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2021 NFL mock draft: Buffalo Bills select RB Najee Harris

The Bills try to make their offense more balanced... and therefore elite.

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills were one of the best teams in 2020. They were second in points scored, thanks largely to a breakout season from young quarterback Josh Allen. Defensively, they were solid, too, allowing just 23.4 points per game last season.

While they lost a few names in free agency and didn’t add too much, they spent the majority of their money trying to keep the band together. They handed linebacker Matt Milano a fat four-year contract. The re-signed offensive linemen Daryl Williams and Jon Feliciano to a three-year deals.

Now it’s time to build upon that solid foundation through the draft. Commenter Jack H will be the acting general manager for the Bills in our POD Community Mock Draft. But before we get into his pick, here’s how the board looks through 29 picks.

With the 30th pick in the POD Community Mock Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Alabama running back Najee Harris.

Here’s Jack H with the explanation:

When I came on the clock and saw Najee Harris was available, it was an easy choice. He absolutely dominated the SEC during his senior campaign with Alabama by rushing for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns as well as an additional 425 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Maybe the most impressive stat of his college career is the number of times he has coughed up the rock: Zero!

Harris is by far the best running back in this draft, and when we look back a couple years from now it will be obvious. The Buffalo Bills desperately need a physical running back to tout the rock. The combination of Zach Moss and Devin Singletary was lackluster as neither player has superstar abilities at running back. They are serviceable at best and Kerryon Johnson”ish” at worst. Adding Harris to the mix puts a dynamic aspect between the tackles for the Bills and brings smash mouth football to Buffalo.

Harris will be taking the league by storm like Ezekiel Elliott did in 2016 when he replaced two scrubs named Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden. I predict Harris will have 1,500 yards rushing and be a Pro-Bowler as a rookie on this Bills team with Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and a revamped offensive line. With the addition of Harris look for the Bills to be legitimate Super Bowl contenders. As we all know, you must be able to run the ball effectively in January in order to win playoff football games and Najee Harris will get it done.

Running back has become devalued and a bit overlooked in today's NFL. We see a lot of running back by committee, but throw on a Titans game and watch Derrick Henry curb stomp the opponent and relentlessly impose his will and understand that a top-tier backfield talent can carry a team to the playoffs by themselves.

Erik Schlitt’s thoughts:

I’m not an advocate of taking a running back in the first round—especially after spending a third rounder in each of the last two drafts on Moss and Singletary—but if they had their heart set on one, Harris would be my pick. A complete back, Harris is steady and reliable as a runner, and won’t have to leave the field on passing downs due to his wide ranging skill set. I’m not sold Harris will be the next Elliott, like Jack H is, but he could easily have a Steven Jackson-like career where he quietly puts up 1,000-yard seasons on the regular.

The Bills are a very complete team and they could have gone a lot of ways with this selection. In addition to the starting running back job being a potential spot for a rookie to break in, they could also look at tight ends and corners. It’s too early for Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth (the next best tight end on the board) for me, but if CB Greg Newsome is available, like he is in this scenario, he should be heavily considered.

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