Astro’s “Pick Six” – June 2021 Edition

Photo of Georgia DT1T Jordan Davis from 247sports.com.

Just like last year, I’ll pick 6 players in each round for the 2022 NFL Draft for the Buffalo Bills using big boards and simulators I trust. I’ve arranged players in my order of preference, which factors in likelihood at that pick, interview, skillset, positional need, and current average ranking on big boards.

Give me a follow on Twitter to discuss!

Don’t worry about rounds taken this early; player rankings change as quickly as the leaves in Buffalo after Labor Day!!

Photo of Georgia DT1T Jordan Davis from si.com.

RD1
Jordan Davis DT1T Georgia
SEC 6’5″ 330 4.98
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#99 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/DyL3CaSIL6I?t=154
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/jordan-davis-9.html
I was infatuated with Marvin Wilson last year, but Wilson, Cole Cubelic’s DT#1, went undrafted due to weight gain, injury, and character concerns. We’re still looking for that load in the middle who can collapse the pocket with low center of gravity and forklift strength. Jordan Davis is huge, fast, strong, and extremely disruptive for a nose tackle. Here, he quickly cancels out the OG’s forward lean, and puts him on a shelf. With the mothballed Star improving his technique in the offseason, he’ll need to rely on his strength, not girth, to remain at DL1T. I knew who one of my “pet cats” would be this year when Jordan Davis said this about if stats matter: “I really play for the linebackers”.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Alabama WR John Metchie from 247sports.com.

John Metchie III WR Alabama
SEC 6’0″ 195 4.38
A+++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#8 CuedUp Play =>https://youtu.be/_ciWpES9L20?t=29
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/john-metchie-1.html
When Waddle went down with injury in 2020, it was John Metchie who stepped up, with a 55-916-6 stat line. That 916-yard total was 4th-highest in the SEC, and I expect much higher now that Waddle and DeVonta have moved on. Metchie has impressive speed, shown here. I love his physicality. A lot. Watch Metchie make the intercepting player pay with this slobberknocker forced fumble. While Metchie was originally from Ghana, he moved to Brampton, Ontario, north of Mississauga. It’s a short drive to 1BD.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Alabama SS Jordan Battle from 247sports.com.

Jordan Battle SS Alabama
SEC 6’1″ 206 4.42
A+++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#9 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/JuKWv2IrsTI?t=18
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/jordan-battle-1.html
While I question if Battle has ever seen snow, I’m sure he’s done film study on it. Battle is the communicator and wrap-up tackler in this round. He’s one of my Top 10 Interviews in this draft (article forthcoming). He speaks about winning the game before it’s played. You do that with preparation, film study, focus on details, and communication.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Arkansas WR KR Treylon Burks from onlyinark.com.

Treylon Burks WR KR Arkansas
SEC 6’3″ 232 4.42
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#16 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/FK_bg0n1rno?t=58
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/treylon-burks-1.html
DK Metcalf garnered considerable interest from the Bills, and I see that solidly-built player in Burks. He’s the draft class’s heaviest WR, and he knows how to leverage it; just watch. He’s not only a boss on the field, but he has some make-ya-miss if you try to tackle him. Burks isn’t muscle-bound, so he impresses as a long strider with some extra burst and elusiveness. Not DK Metcalf per se, but more a Gabe Davis. He’s very serious about how you should win the offseason. Was his step back here a fake, or was he going to pass? Burks also returns kicks. Fun toy.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Northwestern FS Brandon Joseph from insidenu.com.

Brandon Joseph FS Northwestern
BIG10 6’1″ 192 4.42
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#16 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/0ETozAhZc2s?t=45
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/brandon-joseph-2.html
As good as Poyer and Hyde have been, or as good as you think Damar Hamlin is, the Bills are likely still looking for another Safety to draft. Jaquan Johnson is a standout on special teams, I love Josh Thomas’s length (74 1/8″ wingspan, but only 5-11) and production at App State (7 interceptions and 163 career tackles), but Brandon Joseph is an INT machine with what his team terms a “turnover mindset“. He had two INTs against both Iowa and Wisconsin this year, adding single INTs vs Ohio State and Nebraska. Perhaps it was the NFL’s 3rd-hardest schedule the Bills faced, and that it will fix itself with increased pressure from the young guns on the DL, but the Bills were net zero on turnover margin in away games this year.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Clemson CB Andrew Booth Jr. from clemsontigers.com.

Andrew Booth Jr. CB Clemson
ACC 6’0″ 195 4.33
A+ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#23 CuedUp Play=> https://youtu.be/To37lhneGQo?t=4
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/andrew-booth-jr-1.html
Booth is that Dane Jackson-Damar Hamlin-Rachad Wildgoose type of DB who’s unafraid to come up and tackle. That’s why he’s on my list. But this one-handed INT is the one you’ll see most draftniks slobber over. Great hands are nice to have, but first and foremost, the Bills’ system needs their corners to make sure tackles like this. Still a youngster, Booth has matured a great deal over the last 2 years, and he’s still got some growing to do, but there’s no doubting his play, like this scoop ‘n’ score.
Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Ohio State DE Tyreke Smith from 247sports.com.

RD2
Tyreke Smith DE Ohio State
BIG10 6’4″ 267 4.57
A+++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#11 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/bTvjyZhcwMc?t=92
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/tyreke-smith-1.html
Tyreke has been through more than COVID. First a slew of injuries (groin, hand), then a COVID diagnosis before the Natty. All have taken their best shot on the Buckeye DE, but he seems resilient, and demonstrates my favorite trait: grit. Dust off your Ohio State-Clemson Sugar Bowl tape, and watch Tyreke keep Clemson honest (two tackles, one sack, pass breakup and forced fumble). Smith, and his sidekick Zach Harrison get off the ball super quick. I’m sure if Tyreke focuses on the details, his ceiling is the next Chase Young. Smith won 24% of pass-rush battles when in there, per PFF. The positional fit is wrong, but he’ll still be on Beane’s short list.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Notre Dame RB Kyren Williams from 247sports.com.

Kyren Williams RB Notre Dame
ACC 5’9″ 194 4.38
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#23 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/p7Pm1w1pZCA?t=3
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/kyren-williams-1.html
The Bills do have Matt Breida (5’10”, 195, 4.38), the Niners’ speedster, for their change-of-pace back this year, but it’d be neat to give him some competition (assuming they extend Breida). The CuedUp shows grit, second-effort, and balance. Here, you see grit again, as he fights for extra yards on a bounce-out. Kyren Williams will be worth watching this year, both for this kind of speed and palatable pass protection from a small guy. I think he’ll do better this year than his 2020 stats of 1279 yds, 13 TD, but Kyren’s size and RB’s devalued position drops him here. After drafting 4 linemen in 2020, I bet Beane gets at least one toy in RD 1-3.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Oregon CB KR Mykael Wright from goducks.com.

Mykael Wright CB KR Oregon
PAC12 5’11” 190 4.32
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#2 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/tbgm8vJAEK4?t=27
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/mykael-wright-1.html
Wouldn’t it be awesome to draft a speedy corner with KR chops, one who has jets where we mortals have ankles? Wright goes down low for this INT, but I don’t like to see this as a tackle. IF Wright works on this, and we see more of these kinds of tackles, he’s a perfect fit opposite Tre White.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Michigan DT3T Christopher Hinton from mlive.com.

Christopher Hinton DT3T Michigan
BIG10 6’4″ 313 4.84
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#15 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/hfYRzHoef7c?t=12
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/christopher-hinton-1.html
Hinton, likely a 3-tech in the pros, is so quick off the ball that you’ll be thinking he’s Ed Oliver. That quickness is good anywhere on the lines. He was so effective at his get-off that he was unstoppable in high school despite being double-teamed. There was already some pop to his game as early as the All-American Bowl. Do we need a 3-tech, or is Beane just hoarding?
Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Alabama DT Phidarian Mathis from rollbamaroll.com.

Phidarian Mathis DT Alabama
SEC 6’4″ 317 5.14
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#48 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/oo71MhM1HBo?t=20
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/phidarian-mathis-1.html
“Phidarian” is a cool name, one that sounds as if you’d need to go to graduate school to become one. Most call him “Phil”, though. A 2020 Oct leg injury pushed him out of the Crimson limelight, but that’ll change this year. Phidarian is articulate and he gets it. When asked about how tough Bama practices are, he said simply, “You get to get better”. BillsMafia would love his style, and he may have some 1T-3T versatility. Still, I’d rather have a pure one-tech than another hybrid IDL.
Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Clemson WR Frank Ladson from clemsonsportstalk.com.

Frank Ladson Jr. WR Clemson
ACC 6’3″ 205 4.46
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#2 CuedUp Play=>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmnEf1lzZXw
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/frank-ladson-jr-1.html
Watch this SLUGGO route, and watch Ladson’s focus throughout football’s hardest catch. Ladson and Ngata will be a fun reason to watch Clemson in 2021. He’ll earn his bread and butter with underneath routes, screens, and deep routes, but he’ll need to do more to gain separation, and whether Ladson can do that remains in question.
Fit For Bills: A-

Photo of Georgia RB Zamir White from 247sports.com.

RD3
Zamir White RB Georgia
SEC 5’11” 215 4.38
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#3 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/tEFFMRQPHoo?t=53
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/zamir-white-1.html
With a nickname of “Zeus”, you wouldn’t expect Zamir White to be such a soft-spoken, humble person. White is so easy to root for. Listen to the Interview above. He has a slight stammer, also a cleft lip left over from birth trauma. White’s speed plus size plus backstory are all compelling, and he’s likely the best RB in the SEC –which is Beane’s second-favorite conference to the ACC, and a draft gold mine in this upcoming class. White is a seam finder, bounce it out playmaker with ankle-removing jukes. This toss sweep takes advantage of Breida speed in a Zach Moss body. White prided himself playing on the Bulldogs’ punt return team.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Notre Dame C OG Jarrett Patterson from 247sports.com.

Jarrett Patterson C OG Notre Dame
ACC 6’5″ 305 4.97
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#55 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/A1gUXSDkioI?t=172
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/jarrett-patterson-1.html
Jack Anderson was put at Center the first time he came to practice after being drafted in RD7 of the 2021 Draft. His qualities match Patterson quite well: technician, will use handwork and leverage, can play multiple positions. Jarrett has the versatility that the Bills covet on the offensive line. He has played some Tackle (blocking for Kyren Williams, also on my Pick Six). He played Center in the CuedUp game, and pulls well from that position, showing the mentality of seek and destroy at the 2nd level. He stays engaged until the whistle. Jarrett needs a big year to put him in the Day 2 conversation. He missed most of the 2020 season due to injury, and, perhaps more important, his eyebrows are distracting.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Washington ILB Edefuan Ulofoshio from 247sports.com.

Edefuan Ulofoshio ILB Washington
PAC12 6’0″ 230 4.56
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#48 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/11Ndjx25qHs?t=16
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/edefuan-ulofoshio-1.html
Look past Edmunds-Milano on the depth chart for a moment. Tyrell Adams. Marquel Lee. Andre Smith. Tyler Matakevich. Joe Giles-Harris. Mike Bell. This should make you nervous. I don’t think Ulofoshio will be there when we pick at #96 in the 2022 NFL Draft, but he was in my simulation. PFF’s top-ranked returning LB, Ulofoshio offers strength and bend. He diagnoses quickly and slips through the wall. He gets off blocks cleanly and minds his gaps. He’s not Tremaine-sized, but then, who is?
Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Utah ILB Devin Lloyd from 247sports.com.

Devin Lloyd ILB Utah
PAC12 6’2″ 232 4.63
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#20 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/jlBahDbm_Kg?t=46
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/devin-lloyd-1.html
A larger version of Ulofoshio is Devin Lloyd. He’s one of my friend Otto’s pet cats, and he knows ballplayers. Here, watch Lloyd in a looper for the sack and forced fumble (which he recovers). Excellent tackler. Devin is extremely smart, and very articulate about the team’s stand on BLM/racism/police (early in interview). Here he speaks about having only 2 returners on D.
Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Western Kentucky OLB DeAngelo Malone from 247sports.com.

DeAngelo Malone OLB Western Kentucky
ConfUSA 6’3″ 230 4.43
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#10 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/6o09gcF3c8k?t=141
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/deangelo-malone-1.html
Only Tyler Bass has been drafted by Beane from the Sun Belt, but don’t tell that to DeAngelo. A former Sun Belt DPOY, and the first Western Kentucky player to be voted C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, Malone can create sheer havoc, and defensive coaches will lack a plan to deal with him, especially with the rest of the Bills D to worry about. As a DE for the Hilltoppers, Malone’s explosive first step was a challenge for DCs. He helped anchor the conference’s top scoring defense in 2019. He produced 99 total tackles – including 21 for loss – with 11.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hurries, and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. In 2019, Malone totaled 100 tackles, with 55 solo tackles, 11.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. While he’d have small size for a DE, he’d be seen as a developmental OLB at the next level, and we might need one sooner than later.
Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Boston College OG OT Zion Johnson from si.com.

Zion Johnson OG OT Boston College
ACC 6’3″ 310 5.14
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#77 CuedUp Play =>https://youtu.be/eXV4MNMgA1E?t=41
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/zion-johnson-1.html
Johnson started at Tackle this season after switching over from Guard where he played the previous season. He was named third-team All-ACC this past season. There were many mock drafts that had Johnson as a 3rd-4th round draft pick last year. The fit is more likely at Guard, where Boettger was tendered, Jamil Douglas is 29, and Devey has a 1-year contract. They’ll like Zion’s position flex nonetheless.
Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Miami SS Bubba Bolden from 247sports.com.

RD4
Bubba Bolden SS Miami
ACC 6’2″ 200 4.4
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#21 CuedUp Play =>https://youtu.be/MDsdqhrFTKE?t=40
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/bubba-bolden-1.html
xfer USC, savvy, athletic, anticipation, watch the FF in CuedUp. Here, Bolden tackles Tutu Atwell in space –not an easy task given Tutu’s speed. Bubba’s a solid tackler who can come up and bring the ballcarrier down. I think he’ll be drafted Day 2. But he was available. But it’s June.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Colorado ILB Nate Landman from ralphiereport.com.

Nate Landman ILB Colorado
PAC12 6’2″ 235 4.63
A+ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#53 CuedUp Play
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/nate-landman-1.html
Nate ‘The Hammer’ “Landman is taking advantage of the NCAA granting everyone an extra year of eligibility. He was having an All-American type of season in 2020 before rupturing his Achilles’ tendon in the regular-season finale, and, whenever he returns, his best football is ahead of him. An exceptional tackler and run stopper, Landman was possibly a mid-round pick this year. With 2021 shaping up to be a great season for him, Landman could be the first Colorado Buff off the board. I like The Hammer the most of the five ILBs in this RD3-4 stratosphere. For me, his vision, toughness, and size set him apart. That toughness will get him on the field soon.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of NC State OG RT Ikem Ekwonu from 247sports.com

Ikem Ekwonu OG RT NC State
ACC 6’4″ 325 5.24
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#79 LG CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/i1iEMm9Y55c?t=37
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/ikem-ekwonu-1.html
Ekwonu was a very good player on a disappointing team. “Icky” can seem as nice as can be off the field, but he’s a pancake-maker onfield. Watch him here as NC State’s LT in 2020 (he was a G before that). Watch Icky’s explosion off the ball here, although he loses balance after the damage was done. He looks for work, and he shows his strong initial punch here.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Coastal Carolina DT TE Jerrod Clark from myrtlebeachonline.com.

Jerrod Clark DT (TE) Coastal Carolina
Sun Belt 6’3″ 335 5.16
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#15 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/O8AI01dJz_o?t=219
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/jarrod-clark-1.html
Clark is a massive, quick, affable NT who was a Former TE. Hey, we need one of those, too; I bet he could block. Jerrod was very frank in the interview (above) how his work ethic has improved from the time he was a TE until now. He had an issue with depression in the past that was in play with his weight gain, but he’s better now. The Chanticleers (“shon-di-CLEARs”) had several upsets this past year due to a Bills-like locker room spirit. As a D-Lineman, Clark made a one-handed INT of a high snap in his Boston HS that was the POW.
Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Boise State WRS Khalil Shakir from obnug.com.

Khalil Shakir WRS Boise State
MWC 6’0″ 191 4.37
A+ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#2 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/f_GuDyZFdEc?t=78
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/khalil-shakir-1.html
Shakir is an Isaiah McKenzie, Brandon Powell, Marquez Stevenson type. See if the CuedUp play rings a bell. Shakir’s competitor level is turned up to “Fierce” most of the time. Here’s Shakir, Smurf on the Smurf Turf, on a real nice jet sweep outside, and here’s another inside. Khalil high-points the ball well, can stretch the field, is friendly and affable, and would make a good teammate. McKenzie, Powell, and Stevenson make for a logjam, though.
Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Clemson CB Sheridan Jones from 247sports.com.

Sheridan Jones CB Clemson
ACC 6’0″ 185 4.4
A++ Interview (Click Letter Grade To Hear Why)
#26 CuedUp Play=>https://youtu.be/rxrQny4jdwk?t=28 (Old)
Stats https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/sheridan-jones-1.html
We want to try and be that little piece of hope that everybody can try to make a change” SI is pretty high on Jones, who they see as benefiting from Derion Kendrick’s release: ” Kendrick … leaves the Tigers short on bodies….Having started in only eight games, Jones should gain a lot more experience this season. His movement skills are very apparent, allowing him to rely on his makeup speed and length to make plays. Jones is technically raw, making him a developmental prospect at the moment, but that could change quickly if he shows improvement in 2021…It’s Jones who has been playing like a ‘man on a mission’, Swinney said. Jones has become more physical, which is exactly what the secondary lacked at times last year. ” Jones will have plenty of competition for a starting spot in that Clemson backfield. I like Levi Wallace better, but then, Beane always takes a Day 3 corner. Could be Mullen, Dean, Lucas or Blades here in addition to Jones.
Fit For Bills: A-

Photo of Virginia Tech OG Lecitus Smith from 247sports.com.

RD5
Lecitus Smith OG Virginia Tech https://youtu.be/oBtgxU0vCXM TE turned OG. Cover1 did a nice interview here=>https://youtu.be/LjnrJJG5G1w?t=450
— Fit For Bills: A+
Diego Fagot ILB Navy https://youtu.be/p95IN9Nb5Lk?t=20 “fuh-GO”. Prolific hard hitter, heart and soul captain of Navy.
–Fit For Bills: A+
Tiawan Mullen CB Indiana https://youtu.be/26tqkWCgTf0?t=9 Film study & anticipation.
–Fit For Bills: A+
Mohamed Ibrahim RB Minnesota https://youtu.be/BBk40VgDZRY Moss II. Bills-visited.
–Fit For Bills: A+
Olakunle Fatukasi ILB Rutgers https://youtu.be/FhwbHY2AsoI Jets DT Foley’s brother.
–Fit For Bills: A
Dion Novil DL1T North Texas https://youtu.be/rTXZbBGpVbE See report here.
–Fit For Bills: A-

Photo of Wake Forest WR Jaquarii Roberson from 247sports.com.

RD6
Jaquarii Roberson WR Wake Forest https://youtu.be/NhTgmGITOq8?t=25 Fave WR.
–Fit For Bills: A+
Lyn-J Dixon RBC Clemson https://youtu.be/T76bGcyDUmk?t=65 Shifty, 6.9yds/touch.
–Fit For Bills: A+
Trey Dean III CB Florida https://youtu.be/tbudXgVt_pg?t=34 Run-pass balance.
–Fit For Bills: A+
Chad Muma ILB Wyoming https://youtu.be/PSAw85nDOxw Dad & Gramp were WYOs.
Fit For Bills: A+
Corey Gaynor OC Miami https://youtu.be/CkAXtOLhj-8 Need a Center? See Manny.
–Fit For Bills: A+
Tre Turner WRS Virginia Tech https://youtu.be/3njtg8m9Ydg?t=52 Another McKenzie.
–Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Florida LB SS Amari Burney from twitter.com.

RD7
Amari Burney LB SS Florida https://youtu.be/jMb3OvX9Evc Ideal Milano type.
–Fit For Bills: A+
Cole Schneider OG UCF –This year’s McD whopper: 2x HS state-champ wrestler.
–Fit For Bills: A+
Al Blades Jr. CB Miami –25 games, 41 tackles. Savvy. DNA from dad. 4.38 forty.
–Fit For Bills: A+
Isaiah Pola-Mao S USC –6’4″ height might get him drafted earlier. McBeane attitude.
–Fit For Bills: A+
Chase Lucas CB FS Arizona State Great persona. Read-react speed.
–Fit For Bills: A+
Dylan Wonnum OT South Carolina -brother DJ plays on the other side of the ball.
–Fit For Bills: A

Editor’s babble: My white board is clean and ready to go. Thanks to Dean Kindig for these tremendous reviews he does for the blog. He’s created a system unparalleled for its uniqueness and comprehensive review. You can find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.

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