NFL Draft 2021 Review: Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills had a breakthrough season last year by going 11-3 and winning the National Football League (NFL) American Football Conference (AFC) East Division. The Bills also had a good playoff run by advancing to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 1993.
However, Buffalo needs to find that extra push in order to reach the Super Bowl this season. Let's take a look at whether or not the Bills were able to add some more firepower to their roster in this year's NFL Draft.
Round 1, Pick 30: Greg Rousseau - DE - Miami (FL) (6'7", 266 lbs). Rousseau dropped a little further than experts thought because he opted out of the 2020 season. Nevertheless, his play in 2019 secured him a first-round spot when he had 15.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. His length will be an advantage in causing pressure. He will definitely compete for a starting spot because the Bills pass rush was anemic last season.
Round 2, Pick 29: Boogie Basham - DE - Wake Forest (6'3", 274 lbs). Fortunately, the Bills organization saw that they needed help at the defensive end position. Buffalo went back-to-back on defensive ends by picking Basham in the second round. He dropped to the second round because he suffered COVID-19 during the season, but still amassed five sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss in seven games. Basham had 11 sacks two seasons ago when fully healthy. He might be starting on the opposite side of Rousseau.
Round 3, Pick 30: Spencer Brown - OT - Northern Iowa (6'8", 311 lbs). Brown will add depth at the right tackle position as a backup. He should become a part of their offensive line rotation, especially on running plays.
Round 5, Pick 17: Tommy Doyle - OT - Miami (OH) (6'6", 320 lbs). Since Buffalo is primarily a passing team, offensive tackle depth is a priority. Doyle can play at either left or right tackle and could also contend for some playing time as well.
Round 6, Pick 19: Marquez Stevenson - WR - Houston (5'10", 182 lbs). The Bills are loaded at wide receiver, but Stevenson will compete for playing time as a kick returner because he has returned three kicks for touchdown over the past couple of seasons.
Round 6, Pick 28: Damar Hamlin - S - Pittsburgh (6'1", 200 lbs). Buffalo is also stacked in the secondary, so Hamlin might not see too much time on the field. However, he has the skills to make the roster as a backup at strong safety because he is a willing tackler and because he makes plays in the middle of the field (67 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, 7 pass breakups last season).
Round 6, Pick 29: Rachad Wildgoose - CB - Wisconsin (5'10", 191 lbs). Wildgoose dropped far in the draft due to a season-ending shoulder injury, but his physicality in bump and run defensive sets gives him a chance to make the roster. He may not see any time on the field because the Bills possess one of the best secondaries in the NFL.
Round 7, Pick 8: Jack Anderson - G - Texas Tech (6'5", 314 lbs). Anderson dropped a bit in this draft due to a shoulder injury two seasons ago, but played the entire 2020 season without any issues and made the All Big XII first team. He will compete to be a backup on the interior of the offensive line. He should have been drafted higher in my opinion.
Grade: The Bills addressed their only glaring weakness by picking Rousseau and Basham in the first two rounds because the team leader in sacks last season only had five sacks. The lack of defensive line pressure is why Buffalo lost to Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game. Plus, they bolstered their offensive line with some impressive depth. Due to the Bills pinpointing their critical needs, I give them a B-.
Stats are from NFL.com.