2021 NFL Draft Highlights from Mike D

 Well, I didn’t see that coming. Even with having the 30th pick, this draft was as exciting as any other since 2018. One reason for the excitement was social media chatter. The armchair General Managers, especially myself, were complimenting and criticizing the selections. Obviously, we didn’t have any major needs, so criticizing anything will come across as nit-picky, but nitpicking is what I do best. Let’s get into what I liked about the draft.

Likes

The selection of Gregory Rousseau surprised me. I know I stated in my pre-draft article that 4 needs of the Buffalo Bills were RB, TE, DE, and CB. Thus, from a need’s standpoint, Rousseau made sense. The draft is about the present and the future, and this pick represents both. Last year Frazier started sending extra rushers to generate pressure because we couldn’t get there with 4. I’m hoping that Rousseau helps alleviate this issue. But he is also security for the future. Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison are in the last year of their contract, and we don’t want AJ Epenesa and Darryl Johnson to be our only Defensive Ends under contract.

Another thing I loved is how we addressed the offensive line. Josh Allen is the most important asset that the Buffalo Bills have. Therefore, we better make sure that we protect that asset as best as we can. Getting Spencer Brown, at 6’8 and 311lbs, Tommy Doyle, at 6’8 and 320lbs, and Jack Anderson at 6’5 and 315lbs, is an impressive way to accomplish this.

I love offense, so drafting a WR will always make me ecstatic. Especially Marquez Stevenson who is a 6’0, 190 lbs speedster. With Andre Roberts playing for the Houston Texans, I foresee Stevenson taking over that role as a return specialist, and eventually developing into a speedy slot receiver for Josh Allen.

Dislikes

Not a lot to dislike about this draft, but 2 picks had me scratching my head. The Bills not only got a DE in the 1st round, but they also drafted one in the 2nd round. I explained why I was ok with the first one, and while I understand the need for another, at some point we need to put Epenesa on the field to see what happens. Beane is treating him like a bust and sunk cost.

I did not have Buffalo selecting a first-round pick, but I had them trading back into the 2nd round (Beane said they had a deal, but Rousseau was there). But, if I had to pick a position, I would’ve guessed CB. They haven’t addressed it in any meaningful way since the selection of Tre White in 2017, and he was pick #27. At #30, I knew it was possible to get a good player. Instead, we waited for round 6 to draft a CB. I know Beane said a lot may change from now until training camp; I personally dislike hoping for a team to release a starting cornerback. I would’ve preferred taking fate into our own hands. But hey, Rachad Wildgoose (the best name in the draft) may surprise us.

In closing, I believe that McBeane did an outstanding job. They addressed the needs of now and in the future. We all watched Patrick Mahomes light us up in the AFC championship game, and then 2 weeks later, run for his life versus the Buccaneers. Apparently, McBeane watched that game as well, because they are attempting to emulate that. Sending 4 and dropping 7 is one way to beat Patrick Mahomes. Another way is by scoring points, and drafting O-linemen and a speedy WR will help with that. After looking over the draft, I believe McBeane did an amazing job. 

Pre-draft, there is always a philosophical debate about drafting for need versus drafting the best player available. With Buffalo not having any major needs, drafting the best player available made all the sense in the world. I believe it will be more beneficial in the long run.

 (Story editor: Angela James)