The Buffalo Bills received generally positive reviews at the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft. ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. graded the Bills draft class in his top-five. Many fans believed the Bills draft was underwhelming. But Buffalo drafted pieces to have an impact now and in the future.
Analyzing the Buffalo Bills 2020 Draft Class
Round Two: A.J Epenesa, Defensive End, Iowa Hawkeyes
During the pre-draft process, many draft experts pegged A.J Espenesa as a top-15 draft pick. However, his Combine results were not commensurate of a top selection. As a result, he slid down draft boards until the Bills selected him with the 54th overall pick.
“He can play the left defensive end for us and he has produced as an inside rusher,” said Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane during a media session.
Look for Epenesa to man the left end on running downs and move more inside to create interior pressure in obvious passing situations. He will have time to develop behind the Bills veteran defensive line.
Round Three: Zack Moss, Running Back, Utah Utes
Zack Moss was touted as a punishing and physical runner who is also a scheme fit for the Bills. Moss’s running style and skill set is not unique to the Bills, however. Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott like having a physical presence in their backfield proven with the previous signings of Mike Tolbert (2017), Chris Ivory (2018), and Frank Gore (2019).
With J.K Dobbins on the board many Bills fans expected the running back-needy team to select the Ohio State product. However, Beane lauded Moss for his physical traits and collegiate production and said that he even considered trading up for the running back during the draft.
Expect Moss to have an immediate impact as the Bills number two running back. But do not be surprised if Moss is the starter at some point in his rookie season.
Round Four: Gabriel Davis, Wide Receiver, UCF Knights
Gabriel Davis immediately competes to be a contributor in the Bills deep wide receiver room. Davis could potentially be inserted into the lineup sooner than expected due to his physical stature and blocking ability. The Bills like to motion wide receivers in the box to provide support in the run game. Duke Williams filled this role for Buffalo in limited action last season.
Expect to see Davis compete for the fourth wide receiver spot with Duke Williams and Robert Foster and eventually jump both players on the depth chart in the next couple of years.
Round Five: Jake Fromm, Quarterback, Georgia Bulldogs
Drafting Jake Fromm in the fifth round was head-scratching. Fromm is more similar to Matt Barkley than Josh Allen. But due to his poor Combine and shorter stature, Fromm fell down draft boards. Bills general manager Brandon Beane said the Bills were eyeing other players with their fifth-round selection but no one on the board provided the value of Jake Fromm. Some believe the Bills drafted Fromm to keep him away from the New England Patriots. That goes to show you how the Bills feel about the quarterback.
It is not likely the Bills keep three quarterbacks on their roster. They already have Josh Allen, Matt Barkley, and Davis Webb. Expect Jake Fromm to compete for the backup role and show his ability during preseason action. If he performs well expect Fromm to be a backup in Buffalo for years to come.
Round Six: Tyler Bass, Kicker, Georgia Southern Eagles
The Bills brought in Tyler Bass to compete for the starting job with Kaare Vedvik and Stephen Hauschka. Videos online show the kicker making 50-yard field goals without taking any steps. This illustrates the kicker’s massive leg strength. Bass could win a job for the Bills but he will have to be consistent throughout camp and preseason.
Round Six: Isaiah Hodgins, Wide Receiver, Oregon State Beavers
Buffalo got exactly what they were missing from their wide receiver room when they drafted Isaiah Hodgins. He is a tall receiver at 6’4″ and gives the Bills length on the outside and height in the red zone. Hodgins had the best 20-yard shuttle (4.12 seconds) among wide receivers in this draft class. He is quick but not explosive.
Expect Hodgins to play a lot in the preseason and compete for the Bills fifth wide receiver spot.
Round 7: Dane Jackson, Cornerback, Pittsburgh Panthers
Dane Jackson is a solid draft pick for Buffalo. The six-foot cornerback is aggressive in run support and should contribute immediately on special teams. Jackson will add fire and attitude to an already stacked Bills secondary.
Buffalo had a solid draft in 2020. They added what appears to be finishing touches to a roster ready to compete for a division crown. With the additions at running back and wide receiver, Buffalo got better. Collectively, this group of talent will help the Bills now and into the future.