Mel Kiper Jr. sends Bills defense for first time in latest 2021 mock draft

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In his latest 2021 NFL Draft mock, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. takes a new route entirely with the Buffalo Bills.

Previously we’ve seen the draft guru go offense, offense and offense in Round 1 with the Bills in his first three mocks this offseason. This time he flips the script.

On Tuesday, Kiper’s two-round mock actually has the Bills going defense with both picks. After addressing the pass rush, the secondary gets an addition.

Here’s the breakdown of the two selections:

30. Buffalo Bills
Azeez Ojulari, OLB/DE, Georgia

With starting defensive ends Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison over the age of 30, the Bills need to get younger on the edge. They took AJ Epenesa in Round 2 last year, but that’s not enough. The speedy pass-rusher Ojulari had 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles last season. Cornerback and running back are other positions Buffalo could target.

61. Buffalo Bills
Benjamin St-Juste, CB, Minnesota

St-Juste is raw; he started only 14 games for the Golden Gophers after transferring from Michigan. But I liked what I saw on tape. He has great length, and he’s not afraid to tackle. He was also good at the Senior Bowl in January. He didn’t have an interception in college, but I think that’s more about him not playing much. He has the potential to be the starter in Buffalo opposite Tre’Davious White.

Kiper’s picks are now sort of cut and paste, but they make sense. The Bills have Hughes and Addison at the top of their depth chart on the edge, and the team might even want to improve on Addison sooner rather than later. Perhaps Epenesa or Ojulari could do just that in 2021.

However, the more important factor here is getting Ojulari alongside Epenesa for the extended future.

St-Juste certainly fits as well. Right now the No. 2 cornerback battle is between Levi Wallace and Dane Jackson. That’s a former UDFA vs. a seventh-round rookie, essentially. Adding further talent to that competition is a worthwhile move, even if Wallace has outperformed his pre-draft label.

Prior to this new mock, Kiper last sent Alabama running back Najee Harris to the Bills with their first-round pick. He did so in his first 2021 mock as well and sandwiched in between his first and third mock drafts was Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins to Buffalo in Kiper’s second projections.

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