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The 2021 NFL Draft is in the books and the Buffalo Bills clearly had a plan… Dominate the line of scrimmage! I really like what they did, but I think there were a couple I personally would have done differently. However if I’ve said it once, I will say it many more times. When it comes to the duo of McDermott and Beane, you always “TRUST THE PROCESS”! I think they definitely bolstered both sides of the line of scrimmage, by using five of their eight picks on the offensive and defensive lines. They also built some more depth in the secondary and drafted a very underrated speed threat at WR. Overall I think it was a strong draft because the team didn’t have any glaring holes and so they took advantage of the draft by just bolstering the team.
Overall Grade: B
Round 1: DE Gregory Rousseau, Miami (B)- Don’t get me wrong, I think Rousseau can turn into one hell of a player. The reason I give him a B is that he hasn’t played in over a year opting out of the season and didn’t have the best pro day, also there was a bonafide superstar in Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah still on the board. With all that being said, Rousseau is a monster of a man standing at 6’7 and has very long arms. He was incredibly disruptive in 2019 and collected 15.5 sacks, that doesn’t happen accidentally.
Round 2: DE Carlos “Boogie” Basham, Wake Forest (A+)- Personally, I think this was a home run of a pick. If you read any of my past articles leading up to the draft, you know I think Basham was the top pass rusher in this class. Getting him in the second round gives Buffalo incredible value with this pick. Basham is the perfect combination of a power and speed rusher, which I think is more and more important in today’s NFL. Having him and Rousseau on the edges is going to cause havoc for opposing O-Lines and I really believe the Bills now have their starting DEs for years to come.
Round 3: OT Spencer Brown, Northern Iowa (B+)- This is another great value pick here. Brown is a very intriguing prospect, who I think can step right in as the Bills' swing tackle. He became a force for UNI, but still has some things to work on and I think not having a 2020 made him fall a bit. Another massive human, Brown stands at 6’8 tall and is still extremely athletic. He has the chance to become a starting right tackle, but I don’t think it will happen this year. I do however believe he will play an important role, by being a powerhouse swing tackle.
Round 5: OT Tommy Doyle, Miami OH (B-)- I don’t mind the player, I just don’t like the pick. Doyle is a versatile and athletic offensive lineman, which is honestly the reason I didn’t grade him lower. Buffalo had a strong offensive line last season and at this point in the draft, there were still a lot of good players on the board who I think would have been more useful. I don’t see him getting much playing time as a rookie, but he has the tools to become a solid pro.
Round 6: WR Marquez Stevenson, Houston (B+)- I really like this pick, because of when they drafted him and I think he brings different qualities than the other receivers. Stevenson brings a lot of speed and is a very good returner, which is a big plus. He will likely be used in many ways this year, just to get him acclimated to the pro game and that will help him develop into a stronger receiver.
Round 6: S Damar Hamlin, Pittsburgh (A)- I love this pick. Hamlin was a huge player for the Pitt defense and is just an overall good player. He is good against both the run and pass and will also add better depth to the position. He will be a great addition to special teams and should be a contributor in some sub-packages.
Round 6: CB Rachad Wildgoose, Wisconsin (B-)- I like the position picked here, but the player is what lowers the grade. At this point in the draft, there were still a lot of good corners left on the board and Wildgoose didn’t have the best production. He is coming off a season where he broke his scapula and I think it was just a risk. He had a good pro day though, so I think we just have to wait and see.
Round 7: Jack Anderson, Texas Tech (C+)- They are actually getting a ton of value with Anderson, which is the main reason I am giving this a C+. However, I just don’t think the Bills used this pick wisely. They had other positions that I think were more important and there were still good players left at those positions. Personally, I getting another LB would have been better to pick, or they could have taken a chance on local University at Buffalo RB Jaret Patterson. With all that being said, Anderson is a nasty and aggressive lineman, who I honestly think could become a starter within a few years. So for now it’s a C+, but this grade could easily go up.
Overall I think the Bills had a plan and executed it just like they wanted to. They got much stouter up front and built depth in the secondary. It’s exciting to see the development of this team and I think this draft class takes them to the next level.