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Bove: Patience pays off for Bills in 2020 NFL Draft

Utah Washington Football
Posted at 7:19 PM, Apr 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-26 12:03:36-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — Just like that, the 2020 NFL Draft has come to an end. It was a busy weekend for every NFL team, yet even without a first-round pick, the Bills managed to grab some solid players who will contribute next season.

In a bit of a surprising move, general manager Brandon Beane didn't make any trades during draft weekend. This is the first time he hasn't made a draft-day trade since taking over the GM job three years ago. Even he's surprised he wasn't able to get a deal done.

With their seven picks, the Bills used most of their selections adding four players on offense [QB, 2 WR, RB], two picks on the defensive side of the ball [DE, CB ], and one on a specialist [K].

Here's a look at all seven picks:

Round 2 - A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
Round 3 - Zack Moss, RB, Utah
Round 4 - Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
Round 5 - Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Round 6 - Tyler Bass, K, Georgia Southern
Round 6 - Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State
Round 7 - Dane Jackson, CB, Pitt

Best value: DE, A.J. Epenesa

Before the Bills made the trade with the Minnesota Vikings to acquire Stefon Diggs, plenty of mock drafts had Epenesa landing to the Bills with the No. 22 pick. To be able to snag him at No. 54 is incredible value for a player with tons of upside.

"I don't know exactly why he fell. I assume he fell because of his 40 time," Beane said Friday. "Some people knocked him a little bit on that, but you know how I care about that stuff. I'm looking for football players and he's a damn good football player."

Favorite pick: RB, Zack Moss

As the second day of the draft moved along, I started to convince myself more and more the Bills needed to draft a running back. Not because I don't believe in Devin Singletary, but because I believe he needs someone alongside him to complement his skill set.

In the second round, it looked like there would be some good options until three of the five highly-rated guys left on the board went before the Bills had a chance to make a selection. Once the Bills were finally on the clock at No. 54, the only real options for Beane, were Moss and J.K. Dobbins from Ohio State. Instead of drafting a running back, the Bills smartly selected Epenesa to bring some youth and explosiveness to their defensive line.

From a need and value standpoint, this move made tons of sense and was praised by nearly everyone. But when the Bills were able to get Moss in the third round the moved looked even better. On day two the Bills were able to get two players who will immediately make an impact. Moss gets the edge here because he's the perfect partner for Singletary. The Bills now have someone who can slam through the line and someone who can slip past it.

Most surprising pick: QB, Jake Fromm

This one was easy. When the Bills were on the clock in the fifth-round, I thought to myself, this would be some great value if the Bills pulled the trigger and selected Fromm. I just didn't think they'd do it.

Unlike some, I don't think this has anything to do with Josh Allen. On ESPN's broadcast, Chris Mortensen said the Bills didn't plan on drafting a QB, but Fromm was too good to pass up in the fifth-round.

This is simple -- the reward greatly outweighs the risk. Some experts thought Fromm would go in the second round. Most thought he was probably a third-round pick. But to get Fromm in the fifth-round? That's a pick you make without hesitation.

Most confusing: K, Tyler Bass

With Steven Hauschka under contract for two more seasons, I don't think anyone expected the Bills would draft a kicker. Yet in the fifth-round, the Bills took the specialist from Georgia Southern to come in and compete with Hauschka and Kyle Vedvik, who was signed to a futures contract in January. It's not a bad pick, especially with Hauschka's recent inconsistency. But that doesn't mean it's not confusing, either. Get ready for a kicker competition, y'all!

Grade: B+

It's way too early to give a draft class a grade. We haven't even seen these players in a Bills helmet yet. But hey, let's have some fun. I think Beane and company were patient, filled spots of need, and got some really good value. Even without a first-round pick, this was a solid draft for the Bills.

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