With COVID-19 severely altering the college football landscape—leading to opt outs, reduced seasons or outright season cancellations—scouting departments across the NFL were forced to adjust to a lack of game tape and in-person experience for upcoming prospects. One way that the Buffalo Bills seemed to deal with this absence of real-world exposure, was to instead rely on the Senior Bowl, the premier post-season All-Star game.
Carlos Basham Jr., Spencer Brown, Marquez Stevenson, Damar Hamlin, and Jack Anderson each participated in the Senior Bowl practices and game. Although not selected by the team, undrafted free-agent tight end Quintin Morris also joined those five players in Mobile. Clearly, the Bills placed a lot of emphasis on the work and reps that each of their draft picks put out there in Mobile, AL. General manager Brandon Beane admitted as much when discussing what led to Spencer Brown’s selection.
Beane on Spencer Brown: "He played right tackle. We think he can be a swing tackle, compete and be a backup year one. He went and trained with former NFL LT Joe Staley. He also caught our eye at the Senior Bowl." #Bills— Chris Brown (@ChrisBrownBills) May 1, 2021
The practices that each of the prospects put together in Mobile wasn’t the only factor that impressed Beane however, as the mentality that made up the decision to participate was just as important. After the Draft’s second day, Beane mentioned that players who made the decision to turn down invitations to the Bowl game this year were not looked upon as highly as those who decided join in. Brown, along with the other four classmates, ostensibly received kudos for their willingness to compete.