Beane envisions roles for 2021 draft class

Bills general manager Beane said the team was never targeting a running back in the 2021 NFL Draft

The Buffalo Bills ended their 2021 NFL Draft by adding eight NFL hopefuls to the roster, mainly focusing on beefing up both sides of the ball in the trenches.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane met with the media to break down the 2021 NFL Draft from the team’s perspective. He sees most of the Bills’ draft class contributing on the field this upcoming season.

“I think we’ve got guys that are going to be part of the equation in 2021,” Beane said in his post-draft Zoom conference call. “Gregory Rousseau, Carlos Basham, I’m not going to promise either one of them the starting job, but they’ll have an opportunity to start and I expect them to be a part of the gameday rotation. Spencer Brown will come in there and compete. I’m not saying he’s going to win a starting job but he’s an injury away from being in the game. ... Some of these moves are long term but there’s a lot that will have an impact on the 2021 season.”

The Bills spent their first four selections in the 2021 NFL Draft loading up on offensive and defensive lineman. Beane re-affirmed how important he and Bills head coach Sean McDermott view winning at the line of scrimmage.

“We do believe in being stout up front on both sides of the ball,” Beane said. “That’s something you’re going to see as long as Sean and I are running this thing. ... The game is still won and lost up front, we want to be strong. There were some really good players at skill positions but we either had some of these [offensive and defensive] lineman over them of, or they were picked before we were able to get them.”

Beane clarified comments he made in the build up to the draft on the running back position. He said he doesn’t believe you shouldn’t ever draft a running back in the first round, but revealed the Bills were never targeting a running back in the 2021 NFL Draft.

“We were never targeting a running back or anything like that,” Beane said. “It sounds like that got overblown. There were some guys that we thought were really good and could help us at the right spot. It didn’t work out to when we were on the clock.”

After the selections of Rousseau and Basham Jr. in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft, Bills fans speculated that changes could be made to the defensive line to get the aforementioned draft picks on the field. While speculations over the idea of cutting Mario Addison to get Rousseau and Basham Jr. in, Beane talked about the role him and defensive end Jerry Hughes will play in developing Basham Jr. and Rousseau.

“He [Addison] and Jerry both took A.J. [Epenesa] under their wing last year,” Beane said. “Some of [Addison’s] work helping younger players has already shown. You’ll see an improvement from Epenesa this year with more oprotunities. I have no doubt that Rousseau and Basham will be picking Mario’s brain and Jerry’s.”

You can listen to Beane’s entire post-draft conference call below:

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