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Draft Coverage

Bills earn these draft grades from NFL analysts

DE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa (top left), RB Zack Moss, Utah (top middle left), QB Jake Fromm, Georgia (top middle right), WR Gabriel Davis, UCF (top right), CB Dane Jackson, Pitt (bottom left), Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State (bottom middle), K Tyler Bass, Georgia Southern (bottom right).
DE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa (top left), RB Zack Moss, Utah (top middle left), QB Jake Fromm, Georgia (top middle right), WR Gabriel Davis, UCF (top right), CB Dane Jackson, Pitt (bottom left), Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State (bottom middle), K Tyler Bass, Georgia Southern (bottom right).

Grade = A

Trading for Stefon Diggs before the draft was a risk worth taking given his age and production. The Bills gave up their first-round pick in that deal, but they were still able to find good players in the second (Epenesa) and third (Moss) rounds. They added some downfield threats to complement Diggs and Co. in Davis and Hodgins. Taking Fromm in the fifth round could turn out to be a good investment. Who knows? An injury to Josh Allen could open the door for Fromm like the injury to Jacob Eason did at Georgia. Bass has a great leg and was selected in about the area I expected. Jackson's coverage skills are much better than his seventh-round selection indicates, and the Bills will utilize those skills right away.

Grade = A

The Bills didn't have a lot of desperate needs. Keep in mind, they essentially got Stefon Diggs with their first-rounder. Brandon Beane could afford to be more speculative after getting terrific value for edge-rushing depth in Epenesa and a perfect complementary back to Devin Singletary in Moss. Davis and Hodgins will help when they stretch the field. Fromm was a weird developmental pick, but his winning makeup will help Josh Allen in the QB room.

Grade = A-

Day 1: The Buffalo Bills traded away their 2020 first-, fifth- and sixth-round picks as well as a 2021 fourth-round pick in exchange for wide receiver Stefon Diggs and a 2020 seventh-round pick. With Diggs, John Brown and Cole Beasley, the Bills have one of the best wide receiver trios in the NFL.

Day 2: A.J.Epenesa, PFF's 20th-ranked prospect and EDGE2, fell right into the Bills' laps at pick No. 54. … He has incredible power and great versatility — he had a win rate over 31% when rushing from the interior in 2019 (54 such reps).

… There wasn't a more elusive running back in the 2020 NFL Draft than Zack Moss. He broke 0.33 tackles per rush attempt ever since his emergence as a true sophomore in 2017 and has broken 33 tackles on 66 catches in his career. …

Day 3: It was a pretty big surprise to see Jake Fromm end up on the Buffalo Bills, but this was a great value pick. Fromm was PFF's QB5 and 69th overall prospect in the class. He's a "game-manager," but he takes incredibly good care of the football and is a sharp decision-maker. …

Scroll through to view photos of Buffalo's selections in the 2020 NFL Draft to this point. Draft coverage is presented by ECMC.

Grade = B+

After the Bills lost their two leading sackers from 2019 (Jordan Phillips and Shaq Lawson), I thought they should go with a defensive end in Round 2, even after adding veteran Mario Addison in free agency. And that's what they did at No. 54, taking AJ Epenesa, a hulking 275-pounder who fits this scheme. Epenesa was inconsistent at the start of 2019, but he played like a first-rounder down the stretch. …

Buffalo also added some help in the backfield with running back Zack Moss (86), whom I had at No. 50 on my board. This team has a solid one-two punch with Moss and Devin Singletary. On Day 3, the Bills stopped quarterback Jake Fromm's (167) slide, and it's a decent landing spot for him. … It also got my top-ranked kicker in Tyler Bass (188), and cornerback Dane Jackson is good value late in the draft.

We need to count Diggs as a part of this class, and he's the top-tier wideout who will help further evaluate Allen in Year 3. And with two excellent picks on Day 2, the Bills are high on my list.

Grade = B+

The Bills took advantage of Epenesa, a player that would have been a great fit on the Patriots, slipping to the second round. They followed that fantastic pick by snagging a balanced running back in Zack Moss. Day 3 saw Buffalo adding two big targets for Josh Allen in Davis and Hodgins. Jake Fromm finally found a home in Round 5 and should be a serviceable backup for Allen. Like the Patriots, the Bills grabbed a kicker with one of their late-round picks in Bass. Overall, a solid draft by Buffalo as they added some depth while stealing one of the most intriguing edge rushers in the class.

Grade = B+

Without a first-round pick following the Stefon Diggs trade, the Bills still managed to come out of the draft with good value. Epenesa, Moss, and Davis could all contribute immediately as rotational players on what's suddenly one of the deepest rosters in the NFL. Moss should serve as a formidable complement to Devin Singletary, as both are excellent tackle-breakers. Fromm has a chance to develop into a suitable backup, which would be a nice outcome considering he was drafted in the fifth round.

Grade = B

It was a deep wide receiver class, yes, but trading a first-rounder for Stefon Diggs was still shrewd. The Bills were one quality receiver away from having an offense with no weakness. They're coming off a playoff season and their division's big bad monster might finally be weakened for the first time in two decades. Now is the time to go all-in. ...

So as not to ignore this draft's talented receiver glass altogether, the Bills spent fourth-and sixth-round picks on Gabriel Davis and Isaiah Hodgins. Both give Buffalo's receiving corps the one thing it was grossly lacking: size.

… A.J. Epenesa, on the other hand, has drawn praise for his technique. Still, with Buffalo's one-gap attacking 4-3 scheme, this doesn't appear to be an ideal player and scheme fit. But if anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, it's Bills GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott. Their defense performed like one of the best-coached and constructed units in football last season.

… Third round selection Zack Moss was a steady, workmanlike back at Utah and has even draw some comparisons to Gore (stylistically). He's a smart investment by the Bills because their top running back, Devin Singletary, does not quite have the build to play more than 50 snaps week in and week out.

Grade = B

It's difficult to get fans excited when you don't have a first-round pick, but it helps when you've traded it for one of the NFL's best receivers. The Bills filled their biggest need on offense by trading for Stefon Diggs, and they hit the ground running on Day 2.

Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa was a bargain in the back half of the second round, and landing Utah running back Zack Moss in the third round gives the Bills a tough, physical runner who is the perfect complement to Devin Singletary.

Value and depth was the name of the game for Buffalo on Day 3, grabbing two dynamic pass-catchers in UCF's Gabriel Davis and Oregon State's Isaiah Hodgins, while also getting a high-floor quarterback prospect in Georgia's Jake Fromm much later than he was expected to come off the board. Georgia Southern's Tyler Bass was arguably the best kicker in the class, and Pitt's Dane Jackson was one of the Senior Bowl's most impressive corners.

Grade = B

Without a first-round pick after trading for Stefon Diggs, the Bills still managed to find good values on the second and third days of the draft. Defensive end A.J. Epenesa isn't a dangerous speed rusher on the edge, but he's extremely solid. To me, he's a lighter version of Cameron Heyward of the Steelers. He's a player who can plug in at end to set the edge against the run, and do enough as a pass rusher. He was among my favorite Day 2 picks. Don't forget, at one point some thought Epenesa might be a top-10 pick.

… Don't overlook the selection of quarterback Jake Fromm in the fifth round, either. Backup quarterbacks are a greater commodity than they're given credit, and Fromm should be a good one based on his football smarts and competitiveness. …Taking two wide receivers was a little strange given how Buffalo's offense is constructed. The Bills really needed to come out of this draft with an outside linebacker and guard at some point.

Grade = B-

The Bills, with the AFC East suddenly there for the taking, were justified in trading their first-round pick to the Vikings earlier in the offseason for WR Stefon Diggs. They used a second-rounder on DE A.J. Epenesa. But their most intriguing pick was the fifth-round choice they used to end QB Jake Fromm's draft plummet. Fromm's drop prompted talk of a weak arm and a poor showing at the combine. But he was an accomplished college QB, and he could give the Bills a reliable backup for Josh Allen.

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