Buffalo Bills: Predicting which Day 3 pick has best chance to start in 2021

ANNAPOLIS, MD - OCTOBER 20: Marquez Stevenson #5 of the Houston Cougars runs with the ball during a college football game against the Navy Midshipmen at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Annapolis, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
ANNAPOLIS, MD - OCTOBER 20: Marquez Stevenson #5 of the Houston Cougars runs with the ball during a college football game against the Navy Midshipmen at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Annapolis, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Buffalo Bills
Oct 8, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars wide receiver Marquez Stevenson (5) during the fourth quarter against Tulane at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Marquez Stevenson

Of the six players selected on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft, the one player who likely has the best chance at a starting role as a rookie is wide receiver Marquez Stevenson. However, it wouldn’t be as a wide receiver but as the primary kick returner.

This was a role that Andre Roberts has held the past two years but he left in free agency to join the Houston Texans. The Bills do have some options to replace him, like Isaiah McKenzie but also Stevenson.

General manager Brandon Beane recently talked about this on WGR550 and said that Stevenson is very much in the mix for this role. It is important to note that he mentions Stevenson as a dual returner and he would be expected to return kickoffs as well as punts.

The reason this is interesting is that Stevenson didn’t have much experience returning punts in college with only four in college compared to 34 kickoff returns. Meanwhile, Isaiah McKenzie has more experience as a punt returner with 39 career punt returns compared to 20 kickoff returns.

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While Brandon Beane believes Stevenson could be a dual returner, it might make more sense to split the responsibilities. This would still have Stevenson in line to be the starting kickoff returner for the Bills and a role he could make an impact in as a rookie.