Buffalo Bills’ winners, losers following 2021 Draft

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The Buffalo Bills wrapped up their 2021 Draft by adding eight new pieces to their roster. The Bills placed an emphasis on the future, as most of their picks will benefit from some developmental time with the Buffalo coaching staff.

While the draft picks may not make a major impact on the field this upcoming season, several will still have a carved-out role for them in the fall.

With that, here are the winners and losers for Buffalo’s current roster following the 2021 NFL draft:

(AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Winners

Devin Singletary and Zack Moss

There was a ton of smoke regarding Buffalo’s first-round pick. Several pundits believed that a running back could be the missing piece to the Buffalo offense. While Devin Singletary and Zack Moss have been adequate in the backfield for the Bills, there were still scenarios where Buffalo could benefit from a more dynamic runner,

Two names that kept popping up were Alabama’s Najee Harris and Clemson’s Travis Etienne. Both were regarding as stellar options to bolster an NFL team’s backfield. Harris ended up being selected No. 24 overall by the Steelers, while Etienne was picked with the next selection by the Jaguars. The Bills didn’t make a move to slide up the draft board to draft either, instead, the Bills decided to stick with their current running back room.

Singletary and Moss will enter the season as the 1A and 1B options in the backfield once again.

Singletary was 25th in the league, rushing for 687 yards last year. As a team, the Bills rushed for the 20th most yards last year.

CB2 options

Another area that the Bills could have addressed with their picks is the cornerback position opposite Tre’Davious White. Levi Wallace has held down this spot. However, there were some intriguing options in the draft that could constitute an upgrade at the position.

Instead, the Bills largely ignored the position until late in the draft, selecting Wisconsin’s Rachad Wildgoose. In addition, Buffalo brought in undrafted free agent USC’s Olaijah Griffin and Notre Dame’s Nick McCloud.

Unless one of these players has a stellar camp, it’s a longshot that they will unseat the current crop of cornerbacks on the roster.

Tight ends

Buffalo’s brass believes that Dawson Knox and Jacob Hollister can match up in the passing game. The Bills had a chance at upgrading the position but decided not to select a tight end in the draft. Instead, the only player they added to the roster from this position was Bowling Green’s Quinton Morris as a UDFA.

The Bills traded veteran Lee Smith prior to the draft, so there was a fleeting thought that Buffalo could fill the void left with this transaction. Instead, Nate Becker and Tommy Sweeney will battle for depth snaps on the roster. Sweeney, who missed last season due to major complications with COVID-19, will look to make a return as a depth option for the Bills.

AP Photo/John Munson)

Losers

Depth defensive ends

The Bills selected Miami’s Gregory Rousseau and Wake Forest’s Carlos Basham, Jr. with their first two picks in this year’s draft. Buffalo was in need of youth influx at the edge pushing, and they doubled down on this concept. Both Rousseau and Basham, Jr. were found in the backfield quite often in college, becoming a thorn in the side of opposing offensive lines and quarterbacks.

The Bills like to rotate their players on the defensive line. However, with this year’s additions, combined with last year’s second-round selection of AJ Epenesa, the Bills have made it quite challenging for depth players to find a role on the roster. It’s unlikely that the trio of young players selected in the draft over the past two years will cede snaps to marginal veterans.

Recent free agent signee Efe Obada, along with holdovers Darryl Johnson, Mike Love, and Bryan Cox, Jr., will struggle to find the field, or the final roster this upcoming season. It’s a numbers’ game and unfortunately, the odds don’t seem to be in the favor of the team returning several of their veteran depth options.

Josh Allen

OK, before people’s freakin’ heads explode, just take a breath. It’s not that Allen can’t make do with the stellar crop of skill position players surround him; after all, he was a MVP candidate in his breakout season last year.

With the Bills on the cusp of a Super Bowl berth, management could have found a major piece that could round out the offense. This could have been a home run hitter out of the backfield, another receiving option to bolster the vertical passing game, or a tight end to provide more coverage over the intermediate part of the field. Heck, it could have been someone who can challenge to start on the offensive line this year.

Instead, the Bills focused on the defensive side of the ball. Allen is poised for another stellar season, but the thought of giving him another weapon on offense had us imagining how this team could set scoring records in back-to-back seasons.

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