With the Bills in need of addressing needs around the roster, one necessity for all teams is depth in the offensive line. Whether it be on the practice squad or the 53 man roster, one young man could help fill that role. Enter Marquel Harrell.
High School Football at Creekside:
At Creekside, Harrell was both a standout as an athlete and also as a scholar. While being the vice president of the National Honor Society and a member of the French club, in which he speaks fluently, Harrell also competed in multiple sports. He was both a highly rated basketball prospect and excelled at throwing the shot put. At 6’3″ 295 lbs., Harrell was a four-star recruit who received a total of 26 offers from division 1 schools, ranging from Georgia to Alabama, ultimately signing for the Auburn Tigers.
Feature of a top-rated offensive line at Auburn:
As an Auburn football fan myself, I had the privilege to watch all 31 games in which Marquel featured for the Tigers on the offensive line. After sitting his first two years, Harrell finally began to become a permanent member of the offensive line. He would start at left guard beginning in his redshirt sophomore year and continue there until he graduated. Marquel was additionally named to the preseason all SEC third team on two occasions. In his senior year, Marquel was in an Auburn offense that allowed the fewest QB hits in Power-5 football. Alongside being a highly touted future NFL talent, he continuously made the SEC academic honor roll. This is something that McDermott and the front office very much look for: someone who is both a great athlete and also a very studious young man.
Fight to make a pro roster:
After his collegiate career ended, he did his best to prepare to workout before the NFL draft. He eventually was given the opportunity to help division rival and former Auburn Tiger, Cam Newton. Through this experience, Marquel received advice from the former Super Bowl starter leading up to Harrell’s start in the NFL. When asked what teams could get out of him, he replied, “You’re going to get a hard worker. You’re going to get a leader. Somebody who’s a team-first guy…They don’t have to worry about me outside of the complex and stuff. So just all-around a great person.” This mentality will sit very well alongside both Bills Mafia and the front office and is the defining feature that the organization as a whole appreciates and looks to acquire. As both an Auburn fan and a frequent rooter of longshots, I truly believe that Harrell can be a successful backup piece or could blossom as a potential starter. With the injury of Jon Feliciano, Marquel could potentially make a transition to the other guard spot heading into the season.