In years past, draft-eligible college prospects have come to Buffalo to meet with Bills coaches and members of the front office leading up to the draft. Throughout the pandemic, those meetings have taken place over Zoom. Those prospects have lost the opportunity to check out the team facility and visit the city where they could potentially start their NFL career.
The culture of the team instilled by Sean McDermott, Brandon Beane and the players has helped changed the narrative about what it's like to play in Buffalo and what it means to be a Buffalo Bill. Brandon Beane talked a little about how the vibe has changed in recent years when talking to these young players about the city and the team.
"We were on national TV more so people kind of know," Beane said. "I don't even think some of these players knew where Buffalo was before, so I think we're moving in the right direction. But no, it's been good, a lot of great young men. Unfortunately, we haven't gotten to bring them to Buffalo like we usually do with the 30 visits. But I think whoever we get will be excited to join our team."
This is what some of the NFL prospects that have been frequently mocked to us had to say about the Bills leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft:
Tyson Campbell, Georgia – Cornerback
Campbell started at corner for the Bulldogs as a true freshman, starting in a total of 30 games in his college career. During his time at Georgia, he had 86 total tackles, nine passes defensed and two fumble recoveries which he returned for touchdowns. Campbell followed the Bills through the 2020 season and thinks they are a team on the rise.
"The Bills are a great team, I watched them this year," Campbell said. "They got a lot of corners that I watch, like Tre'Davious White. I know they have a powerful and great offense, and they went to AFC Championship this year. I know that they are an up-and-coming organization."
The Georgia cornerback also had some praise for Tre'Davious White and Leslie Frazier and would be blessed to be able to learn and grow under a great player and coach.
"I think it would be a blessing and a great opportunity for me to learn from a guy (Tre'Davious White) that has done so well in his league for the past couple of years," Campbell added. "And to be coached by Leslie Frazier who's well known in this league as one of the best defensive coordinators. So, I feel like it would be a blessing and I would love the opportunity. But like you said, I'm just willing to get better and just grow as a player, so I'm going to do anything."
Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame – Offensive Tackle
Eichenberg was a redshirt senior who started every game at left tackle for the Fighting Irish since his junior season in 2018. He was named a Consensus All-American and first-team All-ACC for the 2020 season. The Cleveland native spoke about a meeting he had with Bills offensive line coach Bobby Johnson and had great things to say about him.
"Yes, I met with the offensive line coach, Bobby Johnson," Eichenberg said. "It was a great opportunity, I thought he's a great coach and he explained everything very well. The Bills have a very good scheme, their pass pro's great and has very effective communication which is good. It's great, I love the coach; I would love to go to the Bills but at the end of the day it's not up to the offensive line coach, it's up to the whole staff."
Travis Etienne, Clemson – Running Back
The Clemson running back had a wonderful college career, finishing with 4,952 rushing yards and 70 rushing touchdowns and 1,155 receiving yards with eight receiving touchdowns. Etienne owns many ACC records and won ACC Offensive Player of the Year and ACC Player of the Year in both 2018 and 2019. He followed the Bills throughout the 2020 season and thinks he would be a great asset to the team.
"I've been down in Western Florida but if I ended up in Buffalo, I would be very grateful and very honored to be able to play for the Bills," Etienne said. "I have been following them this past year, a really great team, a great quarterback, and just a great system. So, I feel like I could go in there and just be a great asset to the team. And wherever I get drafted, I'm just grateful and just ready to go out there and just give it all for my team."
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame – Linebacker
Owusu-Koramoah finished his college career with 134 total tackles, 10 sacks, five forced fumbles and one interception. For the 2020 season, he was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-ACC and was awarded the Butkus Award for being the top linebacker in the nation. Owusu-Koramoah praised the Bills defense and said that the Bills were a crazy organization – but in a good way.
"It's a crazy organization," Owusu- Koramoah explained. "Crazy as in good way and an exciting organization. Exciting defense, fast, speedy, physical and that's just a program that I would fit perfectly into. There's a lot of defenses like that but as you look at the Bills, they're a talented team and a talented defense, young defense as well. Everyone is willing to fly around to the ball so I think it would be a great fit as well."
Joe Tyron, Washington – Defensive End
Tyron played two seasons for the Huskies after redshirting his first season in 2017 and then opting out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic. He started in two games in 2018 and 12 in 2019 and had 61 total tackles and nine sacks through those two seasons. He was named Second-team All-Pac-12 for the 2019 season where he had 12.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Tyron noted that he could see himself fitting in well with the Bills defense.
"They had a Bills scout here today, so it was good to see him face to face and shake his hand," Tyron said. "I know about the Bills; they play good defense. I like what they do with their edge players so I could definitely picture myself in that defense, I'd be successful."
Javonte Williams, North Carolina – Running Back
Williams spent three seasons playing for the Tar Heels and was named second-team All-American and All-ACC in 2020. He rushed for 2,297 yards with 29 rushing touchdowns throughout his college career. Williams played two seasons with Bills running back Antonio Williams and the two are very close. He has heard a lot about the Bills from Antonio, and he knows how good of an organization it is.
"With Antonio [Williams] being in Buffalo, I know a lot about them," Williams said. "Just from hearing him talk, it's a very good organization. It's the type of team I would love to play for and honestly if they draft me, I'm ready to give them my all just like I'll do with any team that drafts me."
Jaycee Horn, South Carolina – Cornerback
Horn began his college career as a true freshman and started in 29 games at South Carolina. He racked up 101 total tackles, 23 passes defensed, three sacks and two interceptions throughout his three years as a starter. He is the son of former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn and thinks that the Bills are a tough team supported by an amazing fan base.
"I know it's cold, that's one thing I know," Horn said. "It's a great organization and they're on the come up. They are a real hard-nosed team and I love the fans from what I see. I'm also a huge fan of Tre'Davious White and I've watched a lot of film on him so it would be a blessing to go to Buffalo."