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After addressing the trenches all over the place with their first few picks at the 2021 NFL draft, the Bills finally addressed a few playmaker spots.
The first of that bunch was wide receiver Marquez Stevenson.
Where Stevenson could make an immediate impact isn’t actually as a wideout. Rather, he has some good experience as a return man with three touchdowns on such plays during his college career.
Here are eight things to know about him:
What helps one become a big-time return man? Speed doesn't hurt, that's for sure. At his Pro Day, Stevenson ran a 4.45 second 40-yard dash. He says he can do even faster, but it was windy that day. In addition, Stevenson clocked a 6.76 three-cone drill.
The nickname proves it
Return man? One that's fast? There is only one nickname that could be perfect for such a player. "Speedy."
Knows Ed Oliver better than you think
For anyone who is paying a little extra attention to the Bills, the connection between Stevenson and Buffalo defensive tackle Ed Oliver is obvious. They both attended Houston in college. But it's even deeper than that. They were roommates. “For us to end up in the same place it’s crazy. So me and Ed linking back up that’s gonna be everything,” Stevenson said via video conference following the draft. He added: “Ed was motivating me. Just seeing him ball, we lived together so he would come home and we would just discuss what he just did on the field so that motivated me in a way."
Mocked as a third-round pick
Throughout the pre-draft run up, Bills Wire covered tons of national mock drafts. Among them was one from CBS Sports that had the Bills picking Stevenson... but all the way in the third round. According to the outlet, that's some value. But we still have to see how things unfold on the field. While CBS loved him, Pro Football Focus pegged him potentially as an undrafted rookie. Two sides to the coin.
Worked through tough start
Stevenson might be fast, but he did not have a hot start in college. He broke his collarbone and tore his ACL. That one caused him to miss the entire 2017 season. After that, Stevenson thankfully found a way to stay healthy for the next two seasons.
Tough upbringing, too
A native of Shreveport, La., Stevenson said it was tough place to grow up, but he managed to stay on a straight line and out of trouble. He focused on athletics. “You had to pick a side,” Stevenson said to Go Long with Tyler Dunne. “I chose this side. But I lost friends to gun violence, to jail cells, all that type of stuff. So me seeing that type of stuff going on, I didn’t want to be the next person to go that route. It made me concentrate on football that much harder.”
But that helped him meet...
Tre'Davious White. The two are both Shreveport natives. Following the draft, Stevenson also discussed that relationship, going as far as calling him a mentor and motivator. “I met him when I was real young and I’ve been following his path ever since he went to high school to LSU now to Buffalo so I’ve been following his path for a long time and I know I’ve been around him a lot of time also,” Stevenson said. “Just seeing him go to LSU and see him do the things he was doing. He was motivating me always."
He was wing ready
Stevenson must have had a feeling... or he can see into the future. He posted this on his Instagram during the draft. Yes, he had some chicken wings from Wing Stop: https://www.instagram.com/p/COTtllTBRQI/