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SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft: Buffalo Bills trade up rejected by Green Bay Packers

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

It’s time for the 2021 NFL Writers Mock Draft over at SB Nation. It’s been taking place for the last 10 days or so, but because the Buffalo Bills don’t pick until 30, we haven’t really been following along on the blog until now.

We have reached pick number 29 held by the Green Bay Packers. A few slots ago, my team of Dan Lavoie and Andrew Griffin, along with Bruce Nolan, identified a handful of players we were excited about taking at pick 30, and all but one of them are gone. Here’s how it shook out:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
  2. New York Jets - Zach Wilson, QB, Brigham Young
  3. San Francisco 49ers (from Houston Texans through Miami Dolphins) - Justin Fields, QB,
  4. Atlanta Falcons - Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
  5. Cincinnati Bengals - Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia Eagles) - Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
  7. Detroit Lions - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
  8. Carolina Panthers - Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern
  9. Denver Broncos - Micah Parsons,LB, Penn State
  10. Dallas Cowboys - Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
  11. New York Giants - Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
  12. Philadelphia Eagles (from San Francisco 49ers through Miami Dolphins) - Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
  13. Los Angeles Chargers - Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
  14. Minnesota Vikings - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
  15. New England Patriots - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
  16. Arizona Cardinals - Jaelen Phillips, DE, Miami
  17. Las Vegas Raiders - Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL, USC
  18. Miami Dolphins - Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
  19. Washington Football Team - Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
  20. Chicago Bears - Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
  21. Indianapolis Colts - Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
  22. Tennessee Titans - Rashad Bateman, WR, Minnesota
  23. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks) - Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams) - Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
  26. Cleveland Browns - Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Georgia
  27. Baltimore Ravens - Terrance Marshall, Jr., WR, LSU
  28. New Orleans Saints - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, OLB, Notre Dame

When we got to pick 20, our list looked like this (in no real order):

  • DE Kwity Paye
  • CB Caleb Farley
  • EDGE Azeez Olujari
  • LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
  • CB Greg Newsome

As you can see, over those ten picks, all but one of our targets was selected. So we reached out to the Green Bay Packers to see if we could move up and block someone else from taking our last player. We offered them pick 174 in the fifth round to move up one spot. They declined.

“On behalf of the Packers, we’re staying at 29 to select Greg Newsome,” wrote Evan “Tex” Western. “Green Bay has an urgent long-term need at cornerback opposite Jaire Alexander and, after the top four guys in the class, Newsome is the only other one we feel is an ideal fit for the Packers and worthy of a first-round pick. Most of our other round one targets at other positions (WR, OT in particular) were gone as well, so Newsome is the player we had targeted for a few picks, hoping he would drop. If anything, with 10 picks in the 2021 draft, including compensatory picks in rounds 4, 5, and 6, we would have looked to trade up earlier to secure him but we’re feeling very fortunate he fell to us at 29.”

So there you have it. The Bills are on the clock with none of our preferred first-round targets remaining.