Photo from buffalobills.com
By Bobby Greco
The 2021 NFL Draft is just about here and for the first time in a while, the Bills will be picking at the end of Round 1 with the 30th overall pick. The best part about it is that Buffalo is one of the most complete teams in the NFL, so this draft will be used to fill a couple positions and find the players that will help take the team over the top. They are also in a position that I feel they have some wiggle room when it comes to what positions they draft and when. If I was in charge of this draft, I would have what positions I want to draft, but I think the bills are in the position that you can draft the best players available at each pick. With that being said, I am definitely going to fill the needs of the team, I just don’t have a set order of importance.
Round 1, Pick 30: DE Carlos Basham, Wake Forest. Defensive End is probably the thinnest position on the Bills and to me Basham is the top of this class. He isn’t the most flashy DE out there, so I think he gets a little overlooked. I don’t understand why either, because Basham is the perfect combination between a power and speed rusher and that is what’s becoming the most effective DE in the league. With how prevalent quick passes have become pass rushers usually don’t have much time to make the play, so you really want someone who can get to the QB fast and not a one trick pony. Basham fits that mold so well and I truly believe in three seasons, Basham will be thought of as the best defensive end in this class.
Round 2, Pick 61: CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse. Melifonwu is a big and physical corner that will bring some stability to the position. He is kind of an underrated prospect, because Syracuse had really bad defense and players like Ifeatu and Andre Cisco get overlooked. I think he would be a great fit for the Bills, because they have a CB with his size and skill and Ifeatu wouldn’t have to be a star giving him time to grow.
Round 3, Pick 93: WR Amari Rodgers, Clemson. This is definitely not a need for Buffalo, but Brandon Beane said after the loss to the Chiefs that the Bills needed more speed and Rodgers would be a great pick here. Rodgers was never the primary receiver at Clemson, because they are loaded with talent at the position and so Rodgers production wasn’t huge. That being said, I think he is the next Tyreek Hill and would be a perfect fit in Buffalo. He is not only very fast, he is also a tough football player and always gives his all. He would also step right in on special teams.
Round 5, Pick 161: LB Paddy Fisher, Northwestern. Sure Fisher isn’t the sexiest pick and probably not what you think of when picturing a NFL linebacker, but you probably also thought the exact same thing about Matt Milano. Fisher just produces every time he touches the field and can fill out an entire stat sheet, by being able to fill any role. He finished his college career with over 400 tackles, yet he is still very reliable in coverage. He is a perfect example of the phrase, “not great at anything, but good at everything”. He also has a fantastic work ethic and will do what it takes to be a successful NFL linebacker.
Round 5, Pick 174: TE Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame. This has a chance to be the steal of the draft. Tremle has everything you want to see in a modern TE and just didn’t get a lot of chances at ND. He is one of the best athletes at his position and is a tremendous blocker, who has the ability to play fullback as well. He does have a few drops, but it will diminish as he gets more opportunities.
Round 6, Pick 213: RB Otis Anderson, UCF. Anderson is an overall great football player and has been a major weapon for his team, from the moment he stepped foot on campus. The reason he isn’t regarded as high as I think he should, is because he doesn’t have a pure position. I think he would be a great addition to the Bills backfield, because he would be another threat in the pass game and he is just a smart and exciting football player.
Round 7, Pick 236: S/LB Jarell White, Cincinnati. White has been one of Cincinnati’s most consistent players for the past four years, but his lack of size and pure cover skills make it difficult to give him a true position. He is someone that will definitely be a good addition to the Buffalo run defense, but his willingness to do whatever is needed for the team will make him great for special teams too.
It’s a very refreshing thing that for the first time in a while, I don’t think the Bills have one great need and they can instead focus on just building up the team as a whole. It is also nice that as a Bills fan, I can sit back and just enjoy the chaos that will be the 2021 NFL Draft. With so much of the draft process not able to happen this year, I have a feeling we are in for a lot of excitement.