Tremaine Edmunds (52nd Percentile)
This was a bit of a surprise since Edmunds is a physical freak by many accounts and this is where the combine doesn’t tell all. Edmunds ran an exceptional 40 yard-dash at 4.54 seconds which was amazing for a player of his size. His bench press was average (49th percentile) while his broad jump was very surprising (28th percentile).
Only having ran three drills, one bad drill pulled down Edmunds grade and the Buffalo Bills rightfully saw how much range a 6’5″ 250 pound linebacker and how that could impact a team.
Edmunds also was very productive at Virginia Tech where he lived in opponents backfields, and the Bills will not hesitate on players who produce in college. The archetype of the type of player Edmunds is was a great factor in the selection.
A.J. Epenesa (49th Percentile)
A.J. Epenesa was regarded from many as having one of the worst performances at the NFL Combine among top prospects in the 2020 draft. This could be the reason the Buffalo Bills were able to grab Epenesa at 54.
One of the potential reasons Epenesa fell in the draft was because of his poor 40 yard-dash, but for the Buffalo Bills under Brandon Beane that drill has never held them back from taking a player. Epenesa ran a 5.04 in the 40, but when evaluating Epenesa’s game on film you know the number he posted was insignificant. Epenesa never ran around tackles in college, he used his amazing use of hands to overpower tackles to get to the quarterback and Beane saw this in Epenesa and wasn’t worried by the time he posted.
The former Iowa defensive end also had the worst bench press among players at his position, but Epenesa’s power can’t just be tested, he does a great job at finding a weakness in a tackle and using his power to exploit that. His vertical was very impressive (71st percentile), showing how his lower body explosiveness contributes to his powerful frame.
The Buffalo Bills are very archetype heavy and showed here again, Epenesa standing at 6’5″ and 275 pounds with long 34 1/2 inch arms. The Buffalo Bills like having big base defensive ends who can set the edge in the run game and use their power to attack the quarterback and Epenesa fits the mold.
Isaiah Hodgins (49th Percentile)
Hodgins is another example of Brandon Beane not taking 40 yard-dash times too seriously, he ran a 4.61 (13th Percentile), but also showed out great in other drills. The former Oregon State wide receiver led all wide receivers with 4.12 short shuttle, and also had a three-cone in the 76th percentile.
The Bills took notice of these strong drill numbers especially since Hodgins leans on a great double move to gain separation from defenders. This offense needed a big receiving threat in the red zone and certainly got that with Hodgins who is 6’4″ and 210 pounds with huge 9 7/8 hands. Beane has shown plenty of interest in measurables for the players he has taken rather than the flashy drills.
Siran Neal (48th Percentile)
A very solid combine by the Jacksonville State product, Neal had a great vertical jump at 40.5 inches (81st percentile), and stood basically middle of the pack in the rest of the drills. Beane may have took more stock in Neal’s measurements at 6’0″ and 199 pounds, possessing good size arms at over 31 inches and enormous almost 10 inch hands. This is where Beane may have been looking at an archetype to play the big nickel or “Buffalo Nickel” and was very interested in Neal’s measurables.