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Former running back turned analyst for NFL Media, Maurice Jones-Drew, stuck to his guns in his first mock draft. He was perhaps the first to release a mock for the 2021 NFL Draft that had three rushers taken in the first round.
In that exercise, the Bills are the team that selected the third of the trio via North Carolina’s Javante Adams. In MJD’s latest, the pick is switched.
Jones-Drew still keeps the running game in mind, but now the selection is USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker.
First, here’s MJD’s thoughts:
This pick is about protecting the franchise quarterback and impacting the interior run game, which must improve if the Bills want to take the next step offensively.
The Bills could take a running back at No. 30 overall at the upcoming draft. However, Williams felt like a bit of a reach before by MJD. By comparison, Vera-Tucker is hitting the nail on the head.
In 2020, the Bills did a great job protecting their franchise, as Jones-Drew calls him, Josh Allen. But that’s not the bigger concern here. Their offensive line did not mesh well with running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss. The pair of running backs didn’t have much room to work with and Vera-Tucker could add competition to the offensive line for the short and long term.
Despite brining back the likes of Jon Feliciano and others on the inside, Bills head coach Sean McDermott has proven in the past he does not save starting positions.
In fact, he’s proven so at the offensive line, specifically. Quinton Spain signed an extension and was quickly gone. Vera-Tucker would be given a chance to find playing time in a scenario with the Bills.
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