Here is some analysis and thoughts on each of the 2020 draft picks made by the Buffalo Bills:
- Round 2: A.J. Epenesa - DE - Iowa
Many had Epenesa pegged to go late first round or early second, at the latest. He kept slipping down the board, most likely due to some poorer-than-expected combine numbers, but general manager Brandon Beane made it known he doesn’t care much about 40-yard dash times when it comes to simply being a good football player. That’s what he considers Epenesa, who will add youth to a position that needs it. I don’t believe he has as high of a ceiling as other edge rusher‘s in this draft, but I think he has a higher floor. Don’t expect him to be among the league’s sack leaders, but expect him to be consistent. You’ll know what you’re going to get from him. He’ll come in more ready to play than others, and he should be a solid player for years. ￼￼
- Round 3: Zack Moss - RB - Utah
Moss was one of the most popular players for Bills fans throughout the draft process. He became even more popular after he said he likes making defenders “make business decisions” when it comes to having to tackle him. He’s exactly the complement the Bills needed to Devin Singletary in the backfield. A tough, hard-nosed, between the tackles runner who will be a chain-starter when needed on first and second down, then￼￼ able to get the short yardage they need in big situations.￼￼ His almost 800 touches in college could be a concern, especially given his running style, but he obviously won’t be expected to carry the ball every down. He’ll have to be smart about taking or initiating contact when it’s not necessary.
- Round 4: Gabriel Davis - WR - UCF
The Bills addressed their No. 1 need this offseason when they traded for wide receiver Stefon Diggs, but they still needed to give quarterback Josh Allen more weapons and do whatever they can to score more points￼. Davis was a touchdown machine at UCF, finding the end zone 23 times. He brings the offense a vertical threat from a taller receiver who can go up and take the ball away from defenders. He’ll have to refine his route-running better at the NFL level, but will certainly be an option to play early on, behind Diggs and John Brown on the outside.
- Round 5: Jake Fromm - QB - Georgia
It’s no surprise the Bills added another arm to the roster this offseason, but drafting a quarterback in the fifth round may have been surprising to a lot of people. Fromm was just too good to pass up at that point, Beane said. Fromm is basically the exact opposite of Allen. He doesn’t have as strong of an arm, as you’d like to see for an NFL quarterback, but threw 78 touchdowns and only 18 interceptions in three years as a starter. Fromm will compete with Matt Barkley for Allen‘s back up role. Barkley has been a valuable mentor to Allen, but with the Bills starter now going into his third season, it’s not as important to lean on a veteran behind him as much.
- Round 6: Tyler Bass - K - Georgia Southern
After the draft, Beane told reporters if they hadn’t drafted a kicker, they were going to sign one as an undrafted free agent. So they were bringing another leg to training camp no matter what. The fact they used an asset to draft Bass is not good news for Stephen Hauschka, who struggled with long distance kicks last year. The Bills actually put a waiver claim in on kicker Chase McLaughlin last November, but he was awarded to the Indianapolis Colts.￼ After the season, they signed Kaare Vedvik, who also has a really strong leg. Beane said he’ll be mainly a punter, but could compete for long field goals. That may not even be necessary with the leg strength Bass possesses.￼
- Round 6: Isaiah Hodgins - WR - Oregon State
Yet another taller receiver added to the offense. Hodgins has terrific hands, but not blazing speed, and will have to take some time getting adjusted to press coverage at the NFL level. So, he ￼may be more suited to play the slot to begin his NFL career￼. He’ll compete for a roster spot with Davis, as well as incumbents Robert Foster, Duke Williams, and Isaiah McKenzie.
- Round 7: Dane Jackson - CB - Pittsburgh
I loved Jackson when I saw him at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama in January. He just looked like he belonged on an NFL field. He was patient and didn’t overreact, and played solid man-to-man defense. It may be an uphill climb for him to make the roster, but there are still question marks at cornerback. The Bills play a lot of nickel packages, and injuries always seem to pop up. He will certainly have a chance to have a role, especially since he can play both outside and inside.