Bills Wire’s 2021 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: 3-round projections split in Round 1

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Nick Wojton
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It’s officially NFL Draft month as the calendar has turned to April. With the 2021 event now just a few weeks away, Bills Wire will start compiling their own picks for the Buffalo Bills with a series of mock drafts.

Editor Nick Wojton and contributor Justin DiLoro put together their first three-round guesses right here:

Round 1, pick 30:

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22). Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Wojton's pick: Najee Harris | RB | Alabama:

Much of Harris to the Bills depends on whether or not he'll even still be on the board. ESPN NFL Draft guru Todd McShay recently predicted Harris and Clemson running back Travis Etienne both will be taken before pick 30. Taking a rusher is a controversial thing in western New York right now, but the Bills don't seem overly content with Zack Moss and Devin Singletary. The duo are good, but Buffalo wanted to add Le'Veon Bell last season and Brandon Beane has expressed a desire for an improved run game in 2021. Harris is more of an all-around back that could help there.

DiLoro's pick: Caleb Farley | CB | Virginia Tech

Using Mock Draft Machine from The Draft Network in helping create this draft, the Bills could use a pass rusher who could step in and bolster their aging corps. Unfortunately, several of the top-rated edge rushers were off the board. The Bills would benefit from finding a long-term solution opposite Tre'Davious White. Levi Wallace has played fairly well in the role, and Dane Jackson looked good in limited play. However, the Bills could find massive value in Farley, whose stock is in flux due to having back surgery on just over a week ago. Farley comes with some risk, as there's really no minor back surgery. He tore his ACL in 2017 as well. Farley opted out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic. However, the upside is pretty impressive. Joe Marino of The Draft Network states that "Farley has game-changing ball skills and is an alpha in coverage." He was an All-ACC First-Team selection in 2019. With the current state of the Bills cornerback corps, Buffalo could take their time with getting Farley back up to speed after his surgery. The Hokie could be the long-term solution to pair with White for years to come.

Round 2, pick 61:

Hurricanes tight end Brevin Jordan. Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Wojton's pick: CB Ifeatu Melifonwu | Syracuse

A prospect the Bills met with at the Senior Bowl, the idea is obvious here. Melifonwu would be the long-term solution for Buffalo across from Tre'Davious White. The Bills, specifically Beane, has touted Dane Jackson throughout the offseason. But Jackson is a former seventh-round pick and it seems like every offseason the team tries to replace Levi Wallace at the CB2 spot but fails at it. Melifonwu is a solid prospect that could do just that. According to The Draft Network, Melifonwu projects as a starting outside cornerback in a zone defense. Check and check.

DiLoro's pick: Brevin Jordan | TE | Miami

The Bills have Dawson Knox and Jacob Hollister at the top of their depth chart. Jordan brings another level of athleticism and physicality that can compete for the starting tight end job from Day 1. Jordan was utilized in multiple sets last season. His stats have improved modestly with respect to receptions over his three seasons in college, moving from 32 to to 35 to 38 receptions over that time. However, his yards per catch has improved from 9.0 yards as a freshman to 15.1 yards as a junior. He was on the receiving end of seven touchdowns last year, surpassing his total from his first two years in college.

Round 3, pick 93:

Florida State Seminoles defensive back Hamsah Nasirildeen (Gannett photo)

Wojton's pick: Dayo Odeyingbo | DE | Vanderbilt

Odeyingbo was a late bloomer in college. The senior only had 1.5 sacks in 2019, but last year that jumped to 5.5 in eight games. He also had eight tackles for loss. But Odeyingbo brings a lot of what the Bills love. He's versatile and can play all over the defensive line and his athleticism for a 6-foot-6, 275-pound player is highly-praised as well.

DiLoro's pick: Hamsah Nasirildeen | S | Florida State

Nasirildeen's versatility makes him an intriguing prospect for Buffalo in the third round. The Draft Network highlights: "He [Nasirildeen] can serve the role of tight end neutralizer, play in an overhang role, play in man coverage against running backs, and play in the box and operate from deeper alignments. Outside of his rare physical gifts, Nasirildeen takes terrific angles, is versatile, and his presence can add new layers to the defense of the team that drafts him." Nasirildeen does have an injury tag following him, as he tore his ACL in 2019. The Seminole safety only played two games last year. He did record an interception in one of those games. When healthy, Nasirildeen was always around the ball, as he recorded 91 tackles in 2018 and 101 tackles in 2019. Nasirildeen has a special teams background as well and can take time to develop behind Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer.

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