Buffalo Bills: What Stefon Diggs can teach us about uncovering NFL draft value

Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports)
Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Stefon Diggs is without question a superstar at the top of his craft. Known as an elite route-runner, he has dominated for eight years since entering the league in 2022. He has topped 1,000 yards receiving five straight times, including leading the league with 127 receptions and 1,535 yards in 2020 (his first with the Buffalo Bills).

Diggs has been selected to three Pro Bowls, and was named a first-team All-Pro in 2020. When the Minnesota Vikings traded him to the Buffalo Bills in 2020, it netted them the number 22 overall pick, which they used to draft another superstar in Justin Jefferson.

For his part, Diggs secured a 4-year $96 million contract extension with $70 million guaranteed that will keep him in Buffalo through the 2027 season.

Yet, Diggs to this day remains one of the biggest bargains in NFL draft history, having fallen to the sixth round in 2015 before the Vikings selected him. All 32 teams passed on Diggs several times and a total of 145 players were selected before him.

In an industry that scouts, measures, quantifies and evaluates every possible aspect of every prospects physical, mental and social aptitude, Diggs is a reminder that football players are humans (as are the front office personnel and scouts who evaluate them).

Finding the next Stefon Diggs is a dream for any front office executive. Drafting a player of his caliber even just late in the first round or into the middle rounds of the draft could change the fortunes of an NFL franchise for years.

As we approach the 2023 NFL draft, let’s take a look at the factors that made Diggs such a bargain, and evaluate if these criteria could make another player a draft day gem for some team this year.