Buffalo Bills 2021 NFL Draft Prospect to Know: DT Alim McNeill

RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 06: Alim McNeill #29 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack reacts after making as tackle for a loss against the Boston College Eagles during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 06: Alim McNeill #29 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack reacts after making as tackle for a loss against the Boston College Eagles during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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If the Buffalo Bills are in the market for a player who could replace Star Lotulelei, plus add a little more athleticism and explosiveness to the position then defensive tackle Alim McNeill makes sense for them. Let’s take a closer look at his profile and how he might with the Buffalo Bills.

Measurables/Stats

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 317 pounds

Arms: 32.625″

Hands: 9.375″

Alim McNeill played 32 games for NC State and finished with 77 total tackles, 17.5 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, and five passes defended. He also had an interception this past season against Virginia and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown, his first at the college level.

NFL.com Scouting Report by Lance Zierlein

"Sawed-off frame that lacks optimal length but carries plenty of base strength and upper-body explosiveness. McNeill lined up over the nose, which did him a bit of a disservice in relation to his athletic traits and overall strengths. He might not have the overall length and mass to withstand the rigors of two-gapping in the NFL, but he does have plus flexibility and fluidity for a big man and should create problems for centers as a shaded nose with the ability to attack or counter either A-gap."

Highlights

How he fits with the Buffalo Bills

If the Buffalo Bills want to find the eventual replacement for Star Lotulelei as the team’s one-tech, then NC State’s Alim McNeill would be a logical choice towards the end of Day 2 and possibly into Day 3 if he were to slip past the third round. However, he isn’t necessarily an exact swap because McNeill is more athletic and can bring more to this defense than Lotulelei.

McNeill has a little bit more explosiveness and quickness that allows him to make more plays in opponents’ backfields. He finished his college career with 17.5 tackles for a loss, including 7.5 in 10 games during the 2019 season. However, for this defense, the focus will be to clog running lanes and eliminate room for running backs to make plays on the inside runs.

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He is a player that would be able to line up next to Ed Oliver and help him be more productive as he would likely get more one-on-one matchups. This would help Oliver to get more opportunities to get penetration and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Along with a player like Tyler Shelvin, Alim McNeill is one that compliments what Ed Oliver brings to this defense.