The draft, which had been scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, was successfully completed virtually from the homes of coaches, general managers and other front-office staff because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s a pick-by-pick look at how each player Buffalo has selected will fit.
Round 2, No. 54 overall: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
My take: With half a dozen players on the board who also fit a team need, the Bills selected a player many analysts believed had first-round value.
He isn’t flashy, but the former Hawkeye is massive at 6-foot-6, 280 pounds and powerful.
Epenesa should bolster the Bills’ defense against the run and can be used situationally behind Addison, Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy — plus he comes from a program at Iowa that Bills coach Sean McDermott loves.
Round 3, No. 86 overall: Zack Moss, RB, Utah
Take a look at some of the highlights of former Utah running back Zack Moss’ college career.
My take: For the second year in a row, the Bills selected a running back in the third round — this time it’s the Utah workhorse Moss. At 5-foot-9, 223 pounds, Moss is a bruising back who likes to initiate contact and move the chains. He can immediately slide into Frank Gore’s role from 2019, but combined with last year’s third-rounder, Devin Singletary, the Bills now have a tandem at running back that can wear defenses out over the course of a game — especially during the colder months in Buffalo.
Round 4, No. 128 overall: Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
Take a look at some of the highlights that make former UCF wide receiver Gabriel Davis a prospect in the NFL draft.
My take: Bills GM Brandon Beane had his pick of the litter at No. 128 overall and continued to improve his team’s offense with Davis. At 6-foot-2, 216 pounds, he’s already one of the most physically imposing receivers on Buffalo’s roster. Given the team’s depth at the position, he won’t need to contribute right away, but can fine-tune his route-running by learning from some of the sharpest in the game in Stefon Diggs, John Brown and Cole Beasley.
Round 5, No. 167 overall: Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Check out these highlights of former Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm as his powerful arm leads him up the rankings in this year’s draft.
My take: Beane didn’t go into the day expecting to draft a quarterback, but Fromm was “too good to pass up” at No. 167 overall. The Georgia product likely won’t push Josh Allen for Buffalo’s starting job, but he does provide a safe backup option should Allen’s physical style force him to miss any time. An unspectacular but smart player who takes calculated risks with the football, Fromm was a solid value pick considering current backup Matt Barkley is entering the final year of his contract in 2020.
Round 6, No. 188 overall: Tyler Bass, K, Georgia Southern
My take: Buffalo’s current kicker, Stephen Hauschka, signed a two-year extension with the team last offseason but has connected on only 78.6% of his field goal attempts in each of the past two seasons. Bass missed two PATs in three years at Georgia Southern and made 79% of his field goal attempts in three seasons, but led the FBS with 27 made field goals from 40-plus yards during that span.
Round 6, No. 207 overall: Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State
Relive some of the best moments of former Oregon State wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins’ career as a Beaver.
My take: The Bills continue to go offense-heavy in this draft, taking their second receiver of the day — the Oregon State product Hodgins. A jump-ball specialist at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, Hodgins caught 86 passes for 1,171 yards and a whopping 13 touchdowns — the latter tied for seventh in the FBS last season. He projects as a red-zone target given his wide catch radius and is the Bills’ tallest receiver.
Round 7, No. 239 overall: Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh
Here are some of the top plays that make former Pittsburgh cornerback Dane Jackson a prospect in this year’s NFL draft.
My take: Jackson projects as a nickel corner at the next level after recording four interceptions and 39 passes defended in four collegiate years. He had at least 40 tackles in each of the past three seasons. Jackson played outside corner at Pittsburgh, however, so he offers the versatility to play either spot — something the Bills and McDermott will appreciate.