Buffalo Bills 2021 NFL Draft Prospect to Know: S JaCoby Stevens

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 19: JaCoby Stevens #7 of the LSU Tigers reacts after recovering a fumble against the Mississippi Rebels during a game at Tiger Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 19: JaCoby Stevens #7 of the LSU Tigers reacts after recovering a fumble against the Mississippi Rebels during a game at Tiger Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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The big nickel position could be one of the Buffalo Bills‘ targets this year in the 2021 NFL Draft. If they do, a player like JaCoby Stevens could be the answer. The team met with Stevens during the Senior Bowl and the LSU safety mentioned that meeting as one that stood out.

He is likely a Day 3 draft pick and this could present great value for the team and what he could bring to this defense. Let’s take a closer look at his profile and how he might with the Buffalo Bills.

Measurables/Stats

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 212 pounds

Arms: 32.25″

Hands: 9.125″

JaCoby Stevens played 36 games over four seasons for LSU and finished with 190 total tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, four interceptions, and 15 passes defended. The best season for Stevens came in 2019, when LSU won the national championship, and he had 92 total tackles with nine tackles for a loss, five sacks, and three interceptions.

NFL.com Scouting Report by Lance Zierlein

"Stevens is in a precarious position as either an undersized linebacker with just average toughness at the point of attack or an oversized safety lacking instincts and coverage speed. He played heavier in 2020 and simply didn’t look as quick or as agile as he did in 2019. He displays some of the downhill run-defending characteristics teams will look for as a box safety but will need to lock in against tight ends to add legitimate coverage value. Determining his scheme fit and finding his optimal weight will be critical for him to have success on the next level."

Highlights

How he fits with the Buffalo Bills

While Lance Zierlein mentions that Stevens is in this weird spot by being a little small to be a linebacker but doesn’t have the speed as a safety, he could fit exactly what the Buffalo Bills need for their big nickel.

He is a player that may not be an eventual replacement for one of the starting safeties, he could be a productive player for this defense as a versatile chess piece. The Bills spent most of the time out of the nickel formation and this sometimes gives offenses the opportunity to lean on the run game.

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However, a player with Stevens size as the nickel takes away some of that advantage but the Bills can still protect against the pass, especially by having Stevens line up against tight ends where he won’t be outmatched physically as Taron Johnson might be.