The 2021 NFL Draft is just days away, and it’s time for the staff at Buffalo Rumblings to weigh in with their picks. See who our staff want to see the Buffalo Bills take in the first round, and share your selection in the comments section below.
Anthony Marino - Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
The Bills need to add an athletic freak at defensive end, and Oweh has all of the natural gifts to succeed in the NFL. Yes, I know he didn’t have a sack last season, and I also know that Aaron Maybin went to Penn State. Oweh can develop behind Jerry Hughes this season, and be the eventual starter in the future.
Josh Rawdin - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramorah, LB, Notre Dame
There’s a decent chance that Owusu-Koramorah is off the board by the time the Bills are on the clock, but if he is there I will be pounding the table for general manager Brandon Beane to call his name. Owusu-Koramorah may not directly fill a need, but his athleticism and play-making ability is too great for me to pass on. He is listed as a LB, but could fill the big nickel role that we’ve all been dying to see used.
Sean Murphy - Kwity Paye, EDGE, Michigan
I’m with Anthony as it relates to the position, but give me the bigger, stronger EDGE player in Paye, who feels like a prototype Sean McDermott end. He’s strong, he’s athletic, and he screams “process” to me. I don’t think he’ll be around at 30, but if the Bills can move up a spot or three to snag him, I’d be all for it.
Dan Lavoie - Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
I thought a long time about this, and ultimately I think the 30th overall pick is much more likely to have game-changing talent at receiver than at cornerback or defensive line this year. Jayson Oweh and Asante Samuel are... fine, but when I think about Elijah Moore or Kadarius Toney? It’s like night and day. It was a tough choice picking a favorite, but today I’ll go with Toney, a cross between Stevie Johnson and Dante Hall. He can be a starting slot receiver, jet sweep ball carrier, and kick returner on this team, filling three roles with one player. If it were an option, though, I think my favorite pick would be “trade down.”
John Boccacino - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
This is all about drafting the best cornerback. I’d love Northwestern’s Greg Newsome II, but every mock draft I’ve read has Newsome off the board. So instead, the Bills wind up with arguably the most complete cornerback in this year’s draft. Farley possesses blazing speed and at 6’2” is physical enough to hold his own on the outside. He has a great nose for the ball (he led the ACC with 16 passes defended and added four interceptions) during a first-team All-ACC campaign in 2020. Farley falls because of health concerns, but everything has come back positive on his offseason back surgery. Buffalo gets a steal at a major position of need late in the first round and finds a permanent answer at CB2 opposite All-Pro Tre’Davious White.
TheAfghanTwilight (Matt B) - Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Someone on staff had to pick him, right? Yes, Brandon Beane has invested fairly heavy in the position over the last two drafts, but he’s admitted neither Singletary or Moss are home-run hitters. Enter Etienne—he of 78 offensive touchdowns in four years at Clemson. A guy who ran for 4952 yards (7.2 ypc) and caught 102 passes for 1153 yards...what’s not to love?!
I don’t see the need to find a CB2 at this point in the draft, and I’m not certain any of the best EDGE players fall to the Bills. Adding a player of Etienne’s caliber could help elevate the Bills to heights unseen for many Rumblings readers. He’s a cheat code, and someone I could see being used in motion behind the LOS, as a slot receiver and, of course, in his traditional role. The best part? He’d be a relatively affordable top-tier RB as the 30th pick with a modest-enough fifth-year option.