFL as a slot receiver, Dazz also has return game upside. He can be a protégé to Beasley, and potentially play the ‘McKenzie role’.
Round Five (Pick 174): Bobby Brown III, DT – Texas A&M
This man looks like Bruce Smith with some soft weight in the midsection. He ran a 4.9 40-time at 321 lbs and is projected as an early down 1T. Ideally, he develops as a protégé to Star.
Round One (Pick 30) – Jaelan Phillips, DE – Miami
Round Two (Pick 61) – Landon Dickerson, C – Alabama
Round Three (Pick 93) – Tutu Atwell, WR – Louisville
Round Five (Pick 161): Tre Brown, CB – Oklahoma
Brown was a three-year starter for the Sooners and flashed impressive ball and cover skills. Brown has good speed to keep up with receivers downfield and impressively stays in receivers hip pockets. He shows a good, smooth backpedal and flips his hips well. Brown’s main weakness is a lack of size. He might struggle a bit with physical receivers. In addition to quality cover skills, Brown flashed impressive skills as a returner which the Bills will be looking for after losing Andre Roberts this offseason.
Round Five (Pick 174) – Tedarrell Slaton, DT – Florida
Slaton is a large, run-stuffing defensive tackle that was practically immovable at the college level. He reportedly weighed in excess of 350 lbs. at Florida, but officially weighed in at an impressive 330 lbs. at his pro day. Slaton might not ever be a factor as a pass rusher, but he gets off the ball quickly, collapses the pocket, and often occupies multiple blockers. The Bills struggled at times last season to contain the power run game. Adding a run stuffer like Slaton would certainly help.