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2021 NFL Draft: Solidifying right tackle

If the Bills can’t—or choose not to—re-sign Darryl Williams, these are the draft options

One of general manager Brandon Beane’s best moves during the 2020 offseason was choosing to bring in former Carolina Panthers tackle Darryl Williams on a cheap one-year deal. It was an easy gamble that paid off big time. Williams ended up earning the chance to start by beating out Cody Ford and turned in a solid season overall. Set to become a free agent again, Williams should be able to cash in on his successful season, either with the team or elsewhere.

If Williams does leave, it wouldn’t be a surprise given how much of a revolving door the position has been historically for the team. Moving forward, the team shouldn’t balk at a chance to draft a long-term answer at the position. Below are just a few of the players the Bills might consider.

Tier I

Penei Sewell (Oregon)
Alex Leatherwood (Alabama)

Sewell has been the presumptive first tackle off the board for a while now, and given his prototypical size, his polished technique, his experience as a freshman starter and the fact that he’s only 20 should find him continually mocked as the first tackle off the board. Leatherwood doesn’t have the highest ceiling or great athleticism as a tackle prospect, so he won’t be making any eye-popping blocks you sometimes see on tape for other prospects. What he does is rarely make mistakes—and consistency is sometimes the best ability an offensive lineman can have.

Tier II

Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech)
Jalen Mayfield (Michigan)
Jackson Carman (Clemson)

Any highlights you see of Darrisaw mostly relate to his run-blocking prowess, which at this point is much more refined than his pass blocking. He’s prototypical from a size and arm length standpoint, but his heavy feet make him a better fit for the right side. Mayfield is pretty inexperienced, with only 15 starts as the Wolverines’ right tackle. The team that drafts him may have to put up with a bit of a learning curve. Although he played left tackle and protected Trevor Lawrence’s blindside, Carmen wasn’t the most consistent player in pass protection and seems better fit for the right side.

Tier III

Spencer Brown (Northern Iowa)
Alaric Jackson (Iowa)

All about size and strength, Brown needs to learn to properly work with his 6’9” height and develop his shuffle to ensure he can withstand speed rushers. Jackson isn’t like his former teammate Tristan Wirfs because he’s not an athletic freak. What he does offer is a well-rounded skill set and good movement skills but shorter arms that suggest he shouldn’t be relied upon to handle the left side of an NFL offensive line.

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