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Sunday, June 20, 2021

10 Possible Late Round Draft Steals For Bills

Written by Greg Boucher

The Bills season has officially been over since January 24th and by now most of you have familiarized yourselves with all the big names in this draft. If you’re like me you have run about 1,000 mock draft simulators, you know Trevor Lawrence to Jacksonville is a done deal, you know all about Penei Sewell the best tackle prospect since Orlando Pace, you’ve watched the Etienne highlight a dozen times, you’ve had the Ja’Marr Chase or Jaylen Waddle debate, but what you may not know is, who some of the best unsung backend players are. Sure, first round guys get all of the glam and glitz but franchises are built in the later rounds. We all know the story of Tom Brady being the 199th pick in the draft and how he went on to become the greatest player in the history of the league. Since the 2000 draft every general manager has tried to find the next “Tom Brady” hidden away in the later rounds but the reality is they have a far better chance of finding some solid depth and some breakthrough level starters than a generational talent but, the quest to find one will go on. Though I do not have the foresight to peg a future Hall of Famer from this class I have some strong feelings about a few guys that I believe have the potential to be the next draft steal at every position.

QB Feleipe Franks Arkansas

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Franks is a big, athletic QB with a strong arm, after a break out 2018 in Florida he suffered a season ending injury giving way to Kyle Trask, Franks went on to transfer to Arkansas and was able to pick up where he left off. In 9 games in 2020 Franks posted a 68.5% completion rate throwing for 2,107/ 17 TDs /4INTS. While at the Senior Bowl Franks impressed scouts as well, as the week went on, he showed improved accuracy and decision making and when it came to the game Franks played well enough 9-16 122 yards including a 22-yard, game winning TD pass. The attractive thing about Franks, is that throughout his career he has done the things to get better, he has taken coaching, he has worked on the elements of his game and worked himself back from injury to become a draftable QB. While he won’t be a day-1 starter by any means Franks has the talent to sit, to learn and in a year or two can be the guy who sparks a career by coming off the bench in relief of the starter.
Projected Round: 6th

WR Tamorrion Terry FSU

Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Terry is a long, lean receiver with some high-end athleticism and at 6’4-210lbs. he has the skills to be a mismatch at the next level. He had a very productive career at FSU doing the most on his touches racking up 2,221 yards, 18 scores while averaging 18.8 yards per catch in spite of a shortened 2020. One of the attractive things about Terry is his length, he has the long reach to go up and high point the ball, and out leap DBs. He is also very smooth, fluid athlete, a savvy route runner and has the ability to be very slippery after the catch, despite being long legged he can be shifty in the open field and turn short catches into big gains. I think Terry has the skills to be a #3 receiver his rookie year, and be a productive while defenses focus their attention on the #1 WR. Projected Round: 4th

RB Rhamondre Stevenson Oklahoma

AP-Charlie Reidel

Every few years it seems another unknown, late round running back emerges as a star, last year it was James Robinson, this year I believe it will be Rhamondre Stevenson. This kid is a massive back, at 6’/245lbs and his bruising running style makes him a nightmare to bring down. While he is undoubtedly a power back, he does have good speed and lateral movement. He is not just limited to lowering his shoulder and bull dozing through defenders, he can cut and shift and make guys miss. While he was never a featured back at Oklahoma, he did the most with his opportunities, in his two seasons he rushed for 1180 yards, 13 TDs on 165 carries avg. a whopping 7.2 yards a touch. Stevenson has an extremely high ceiling at the next level, in the right system he can be a bell cow back who pounds defenses.
Projected Round: 4th

TE Tre McKitty FSU

Credit: Andrew Davis Tucker

McKitty is an excellent athlete and at 6’4-245lbs he has the good blend of size and speed required to be a productive TE in today’s game. McKitty started his career out at FSU before transferring to UGA but at both spots he was never a featured element in either system despite this he managed some decent production but with McKitty its not necessarily the stat line that is attractive it is the manner in which he produces. He is a physical presence, after the catch he is a bruising runner, dropping his shoulder down and punishing would be tacklers, as a blocker he is active, uses his long arms, latches on and drives defenders off the ball. What I think is most likeable and makes McKitty a steal is his route running, he has the savviness of a WR and the strong hands to match. Watch for McKItty to work his way onto the field year one.
Projected Round: 5th

OL Jack Anderson Texas Tech

Texastech.com

While most of the tackles in this draft are destined to become guards at the next level, Anderson has always been one since he was a 4-star high school recruit. At 6’5/315lbs. he has the ideal size and thickness warranted to solidify the interior. Having played his career at Texas tech, a program known for its passing attack Anderson excelled as a pass blocker, ranking 5th overall in pressures allowed and while he is not an elite run blocker he did improve in that area in his senior year. While there are certain measurables in place to evaluate a lineman’s ability to play at the next level there is no markers for a player’s effort and Anderson plays the game with a lot of it. Look for him to be molded into a very good lineman who excels at protecting the QB.
Projected Round: 4th

DE Wyatt Hubert KSU

Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Hubert is an exciting prospect, who plays with a ton of intensity from start to finish. At 6 foot 3, 270lbs he has the size and strength to be an enforcer on the edge. He has a terrific get off, uses his hands extremely well, applies leverage to get under tackles, routinely putting them on skates and driving them back. He finished his career with 33 tackles for a loss and 20 sacks. He is not the most dynamic athlete but he has a great motor and understanding of the game, I believe he has the tools to be terrific player at the next level.
Projected Round: 4th

DT Tadarrell Slaton Florida

Gators Wire

While this draft is rather thin on big men in the middle, Slaton is one of the exceptions. He stands at a massive 6’5-335lbs. Slaton is not just “big for nothing” he is a powerful man, who poses real issues up front, when he is dialed in, he can move mountains on the interior. The upside with Slaton is that he is not just limited to being a designated block eater hanging around the line of scrimmage, he has some get off and good speed for such a big man, he can slip blocks and be active in the backfield. With the right motivation and system Slaton can become one of the more disruptive tackles in the game.
Projected Round: 5th

LB Grant Stuard Houston

John Rivera icon sportswire via Getty images

I absolutely love this prospect; he is one of the most intense players I have evaluated this year. He flies around the field like a Tasmanian devil laying pads on the ball carrier. He has good burst and lower body strength to drive through tackles and make big hits but he also has a good foundation, he plays with good technique, and extreme effort. After becoming a full-time starter in 2019 Stuard has racked up 158 tackles and 14.5 for a loss, and was so active around the line of scrimmage as well in pass coverage. He is not the biggest or most athletic LB in this draft but Stuard has those unmeasurable skills that I love, the kid is a football player through and through and at the end of the day that’s what matters.
Projected Round: 6th

CB Keith Taylor Washington

Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Though his production leaves much to be desired, in terms of creating dead plays and turnovers his coverage is solid and does not give up cheap passes and home runs. Also, Taylor is a very willing tackler, he has no reservations about leaving the secondary and filling at the end of the line. Though his height (6 foot 4) can be a hinderance on the outside he has the hips and quick enough change of direction to play CB in the NFL, though he has the skills to be a hold up as a man corner he is best suited for a cover 2 zone scheme where he can use his size and instincts to be a playmaker. If Taylor winds up on a team that suits his skill set, I believe he can become an impact CB in the NFL.
Projected Round: 4th

S Deontay Anderson Houston

Eric Christian Smith Associated Press

Anderson is a large bodied safety (6’2/220lbs.) who possesses the coverage ability and ball skills to roam the back end while having the size and tackling to play up near the box. Anderson is an enforcer, a throwback strong safety who is passionate about being an enforcer, when he reads run, he is quick to fly up and fill and meet ball carriers in the hole. His film is filled with him laying wood on ball carriers. In the pass game, he is not the ball-hawking brand of safety rather the separate receiver from the ball brand, breaking up 19 passes over the last three seasons. Anderson has a lot of potential, he also has the skill set that GM’s are turning to play the hybrid role in their defenses, someone who can play by the box and cover TE’s. Anderson can be that guy for someone while developing into a premium safety in this league.
Projected Round: 7th

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