Skip to main content

Five final takeaways from the 2020 NFL Draft

1. Bills truly went best on the board

A lot of NFL GMs state that their philosophy is to go with the best player on the board, and that need will only be used to determine a tiebreaker on a couple of prospects.

Bills GM Brandon Beane proved he sticks to that draft philosophy when he took Georgia QB Jake Fromm off the board in round five.

"We didn't set out to draft a quarterback, but you set your board and you honor it," said Beane. "When a guy is sticking out like that, quarterback is the most premium position there is in football. So when you've got a guy with a good grade, you take a shot on him. Jake is very smart. He's a winner."

Beane confirmed that each of their first four draft choices, A.J. Epenesa, Zack Moss, Gabriel Davis and Fromm. After that K Tyler Bass and WR Isaiah Hodgins were also at the top, though there were some other prospects that were close in grade.

Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators on November 2, 2019 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. (Tom DiPace via AP)
Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators on November 2, 2019 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. (Tom DiPace via AP)

2. No trades necessary

For the first time in the Sean McDermott-Brandon Beane era there were no trades made during the draft. Just a year removed from a five-trade flurry in 2019 and three trades up the board in round one in 2018, Beane for the most part stood pat and let the draft come to him.

The only times he tried to make a move up the board was when he wanted to land an offensive linemen, but he went off the board before the pick he was trying to acquire, and when he saw RB Zack Moss sliding in round three.

"Those backs had been picked over and he was clearly the best back in our mind for a number of picks before we picked," said Beane. "I was looking at other teams needs and who picked a back in front of us. The good news was a lot of the teams in front of us had picked a running back. But I was still willing to give up a late third-day pick to secure him because I knew other teams were calling to trade, not necessarily for him I don't know.

"That's what you worry about. You can't sit there and say the three teams in front of us all picked a back so we're good because all it takes is one team to trade up. Not finding a trade partner though worked for the best because we've got all our picks for day 3."

3. Bills will face speed in AFC West

Buffalo faces the AFC West on their schedule this fall. And last week's draft served as notice that the Bills better have their track shoes ready.

After Kansas City won Super Bowl XLIV largely due to elite team speed and the playmaking ability of Pat Mahomes, the rest of the division invested heavily to improve their collective team speed as well.

Denver added two receivers in Jerry Jeudy (4.45) and KJ Hamler (4.3 speed) to group with fellow receiver Courtland Sutton, athletic tight end Noah Fant and running backs Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon.

The Chargers added an underrated athlete at quarterback in Justin Herbert, then added sideline-to-sideline linebacker Kenneth Murray (4.52 40-time) and RB Josh Kelley (4.49).

All the Raiders did was add the fastest receiver in the draft in Henry Ruggs (4.28), multi-purpose threat Lynn Bowden and Clemson safety Tanner Muse, who is projected to play linebacker and runs a 4.41.

Even the Chiefs added more speed, but on defense with LB Willie Gay Jr. (4.46) and S L'Jarius Sneed (4.39).

4. A banner wide receiver year, but one position had more drafted prospects

All the talk heading into the 2020 NFL draft had it billed as the best wide receiver draft class since 1996, the class that produced Terry Glenn, Marvin Harrison, Eric Moulds, Muhsin Muhammad, Eddie Kennison, Bobby Engram and Terrell Owens.

And the wide receiver class did get off to a fast start with six selected in round one and another seven in round two. By the end of the draft the total number of wideouts drafted was an impressive 35 according to NFL position-by-position tallies.

But there was one position that had a higher number of selections.

Linebacker led the 2020 NFL draft with a total of 38 picks.

Yes, the receiver position did set a record with 13 wideouts selected over the first two rounds, while linebacker had just seven players come off the board over that span.

Where the linebacker position made up ground was over the last five rounds where they had 31 selections to 22 for receiver. The money round for linebacker was round three when a whopping 11 prospects were taken.

The most popular positions after linebacker and receiver were cornerback (26), safety (23) and offensive tackle (21).

5. SEC domination

Much was made of LSU's 2020 draft class, which tied the record for most players drafted from one school with 14 total, matching the mark set by the Ohio State draft class of 2004. But taking it a step further, LSU is not the only prospect-producing school in the SEC conference.

That fact was underscored by the outright dominance by the Southeast Conference in terms of total prospects drafted. The SEC saw a total of 63 players come off the draft board last weekend.

The Big 10 was the only conference remotely close with 48 total prospects drafted. The Pac-12 (32), ACC (27) and Big 12 (23) trailed far behind.

And the SEC not only had the most prospects, but they dominated the first three rounds. Fifteen of the first 32 prospects drafted came out of the SEC. They also topped round two with 10 players and round three with another 16.

To put a bow on the SEC dominance, the 41 prospects drafted from that power conference over the first three rounds was equal to the Big 10, Pac 12 and Big 12…combined.

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

Related Content