Podloski’s Re-Grading of the 2020 Draft Class: Buffalo Bills

Podloski’s Re-Grading of the 2020 Draft Class: Buffalo Bills

by July 22, 2021 0 comments

The Buffalo Bill sent their first-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for Stefon Diggs which was the best move of their 2020 offseason. Diggs completely transformed their ability to throw the ball and took on the best corner. This gave more opportunities for Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, and John Brown to beat lesser corners. That aside, he was a difference-maker and was an elite addition overall. Moreover, in terms of the draft, it was average, since there was no high pick. With that said, let us dive into the 2020 analysis for the Bills draft. 

Be sure to check out all of Podloski’s 2020 NFL Draft Re-Grades.

Draft Class

Best Pick: Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF

Davis exceeded expectations and became a high-end third option for this team. The upside was the big plays and a catch radius, that corrected errantly thrown passes from Josh Allen. The efficiency on deep field targets (11-23) was astounding for a rookie and showed the strong hands and concentration to bring the ball down. Overall, the wide receiver core is still solid and deep, but Davis brings a contested-catch and effective deep ball skill set that compliments this group. 

Questionable Selection: Zack Moss, RB, Utah

This selection doesn’t make sense for two reasons. First, Moss is a replica of Devin Singletary so this felt redundant. Moss has excellent contact balance and the ability to make people miss, but lacks long speed. Second, while Singletary has similar strengths, both are not effective as pass catchers and this still remains this case. With the team not re-signing T.J. Yeldon and bringing in Matt Breida, there is still a need for a good pass-catching specialist. 

Late Bloomer: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

Epenesa was an excellent run defender and had some of the nicest hand usage and run defending coming out in this class. In a true 4-3 defense, my scouting report did not have him as a great fit for this defense, where I thought he lacked the short-area quickness to play six-tech (lined up outside of the tackle). Simply put, I was wrong, and Epensea in limited reps had 20 total pressures. He showed glimpses of great hands, power, quickness, and burst to be efficient. As he gets more reps, there should be an uptick in production. 

Player to Keep an Eye On: Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh

For a seventh-round pick to start games, and play well, is not normal. Jackson could compete for a top-four position on this depth chart at cornerback and get meaningful snaps as a backup. While his four games, he allowed 12 receptions on 17 targets. Nevertheless, to have some production early on is encouraging and could mean the team likes the developmental upside he has for the future. 

What They Should Have Done: Finding a No. 2 Cornerback 

A year down the road, this was the biggest question mark on the roster and still is today. While Jackson has potential, the immediacy of the position is suspect. Levi Wallace is an average corner who is made better by a good scheme, and great safety tandem. If the Bills invested another third-rounder in taking shots at cornerback instead of Moss, it would have been ideal. 

Summary

There is no doubt that the Bills got better from the 2020 offseason from the Diggs trade. He single-handedly improved the offense and was able to effectively capitalize on opportunities given. That aside, this draft was average overall as there was not a high-end contributor, but rather players who provide great rotation and made an impact on limited snaps. Davis and Epensea have the potential to become legitimate great full-time players but require more opportunity. Overall, the grade does not include the trade for Diggs and gets a C+ where the team got depth and some potential pieces to develop. 

Final Grade: C+ (Drafted Rotational Players and Depth)


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Contributor for Prime Time Sports Talk for the NFL. Covering the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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