Bills general manager Brandon Beane and his staff addressed all three phases of the game in this year's NFL Draft, adding seven players to the mix. Here we bring fans fun facts about each of the newcomers.
1. A.J. Epenesa: Big man on campus
Buffalo focused on the defensive line with their first selection, adding Iowa pass rusher A.J. Epenesa. Considered a draft steal by many analysts, the defensive end's unique background shows just how versatile and athletic he truly is. Born with the Midas touch, it was clear from a young age that Epenesa is good at, well, everything. A member of the 2017 Edwardsville High School class, Epenesa ran in several different circles on the Illinois campus. Not only did the five-star recruit excel on the gridiron, he also made a name for himself as a skilled basketball player and track star. In fact, as a senior Epenesa was crowned with the state discus title.
Despite his early successes, Epenesa is ready to put in work for his new squad.
"Getting drafted at this number wasn't what I expected, so that's obviously going to be a chip on my shoulder and [I'll] play with that," he said to Bills Multi-Media Journalist Maddy Glab. "But I feel like you just always have to play like you've got something to prove. I want to play the best I can; I want to help the team as much as possible and in the end, that's really what it's all about."
2. Moss has CLASS
Bills third-round pick Zack Moss is nothing short of a workhorse. Capable of moving piles, the former Utah running back has proven himself a force to be reckoned with. Armed with the stats to back it up, Moss' credentials extend beyond the football field. In 2019, the ball carrier was named a candidate for the "Senior CLASS Award." To be considered for the honor, one must stand out in four categories: community, classroom, character and competition. During his time with the Utes, Moss, the 2019 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, was the full package.
Due to his involvement with the school's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and football leadership council, Moss was able to foster genuine connections with his classmates and with others in the area. One of the most notable relationships he developed was with students in the West Valley special needs community, which he maintained throughout his collegiate career.
3. Family matters
Bills fourth-round acquisition Gabriel Davis gives fans a lot to be excited about. The UCF product posted impressive numbers during his time with the Knights, including a 2019 campaign in which he tallied 72 catches for 1,241 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games, earning him All-AAC honors. The Sanford, Florida, native attributes his mother, Alana Davis, for his unwavering determination on the field. A single mother, Alana raised Gabriel and his two siblings, proving an inspiration to the family.
"She's definitely a tough woman," said Davis to MyNews13. "She raised three kids all by herself. And that's the woman of my life right there. I love her to death."
4. A Jake of all trades
For those that follow college football, Bills newest signal caller Jake Fromm is likely a household name. Hailing from Georgia, the former Bulldog enjoyed a celebrated three-year career – one which included three SEC Championship appearances and one trip to the CFP Championship. The fifth-round pick also has earned a reputation for being well-rounded. A committed community advocate, Fromm has received several accolades for his good deeds. In his spare time, the quarterback likes to get in touch with nature and has a documented knack for fishing and hunting. He has even mastered turkey calling.
5. All about that Bass
For the 12th time in team history, the Bills used one of their allotted draft picks to take a kicker. That kicker being Georgia Southern's Tyler Bass, of course. While playing for the Eagles, Bass was applauded for his game-winning kicks, among other noteworthy stats. In his four years at the school, it appears that Bass also established a rapport with country musician – and Georgia Southern alumnus – Cole Swindell. The singer and songwriter took to Twitter to send Bass and his teammates well-wishes during Draft Weekend.
6. Hodgins diggin' his new teammate
With the team's second of two sixth-round picks, Buffalo selected Oregon State wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins. While it's no secret that the wide out comes from a family with football roots, his father having played eight seasons for the Rams, it's interesting to note that Hodgins has also drawn inspiration from a particular member of his new team – Stefon Diggs.
"I definitely watched them last year a lot. They're exciting to watch as a team in general," said Hodgins of the Bills offense. "I know a couple players on the team like Jordan Poyer, who went to Oregon State, and my trainer was actually training Stefon Diggs this offseason. So, now that I get to play with him and learn from him, I'm super excited to do that and be with a lot of weapons and compete with a lot of really good defensive players. I feel like it's a perfect team, perfect fit and I'm ready to get in and work."
7. Big year for Jackson
It's been an exciting year for Bills seventh-round pick Dane Jackson. Not only has the Pitt cornerback accomplished a major feat in making it to the NFL, he also graduated with a bachelor's degree in communication. Just a few months prior to his big draft day moment, the defender had other life-changing news to share – he's going to be a father! In a video posted on his Instagram, it's clear that Jackson is thrilled to welcome a baby boy to his family.