Building on Solid Foundations – Buffalo Bills 7 Round Mock Draft

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By Alex Wood February 20, 2021 0 Comment
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With the NFL season officially behind us and #DraftSZN in full swing, this Buffalo Bills 7-Round Mock Draft looks at which players could become fully integrated members of the squad once selected at the 2021 NFL Draft later this year.  Head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane are in the groove together and have properly built this team into one of the powerhouses of the NFL. When teams are in this mode, drafting is more challenging as it is not apparent what teams immediately need, but still highlights the need for the draft to refresh the team.

Brandon Beane believed a refresh was more critical than ever this year when he warned fans that the draft will be more important than ever, dampening fans’ hopes of big names in the offseason. Especially with the salary cap expected to dip from $198 in 2020 to somewhere between $175-190 million.

“This is not going to be a free agency where we can be as aggressive. We’ve been aggressive with that because we built up the resources,” he said. “I would not anticipate any blockbuster moves of the Stef Diggs type or some of the moves we made the year before in free agency. It’s really going to be plugging some holes depending on who we lose. And then the onus is on us to have a strong draft.”

To mock this scenario, we utilized the Pro Football Focus Mock Draft Simulator. Not only does the simulator allow trades, but it will enable variability with sliders like “draft for team need” and “randomness.”

One thing is always a certainty on draft day—anything can happen. So, while you may not think players dropping is fair, or if we messed with the system, it one hundred percent legitimate. It is a fun exercise that opens your mind to some potential possibilities. Moreover, it is a way to get to know some of these players in a deeper context.

Round 1. Pick 30 Asante Samuel Jr. (CB, Florida State)

Legacy is a big thing in the NFL, and the son of four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel is all set to follow in his father’s footsteps. The Buffalo Bills are drafting a great man-to-man corner that will offer speed on the outside. Samuel Jr has natural instincts in matching patterns, loose hips, and quick feet, all ideal for a first-round corner. Despite being a little undersized Samuel Jr won’t let the competition get ahead of him with a competitive edge that can only come from being a legacy.

Round 2. Pick 61 Najee Harris (RB, Alabama)

Buffalo’s run game last season was not exactly outstanding, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Harris single handily changes that for the Bills. With Harris being a power rusher who can also catch balls from the backfield, it adds a whole new dynamic to Josh Allen’s offense and allows versatility out of the shotgun formation. The one flaw Harris contains is he doesn’t have gears; when he runs its 0-100 straight away, now it isn’t exactly a negative as it can be utilized correctly, and with McDermott, Harris will only grow. The perfect example of the rich getting richer.

Round 3.Pick 93 Ben Cleveland (OG, Georgia)

A massive pick up for the Buffalo Bills as they need help on the interior. It is also a double entendre as Cleveland stacks up at 6ft,6, 354 pounds making him a powerhouse in his position. Cleveland’s length isn’t stellar, but his power is a force in both the run game and the passing pressure. The main takeaway from Clevelands tape is his hand speed; with him keeping them wide, it forces pass rushers to try and bull-rush him. Which usually ended up with the Georgia guard neutralizing his opponents. The task is producing in the big leagues, which Cleveland has the tools for. Huge mid-round pick-up.

Round 4. Pick 162 Robert Rochell (CB, Arkansas)

Elite athletes fit in almost immediately at the NFL level. Rochell is just that with a 4.3 40-yard dash, a 41-inch vertical, and a 3.98 3 cone shuffle. Rochelle’s production numbers are just as freaky with the seven-game mixed-up schedule Arkansas put together; he still produced at a top-end level. The explosiveness and physicality come out as Rochell matches his targets stride for stride down the field on tape.

Round 5. Pick 175 Brenden Jaimes (OT, Nebraska)

Jamies is a great pick up for depth throughout the season, still with a lot to learn at the position, the fundamentals already in motion, especially in the run game where the power of a 300-pound right tackle machine, which is an area that Buffalo is building through this mock draft. Under some good coaching and a year of development, Jamies will work to become a starting right tackle.

Round 6. Pick 214 Austin Watkins (WR, UAB)

The Sleeper of this particular draft is Watkins, who, with his 6ft,3 210-pound build, is an ideal size for a receiver, and he supplements that with extraordinary traits.  Explosive off the line, twitchy, elusive, aggressive after the catch, his speed is solid even in the long run. Even beyond that, Watkins brings detail to his routes and toughness, which is something that not all receivers carry with them, even the athletic ones. A great partner to take some heat off Stefon Diggs.

Round 7. Pick 234 Josh Ball (OT, Marshall)

The old-fashioned trope in the NFL draft is you will find gold later on the rounds. Josh Ball is an example of this, with Ball ranking in at 6ft,8 307 pounds gold has been struck, as despite his size, Ball is quick off the line, and by using his frame, he stops rushers getting around him on his side. Whether it is protecting the edge or doubling up with the interior, Ball is a great pick-up for the Buffalo Bills in the depths of the draft.

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