BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Buffalo Bills sat back on Thursday night as they watched the first round of the NFL Draft take place without making a pick.
"Yesterday was rough," Bills General Manager Brandon Beane said. "I was dying watching some of these guys coming off the board. It was hard."
But Beane kept reminding himself that their first round pick was newly acquired wide receiver Stefon Diggs and they were fine with that. And when Friday night rolled around the Bills took advantage, taking defensive end A.J. Epenesa and running back Zack Moss.
"They're high character guys and that's very important to us," Beane said about their newest additions. He later added, "So far, I'm happy with what we got."
When the 54th pick came around Beane didn't expect Epenesa to be available, and when he was on the board come selection time they were happy to snag him.
"There were guys on both sides of the ball that were in the mix including Epenesa. We never tried to trade up in the 2nd round. We liked who was on the board and we had good grades," Beane said. "Epenesa, you've seen his production. I don't know why he fell, but I'm looking for football players and he's a damn good football player."
Epenesa is known for his hands and what he can do to opposing quarterbacks. In fact, his first collegiate sack came against Josh Allen, something Epenesa recalled when he spoke to reporters after being selected. He's a player Beane is excited about.
"The thing about Epenesa I really liked is his versatility. I see him lining up as a left defensive-based end and then reducing down as a sub-rusher at times," said Beane. "He's just a good football player. He's gonna fit us well."
When the 86th pick came around, the Bills chose to add a complement to Devin Singletary in the backfield. Beane has always gone with the philosophy of choosing the best available player. Moss was on the team's radar and Beane admitted that at one point, they were making some calls to possibly move up after a slew of running backs started coming off the board.
"I was worried about him," Beane said about Moss. "We were making some calls. He's a guy that I felt fit a need, but we had a little higher than where we got him. He was sticking out on the board and if I have a guy that sticks out on the board with a need, I'm gonna try to go get him. Patience paid off even though my patience was struggling."
Moss is similar to Singletary in his ability to get those extra yards after a tackle. He's also effective on short yardage situations. Beane thinks they'll be using him often in a goal-line situation.
"He's gonna be our physical back. You can use him as a zone one cut guy and he can also pound it in the gap scheme," Beane said. "I love his physicality, how he takes care of the ball, and he's got what I call competitive speed and you do see some long runs from Moss."
The Bills have five picks in the 4th-7th rounds. Positions they could address include cornerback, big nickel, interior offensive lineman, and wide receiver. Saturday's coverage is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. on 7ABC.