ESPN Analyst Has Bills Selecting 2020 Doak Walker Award Winner in 2021 NFL Draft

Najee Harris

Getty Alabama running back Najee Harris runs the football during the CFP National Championship against Ohio State.

After losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship on Sunday, the Buffalo Bills are set to do whatever they can to improve their team this offseason.

That means resigning the right guys, bringing in the right free agents, and hitting on a few draft picks that could help them make another deep run in the postseason next season. A lot of draft analysts have the Bills going with an offensive lineman with their No. 30 overall pick in the first round.

On Monday, Pro Football Focus connected the Bills to USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker and Sporting News had the Bills taking Ohio State guard Wyatt Davis in a mock draft they released on Tuesday.

In his first NFL mock draft of the year, longtime ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has the Bills going in a different direction but he still has them sticking on the offensive side of the ball. Rather than taking a weapon on the outside or upfront, Kiper Jr. has the Bills drafting Alabama running back Najee Harris, who amassed 4,624 all-purpose yards at Alabama, which is the second-most in program history.

via Kiper Jr.’s Mock Draft

Buffalo’s running game was so ineffective this season that offensive coordinator Brian Daboll cooked up a few game plans that required very few runs. Josh Allen was the Bills’ leading rusher in the postseason — by 82 yards. They should upgrade with Harris, who had a dominant season for the Crimson Tide and could also help in the passing game. With rookie Zack Moss coming off an ankle injury and Devin Singletary not an every-down player, this is where the Bills can get better immediately in 2021. And we’ve seen rookies come in right away and make a big impact

Although, that Kiper Jr. has the Bills taking Harris in the first round, he said he also feels like they could go with an offensive lineman as well. He mentioned Michigan offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield in his selection process as well.

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The Bills Could End Up Needing Help Up Front

Depending on how free agency works out for the Bills, they could need more help upfront than in the backfield.

The Bills have 18 total free agents this season and five of them are on the offensive line. Daryl Williams, Ike Boettger, Jon Feliciano, Ty Nsekhe, and Brian Winters are all free agents this offseason and four of the five saw significant time this season. So depending on who the Bills bring back, along with the return of tackle Cody Ford, the Bills might lack the depth they need across the front line.

Feliciano and Williams should be considered top priorities for the Bills seeing as they both anchored the line this year at their respective positions. But, the offseason is where teams undergo changes so free agency is still an unknown for the Bills.

Adding a Runningback Could Add a Whole New Dynamic

Whether it was the overall game plan that focused on the pass or just a lack of success in the running game, the Bills didn’t run the ball particularly well this year. Rookie running back Zack Moss and second-year back Devin Singletary combined for 1,168 yards and six touchdowns but with his mobility, Allen took the running game to a whole new level with 421 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns.

Allen also led the Bills in rushing in the postseason with 145 yards and a touchdown. Adding Harris to the room could give the Bills more depth in the backfield and they would also add another elite athlete to their offense that could help in both the running game and the passing game.


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