The Buffalo Bills did not have a first-round pick in 2020, but that was because they traded it for a star wide receiver in Stefon Diggs. After a season where they made it back to the playoffs and certainly hoped to go deeper with a good group of talent on both sides of the ball, the Bills needed some more pieces on the team to potentially push them towards a Super Bowl. With the guys they drafted, how did the Bills grade out for their 2020 NFL Draft haul?
Who did the Bills draft?
Round 2, Pick 54: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Round 3, Pick 86: Zack Moss, RB, Utah
Round 4, Pick 128: Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
Round 5, Pick 167: Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Round 6, Pick 188: Tyler Bass, K, Georgia Southern
Round 6, Pick 207: Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State
Round 7, Pick 239: Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh
Best Pick: A.J. Epenesa
This is the one pick that Bills fans can take home as an absolute slam dunk and will raise the Bills’ draft grade. The defensive line for Buffalo was already lined with talented players like Ed Oliver, Quinton Jefferson, and more, but to add Epenesa to that rotation now gives Buffalo an absolute sledgehammer of a pass rusher that can move up and down the line.
For where he was taken, Epenesa is great value for the Bills. He shows off great lower body power and has a mean bull rush. His club-rip move is one of his go-to moves and for good reason, as he pulls it off with precision. Everything about Epenesa’s hand usage is great. He may not be an elite athlete by any means, but Epenesa has the technical prowess to be a great player in the league, and Buffalo should be the benefactors of it.
Best Value: Dane Jackson
The cornerback room in Buffalo is already pretty strong as it is anyways, but to add Jackson, a sticky, scheme versatile cornerback in the seventh round is great value for any team, let alone the Bills. Jackson stuck out consistently on tape as a guy who was feisty and aggressive both at the line and at the catch point. It allowed him to bump guys off their routes and also get a lot of ball production in the form of breakups.
He is scrappy and loves to get involved in run support. As a sure tackler, Jackson adds value there and in run support. He is pretty fluid and moves well. Jackson’s click and close are also adequate, and it allows him to operate in zone coverage. There are certainly warts in his game, but this is a player who should have been taken closer to the beginning of day three than the end of it.
Biggest Reach: Jake Fromm
Okay, it is a fifth-round pick, but for Buffalo, this pick does not make much sense. If the Bills were looking a quarterback that could be a backup but have some upside, Jake Luton was the better option. Fromm’s game just does not inspire much confidence when the film is turned on.
Fromm has an average arm and loves to check the football down. He cannot extend the play out of structure, either, and the real killer is that he is not that accurate for a guy who should be a game manager. His mechanics get sloppy, and he sometimes does not maximize torque or involve his lower body when throwing the ball.
That makes a lot of his throws all arm, and it can just wobble out there. Fromm is a very smart quarterback and maybe even a potential offensive coordinator in the future, but there were better options here for the Bills to go after than Fromm, who does not elevate the offense.
Biggest Sleeper: Isaiah Hodgins
This is another pick similar to Jackson that comes with a lot of value. Hodgins brings fluidity and size to the Bills receiving corps. They lacked that size element, and with Hodgins’ body control and smoothness in and out of breaks at his size, he can be a legitimate weapon as a semi-vertical threat.
There are just not many guys that can move like Hodgins at his size and still separate so consistently. He will not be some type of burner or be a trick artist after the catch, but if a team needs a big target that can get open and still climb above the rim to make catches, Hodgins fits that bill. Hodgins is going to be a guy that can be a sleeper to have a role in this Bills offense.
Buffalo Bills Draft Grade: B
The Bills made some very nice picks here. Epenesa and Zack Moss, their first two picks, are both good value picks who can be contributors in year one and beyond. In addition, they made two outstanding value picks in Jackson and Hodgins, who can push for the roster and be contributors on both offense and defense.
However, Gabriel Davis and Fromm are both questionable picks. Davis is only average and struggles to defeat press coverage. While he does bring the size element, his film leaves a lot to be desired, as does Fromm’s. Thus, it is a solid draft for the Bills, especially when Stefon Diggs is included, but there were a few hiccups that drop it down.