As it ultimately turned out, the second day of the 2020 NFL Draft was the best time to draft a running back. Out of the 18 tailbacks drafted, half were selected in rounds two and three. That situation had Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane sweating at his home draft headquarters as he reportedly had a decent grade on the team’s eventual third-round selection, Zack Moss.
“Yeah, the second one was much more stressful, to be honest with you,” said Beane. “We had Moss in a pretty good spot up there. Once those other backs, there was starting to be a little mini run on backs. I was worried about him. Fortunately, we actually 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. I’m not saying we had him in the first round or anything like that, I’m just saying he was sticking out on the board. And as I’ve tried to explain to you guys before, if I got a guy that’s sticking out on the board with a need, I’m going to try to go get them.”
During a post-draft interview with several members of the media, Beane not only revealed that he was nervous the team wouldn’t be able to select Moss, but that he had a high enough grade on the runner from Utah that he was making calls to possibly execute a trade up for him in return for a day three pick:
“So it wasn’t going to be anything crazy, but we were talking to teams,” said Beane. “You know three, four, five, six, seven of us offering a Saturday pick. Teams just kept picking. There was a lot of talk about people wanting to get out of their picks and then we got out there nope nobody want to get out of their picks.”
Beane played the board a bit, noticing what the running back situation was regarding the teams in front of him. It sounds like they were zeroed in on Moss, maybe even to the point of trading out of the pick if he was gone.
“It was getting very dicey, our third round was pretty picked over,” mentioned Beane. “Fortunately, some of the teams that were right in front of us had already picked running back. So once it got close, I was just trying to stay in there. If they were willing to trade it, I would trade just to keep someone else who didn’t have a running back to trade, but they all made their picks and I felt pretty confident those last few wouldn’t take a back, I was just a little uneasy that someone may try and trade in to take Zack. That would have been... I’d be in a different mood right now if that did happen.”
Those “last few teams” that Beane mentions appear to be the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams, who both picked immediately before the Bills but had already selected Jonathan Taylor and Cam Akers in the second round, respectively. What’s notable is that Beane had similar praise for Devin Singletary last year. If Zack Moss is able to replicate or even come close to Singletary’s rookie performance, the team should be highly satisfied with the position as a whole.