The NFL Draft is officially in the past, but the hype around the these upcoming rookies will remain intact until we see them hit the field for the first time in their careers. Before we dive into an in-depth analysis of each drafted rookie by the Buffalo Bills, we would like to thank everyone who followed us here at Full Press Bills for all draft analysis. We sincerely appreciate it.

To dive in the Bills 2020 draft class, let’s not forget that this was the first draft class by the Bills where the team did not need to fulfill many holes on their roster which was a great feeling.


Round 2 (#54): A.J. Epenesa, DE/Iowa

Many people believed that Epenesa would have been off the board in round one, but he was a surprise drop that left people scratching their heads. The Bills were more than likely not going to be able to get him in the second round pick unless there was a trade up. Then he kept dropping and dropping and when the Bills were on the clock, it was almost impossible to ignore drafting him late in the second round.


How Does He Fit?

The Bills know that Trent Murphy and Jerry Hughes are slowly approaching the end of their tenures with the team. Darryl Johnson was drafted by the Bills last year and was a surprise player who made the team, but was a work in progress. Epenesa is a big player with a massive broad range.

Inconsistency to stop the run has been a problem for Buffalo for some time now. Epenesa has good containment and is lengthy to catch a runner.


Red Flags:

Epenesa is a big man, but he does not show the typical speed you want out of an edge rusher. The Bills defense rushes four men towards the quarterback, so Epenesa may have a hard time ripping past a blocker who sets their feet quickly.

Grade: B+


Round 3 (#86): Zack Moss, RB/Utah

A 1-2 punch was established in round three when the Bills took running back Zack Moss out of Utah. Moss was the eight running back off the board at number 86 and he falls into a run-first Bills offense with a revamped offensive line. He was a three-time 1,000 yard rusher for Utah and who can north and south between the tackles. He is a bigger Devin Singletary, but provides the same attributes.


How Does He Fit?

He isn’t the biggest back, but he is a productive one. Singletary showed that he can be the Bills starter, but Moss is a player who can play off of Singletary and become a third down option. He’ll get his carries in an offense that loves to pound the rock. Controlled violence and playing with aggressiveness describes Moss and Bills fans should grow to love those traits.


Red Flags:

There are a lot of miles on his legs which could be troubling down the road. He also has a little with injuries which is a cautious question of him being able to stay healthy.

Grade: B


Round 4 (#128): Gabriel Davis, WR/Central Florida

The first of the two receivers taken by the Bills, Davis is a big kid listed at 6’2″, 216 pounds as a vertical threat. Running a 4.5 40 yard-dash helped him get noticed to teams, but because the receiving class was so deep, he dropped into the fourth round. One word to describe Davis is productive. He was a key player in the Knights’ offense during his time at UCF. Now he brings his size and agility to Western New York.


How Does He Fit?

The Bills have their starting receiving core in place, now they needed to fulfill training camp bodies who have a shot at making the final roster. It is highly unlikely that a fourth round pick will be cut from the team, so how does Davis fit into this offense? Well, for starters, he is a big body, something that the Bills do not have other than Duke Williams. He is a tall player who can run down the field to open up options for Allen.

His hands are also like glue, he doesn’t drop passes.


Red Flags:

I have seen tape on Davis, and when the play isn’t a pass, there is arguably laziness shown by him. Taking plays off is not how Sean McDermott operates his team, so Davis will need to correct that.

Grade: B


Round 5 (#167): Jake Fromm, QB/Georgia

Wasn’t Josh Allen drafted just two years ago? Did he not just get the Bills to a 10-6 record and playoff berth? The answer is yes to both questions, but how is it possible to pass up on another young quarterback who is known for winning? Like general manager Brandon Beane said, his value was too good to ignore. Fromm joins a quarterback room with Allen and Matt Barkley. He took over as the starting quarterback at Georgia once Jacob Eason (now a Colt) went down with an injury in 2017.


How Does He Fit?

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Let’s think about this. When the Bills traded up for Allen in 2018, they were hoping for the second coming of Jim Kelly. Allen took a good step forward last season and the team is hoping he continues to grow. Barkley is a great locker room guy who is a team-first player, but he struggled on the field when he did indeed play. The team now looks for their Frank Reich.

Getting Fromm does not put Allen on edge, it is a warning to Barkley for the backup quarterback spot. If for some reason Allen is not able to play during the season, the Bills need to make sure they have someone who can step in and get the job done. Fromm is a winner and had 60 more touchdowns than he did interceptions.


Red Flags:

Even though Fromm is an accurate passer and can read the field well, he does not show to be the player that can lead a comeback without the physical assets you need. His arm is not strong, but he can make the throws. Like how Allen needs to learn to not zip the ball every time, Fromm has to improve putting strength on his throws,

Grade: A


Round 6 (#188): Tyler Bass, K/Georgia Southern

The fact that Brandon Beane is bringing in competition for special teams shows his aggressiveness to bring the Bills far into the future. Bass was the second kicker off the board and he’ll join the Bills as what appears to be competition for Stephen Hauschka. He finished his four-year career at Georgia Southern with hitting just under 80 percent of his kicks from 50 yards or more.

He is the first kicker drafted by the Bills since 2013, when the team drafted Dustin Hopkins in the sixth round.


How Does He Fit?

I firmly believe that Bass will push Hauschka to not miss a kick this year, even with him getting a contract extension last off season. Beane had the ability to bring in competition through the draft, and now he has a competition on special teams. All three phases of the game matter. Bass could take over for Hauschka sooner than later, but he’ll need to shine in camp.


Red Flags: 

There are no red flags based on Bass, but more so when the Bills got him. Who knows if any other team was interested in him, but the Bills sent the card in for him when they did and he became a member of the NFL arguably earlier than anticipated.

Grade: C-


Round 6 (#207): Isaiah Hodgins, WR/Oregon State

The Bills final offensive pick was their second receiver picked in Isaiah Hodgins out of Oregon State. Hodgins is another big bodied wideout for the offense. Much like Davis, Hodgins was productive for the Beavers during his career but why did he fall so far? Again, this receiving class was very deep so it was hard to judge where Hodgins might have landed. The Bills are the ones that pick him late in the sixth round.


How Does He Fit?

The Bills have a filled-plus receiving group so when cut time comes, the team will have a hard time evaluating who makes the roster. Receivers are tricky because they need to be placed in the right offense. Expect him to be a camp body to start out before he potentially puts the team on notice. His biggest fit to the team is serving as another weapon, but he’ll need to shine perfectly to be considered for a roster spot.


Red Flags:

Watching Hodgins makes it exciting to see what he brings to the Bills, but when he faces a corner, there is not much explosiveness at the start of his route. If he gets contained by a defender, that will take him out of the play.

Grade: C


Round 7 (#239): Dane Jackson, CB/Pittsburgh

The Bills end their 2020 draft by getting Pittsburgh defensive back Dane Jackson. McDermott loves his defensive backs and Jackson comes to a perfect scheme in Buffalo. He’ll join a secondary that has an All-Pro corner in Tre’Davious White, a veteran in Josh Norman and a rising nickel corner in Taron Johnson. Jackson is expected to compete at the nickel spot, but could see the field on special teams.


How Does He Fit?

Jackson is another potential defender for a Bills defense that is one of the top units in the league. Let’s not forget that the Bills have Levi Wallace, undrafted free agent in 2018, who will compete for their number two corner spot this season. Jackson has that same opportunity as the underdog. He brings depth and aggressiveness to the nickel spot that is a crucial spot late in games.


Red Flags:

If Jackson lets a receiver get past him, he tends to not recover in time which can lead to a big play by an offense. The Bills run mainly zone coverage but there are times when the secondary will need to play man-to-man. Jackson must improve his recovery time if he gets burned by a receiver on a route.

Grade: C+

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