After the recent moves by the Buffalo Bills, what should their focus in the 2020 NFL Draft be now?
With the early window of free-agency passing by, the Buffalo Bills have addressed multiple holes on their roster. However, there is still depth to be filled in some position groups going into draft month.
With the addition of Stefon Diggs via trade, that just about erases the idea that the Bills will draft a wide receiver with their first selection, that is now in the second round. Outside of Diggs, the only offensive addition the Bills made was bringing back Taiwan Jones for another stint to help on special teams. The way Brandon Beane and his staff operated free agency makes me believe the draft strategy will focus mainly on offense.
Some thought the Bills would focus on edge-rushers and a supporting cast for Josh Allen on offense. The idea to draft an edge-rusher this year is not off the table, however it’s not easy to find a path for playing time for this hypothetical draft pick after the additions of Vernon Butler, Mario Addison, and Quinton Jefferson.
In my opinion, our second round selection cannot come on the defensive line, we have too much depth in this position group to invest more into it. Due to the average age of our defensive line, this is a position group I would like to either address in the later rounds this year or wait until the 2021 draft.
Yes, Jerry Hughes is not getting any younger and Trent Murphy is entering the last year of his contract with the Bills. This does not mean we have to pull the trigger on getting younger in this area. Beane did a great job getting more veteran leadership into this position group to ensure the steady development of Ed Oliver and Harrison Phillips. Not to mention, some people forget the flashes of talent we saw from Darryl Johnson Jr. last year in his rotational role on the edge.
With a little injection of veteran leadership these young players can continue to trend upwards.
Moving onto defensive backs, the Bills made a very early move by bringing in yet another veteran talent, Josh Norman. Although Levi Wallace has continued his development and showed that he is a capable second corner next to All-Pro Tre’Davious White, it is smart to give Wallace some competition to keep his spot on the depth chart.
However, the Browns did sign Kevin Johnson and now the Bills have a depth issue at the cornerback position. After the three cornerbacks mentioned the next on the roster is Taron Johnson. This is one of my favorite Brandon Beane selections during his time in Buffalo and I would love to see him grab another middle of the draft talent in this position group.
The first name that comes to mind in the draft is Bryce Hall of Virginia. Hall was looked at as a 1st round talent going into last season but an ankle injury sidelined him for the majority of the year. This injury could drop him into the second round or maybe even the third round if teams are still worried about his ankle.
It may sound like an over-investment into the defensive back group but the NFL is a passing league. The Bills would be showing their knowledge of that immensely this offseason by adding both Diggs on offense then a draft pick like Hall on defense. Bills fans could then make the argument that we have the best passing defense and offense in the AFC. With our safety duo in Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, then the cornerbacks of White, Norman, Wallace, Johnson, and potentially Hall, offensive minds will be afraid to pass against us. Especially with the way Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano defend against the pass.
I’ll keep the ideas about linebackers short and sweet because I think this position group is primed and ready to go already. Yes, the Bills no longer have their heart & soul, Lorenzo Alexander but Beane quickly found his solution in a familiar face, with the addition of A.J. Klein.
In addition, due to his injury last year, people forget that the Bills selected Vosean Joseph in the draft last year but he missed his entire rookie season. The linebackers on the roster have starting talent as well as supplemental depth and this is not a position to worry about come draft day. With that said, I wouldn’t mind adding some camp bodies to see if anyone had slipped through the cracks of player evaluators.
This right here is the holy grail, this is what could push the Buffalo Bills from favorites to win the AFC East to the favorites to win the Super Bowl. In my humble opinion, the Bills should focus strongly on using their second round selection on a complimentary running back to Devin Singletary.
Singletary proved to many fans last year that he is much more than he appears to be, yes he is small but he is quick and slippery. While he is more than capable of being the featured back, I would prefer if we didn’t run him into the ground because Singletary is someone I would like to see in a Bills uniform for a long time to come.
We all know that running backs tend to have shorter careers due to the nature of the position. I understand that the Buffalo Bills also have T.J. Yeldon on the roster, but to be honest, with the amount of times he was a healthy scratch to an inefficient Frank Gore it does not give me confidence to have him be a part of the Bills two man running attack.
If the Bills don’t sign someone like Devonta Freeman or Carlos Hyde in free agency, this is the direction I would prefer they go with their first selection in the draft. The prospects that come to mind initially when thinking of a compliment to Singletary are for the most part more powerful North and South runners, not that Singletary cannot do that.
The three prospects that I would like the Buffalo Bills to target are J.K. Dobbins, A.J. Dillon and Zack Moss. Dobbins is probably the most unlikely to be available for our first selection but he is someone I would like to move up to go grab. A.J. Dillon is the typical big bruiser that just reminds everyone a bit of Brandon Jacobs. This would complete the lightning and thunder duo between him and Singletary.
Lastly, I am most excited about Zack Moss, as he is someone I definitely think will be overlooked in the draft. The reason I think he fits best is because he runs very similar to Singletary but inside a physical frame that is more accustomed to handling consistent punishment between the tackles. Moss is not among the big name running backs this year and he is someone I think the Bills could find a lot of value in drafting. Honestly there is a chance he slides into the third round.
With all this being said, there is not one move I have doubted since Beane and McDermott took the throne in Buffalo. Although I would love to draft all those aforementioned prospects, Beane and McDermott have kept the Buffalo Bills on a steady sustainable path to success since their beginnings in Buffalo. I have full faith that them and their staff will continue to build on the foundation they have created to get the Buffalo Bills and the best fans in the world back to the Super Bowl once again.