BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — When you have a roster built like the Bills’, there are plenty of options when it comes to the draft. For general manager Brandon Beane and the front office, there is an argument to be made for practically every position when the Bills are on the clock for the first time. But which players should the Bills be targeting with the No. 30 pick? Let’s look at some players who make sense if they stay put, and some prospects that could require a trade.
If the Bills stay at 30:
Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Has there been a more divisive player for Bills fans this offseason than Etienne? Earlier in the week, ESPN’s Todd McShay said on a podcast the Bills have expressed interest in the Clemson running back. McShay even said the Bills could trade up to draft Etienne.
While I don’t think it would be wise to move up for Etienne, I can see why the Bills would be interested. Just last week, Beane said he doesn’t believe they have a home run hitter on their roster. Etienne certainly qualifies and would be a dynamic addition for the Bills if he’s available late in the first round.
Todd McShay, on Ryen Russilo’s podcast, says he’s hearing the Bills are trying to move ahead of the Jets (25) and Jaguars (23) to draft Clemson RB Travis Etienne Click for audio sent to me by and h/t to @pordyngus. pic.twitter.com/juWMFUmS4p— Sal Capaccio 🏈 (@SalSports) April 26, 2021
Greg Newsome ll, CB, Northwestern
Newsome would immediately be the favorite to win the starting cornerback job opposite Tre’Davious White. Despite Levi Wallace’s strong play during his first few seasons, the Bills could upgrade an important position in a deep draft class for cornerbacks. Newsome plays physically and uses his length to his advantage in coverage. If he’s available when the Bills are picking, he could very well be wearing red, white, and blue in 2021.
Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State
If you Google Oweh’s name, chances are you’ll find a mock draft or article linking him to the Bills. That shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider how desperately the Bills need to get younger at defensive end. Veteran Jerry Hughes was exceptional last season but Mario Addison failed to meet lofty expectations and the jury is still out on 2020 second-round pick AJ Epenesa.
Oweh could prove to be a strong complement to Epenesa because of their different styles of play. While the Bills' second-round selection from 2020 looks to get to the quarterback with brute strength, Oweh is looking to get the corner with speed. Combining these two young pass rushers with the aforementioned veterans could make a lot of sense for the Bills while giving them important depth at the position.
If the Bills trade up:
Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Before you yell at me and say Horn won’t be available, yes, I realize he’s likely going to be gone before the Bills have a chance. But what if he slides down the board? Crazier things have happened on draft night and if Horn starts to slide, Beane should consider making a move.
No, the Bills should not mortgage their future for Horn, but if it can be done without giving up a substantial piece of draft capital, sign me up. Horn could be the perfect complement to Tre’Davious White and would be on a cost-controlled contract for several years. It’s a long shot, but Beane has shown in the past he’s willing to pull the trigger.
Good year to need big, long, fast, & explosive CBs (Potential Day 1). ⏱💥— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 27, 2021
6006, 33 arm, 4.37/4.39, 41,5 VJ
6000, 31 1/8 arm, 4.37/4.40, 40 VJ
Patrick Surtain II
6020, 32 1/2 arm, 4.40/4.44, 39 VJ
6024, 32 1/4 arm, 4.48/4.49, 41.5 VJ
Kwity Paye, DE, Michigan
If you ask draft analysts who the best defensive end prospect is in the 2021 NFL Draft, many will say Kwity Paye. This year's class doesn’t have any prolific game-changing defensive ends like Chase Young or the Bosa brothers, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad year to need a defensive end. Paye will likely be off the board before the Bills pick at No. 30 but because there seem to be so many differing opinions on the 2021 defensive end group, there’s a chance Paye could slip into the 20s. If Beane and company gave Paye a high grade, he’d be a prime candidate to move up the board for.
If the Bills trade back:
Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
A few weeks ago, I would’ve thought it was for the Bills to draft a wide receiver early. But the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. With Emmanuel Sanders and Isaiah McKenzie on one-year deals, the Bills could take a dynamic wide receiver that could ultimately play a bigger role down the road. Moore is only 5 feet 9 inches tall, but ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at Purdue’s pro day and would give the Bills that home run hitter they’re looking for. Don’t think of Moore as a wide receiver, think of him as a weapon.
Rondale Moore is a PROBLEM— PFF (@PFF) April 27, 2021
Where will the dynamic WR land? pic.twitter.com/OsyiFfQrNx
Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse
Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to Melifonwu. At 6’3”, he would bring size and physicality to the Bills secondary. Taking him with the 30th pick would be a pretty big stretch but if the Bills move back to add picks on day two, he’s a prime candidate for the Bills. Not only would he fill a position of need but he’d also be one of the better players left on the board.