Two more rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft came and went on Friday night, and we saw the Buffalo Bills make their first selections of the weekend in defensive end A.J. Epenesa and running back Zack Moss. Whether intentional or not, those two picks happened to coincide with the top two needs we outlined in our pre-draft roster analysis. While edge rusher and running back could still be addressed at the tail-end of the draft, we can safely consider those needs “addressed” at this point. So who are the best remaining players in consideration for the Bills? Here’s who didn’t make the cut through round three:
- Bryce Hall (Virginia) - Ankle surgery ended his senior season after only a few games, but his length and nose for the football could make Hall an excellent zone cornerback. His draft stock hinges on the perception of his health.
- Amik Robertson (Louisiana Tech) - Robertson’s production resume is elite, with 14 interceptions and 34 pass breakups, but teams will weigh that talent against his small size (5’9” and 172 lbs) and he won’t fit every scheme.
- Reggie Robinson II (Tulsa) - Robinson’s a longtime starter with pro measurables and hard hitting in the running game. Very aggressive and makes plays on the ball, but needs to develop his coverage footwork.
- Troy Pride Jr. (Notre Dame) - One of the Senior Bowl practice stars, Pride has the athleticism to be an outside cornerback. He’s not a great tackler but could succeed in a zone system.
- Darnay Holmes (UCLA) - An undersized (5’10” and 195 lbs) cornerback with nice college production but tight hips; he may be limited in his scheme fits as a pro.
Hybrid Safety/Buffalo Nickel
- Akeem Davis-Gaither (Appalachian State) - At 6’1” and 224 lbs, he played ILB for the Mountaineers. But could he be athletic enough to play weakside or in the slot? It’s a projection given he didn’t run at the Combine, but Davis-Gaither was all over the field in college. He had 209 tackles, 24.5 for a loss, 6.5 sacks, and 15 passes defended over his final two seasons.
- Troy Dye (Oregon) - Another linebacker who might work best flexing out of the tackle box, Dye stands 6’3” and 231 lbs (but is noted as having trouble keeping weight on). He’s a tackling machine, springy and able to run downfield with tight ends, but struggles with shedding blocks.
- Kenny Robinson Jr. (West Virginia / XFL) - Robinson actually left West Virginia to play in the XFL so he could help pay for his mom’s cancer treatments. The league folded, making him a draft-eligible rookie. He’s aggressive and opportunistic, but an inconsistent tackler.
- J.R. Reed (Georgia) - Reed, 6’1” and 202 lbs with 32.5” arms, could play a Siran Neal type role for the Bills—cornerback, nickel, or safety. He’s a smart cookie but doesn’t have ideal agility in man coverage.
- Geno Stone (Iowa) - At 5’10” and 207 lbs, probably not a great fit into Buffalo’s “measurables,” but the Bills do love Iowa players. He has an outstanding awareness on the football field but his athletic limitations hurt his potential upside.
Interior Offensive Line
- John Simpson (Clemson) - An athletic and powerful guard who started 29 games for Clemson. He needs to clean up his tendency for penalties, but otherwise he’s plug-and-play at the position.
- Tyler Biadasz (Wisconsin) - At 6’4” and 314 lbs, Biadasz paved the way for some of Jonathan Taylor’s best seasons. Looked like a potential star in 2018, but underwent hip surgery in the 2019 offseason and his play was a step below expectations from there.
- Ben Bredeson (Michigan) - Part of an extremely well-coached Michigan line, the 6’5” 318 lb Bredeson started 46 games at left guard (and was a two-time team captain). Sharp and a technician, it’s hard to see how he doesn’t find a way to succeed in the NFL.
- Netane Muti (Fresno State) - There’s no doubt to his strength, after he put up 44 bench press reps at the Combine. But his injury history is extensive—an Achilles injury in 2016, a ruptured Achilles in 2018, and a Lisfranc injury in 2019. In 2017, his only injury-free season, he was an All-Conference left guard.
- Shane Lemieux (Oregon) - An absolute rock for the Ducks, Lemieux started 52 games at left guard over his career. He’s a bulldog of a blocker with some athletic limitations that can get him into trouble against quicker defensive linemen.
- Prince Tega Wanogho (Auburn) - Relatively new to football, only playing basketball until high school. Toolsy athletic prospect who could someday lock down a starting tackle role—but needs patience and coaching to get there first.
- Ben Bartch (St. John’s) - He comes from a small school, but stood out among big-name prospects at the Senior Bowl. With powerful hands and a ruthless demeanor, Bartch could take to NFL coaching and end up a starter as he develops hand-fighting and mirroring techniques.
- Saahdiq Charles (LSU) - He could be a Pro Bowler in a few years, a benchwarmer, or out of football, and I’d believe any of those. Charles was effectively a three-year starter for LSU, mostly at left tackle, but missed six games this year due to disciplinary reasons. He has all the tools and instincts to be a blindside protector, but his technique is inconsistent and he can rapidly go from great reps to head-scratching ones.
- Jack Driscoll (Auburn) - He might appeal to the Bills as a player who can flex between tackle and guard. The 6’5” 302-lb lineman started three seasons at right tackle but also played left guard. He’s athletic but simply lacks people-moving power in his hands and lower body.
- Alex Taylor (South Carolina State) - A massive 6’8” and 308 lbs with 36” arms and 11” hands, Taylor was a star basketball player in high school and only recently committed full-time to football. A two-year starter at right tackle, he has tantalizing upside, if he’s willing to unlock it.
- Collin Johnson (Texas) - Want a size receiver? Doesn’t get bigger than 6’6” and 222 lbs. A hamstring injury limited his senior season after a breakout junior year, and he may be limited to a big slot role in the NFL, but he puts thought into his route running and that could boost his trajectory.
- Donovan Peoples-Jones (Michigan) - A freaky athlete, former top recruit, who just never managed to dominate production at Jim Harbaugh’s run-first program with a poor passer (Shea Patterson) under center. He has enviable size and is a dynamic punt returner. Can he master route running and develop into a starter?
- Tyler Johnson (Minnesota) - Absolutely dominated his team’s receiving production, starting with a breakout 19-year-old season. Elite body control and aggressively owns contested catches. Athletically, he lacks dynamic speed or agility. However, can he still thrive as a possession receiver?
- Quartney Davis (Texas A&M) - A slot receiver with some electric movements and tricky route running, Davis plays with good zone and play awareness. He doesn’t have an ideal top gear, but could become a real pain to defend on shorter routes.
- Quintez Cephus (Wisconsin) - A real interesting athletic profile, with elite bench press and great vertical and broad jumps, but a terrible 40 and three-cone drill. Beastly, high-intensity Anquan Boldin-esque receiver but not a sudden route-runner. He’s kind of the Zack Moss of wide receivers. Missed the entire 2018 season after being accused of sexual assault, but was acquitted and returned to play the 2019 season.