The 2020 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 23. As a lead up to the draft, we’ll be giving a team-by-team breakdown for positional needs. For each team, we’ll give an overview of each team’s current depth chart and how big of a need each position in the upcoming draft. Find all teams and the rest of our draft content in our NFL Draft Hub.
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Buffalo Bills 2020 Draft Picks Overview
Round 2 (54)
Round 3 (86)
Round 4 (128)
Round 5 (167)
Round 6 (188)
Round 6 (201)
Round 7 (239)
Buffalo Bills Offense
by Rich Hribar
2019 Buffalo Bills Offensive Ranks
*denotes new addition
Josh Allen improved across the board in 2019, finishing his second season with a higher completion percentage (58.8%), touchdown rate (4.3%), and a lower interception rate (2.0%) than his rookie season numbers. While his rate stats still need to continue to rise, there’s no question that Allen is the immediate future of the franchise.
Buffalo used a third-round (74th overall) selection on Devin Singletary last season. Singletary turned in 969 yards from scrimmage on 180 touches (5.4 yards per touch) in just 12 games played. He took over as the feature back for the offense midway through the season, averaging 18.9 touches per game over his final nine games in 2019. Despite his overall usage, the one area where he wasn’t counted on was near the goal line, with two carries inside of the 5-yard line out of 18 team attempts.
At 203 pounds, the Bills could look to add a big-bodied back to take the heavy lifting situations from Singletary while backups T.J. Yeldon and Taiwan Jones are only signed through this upcoming season.
Buffalo used their first-round pick already this season when they traded for Stefon Diggs. Diggs is expected to pursue a new contract, but as of now, his current deal runs through the 2023 season. Diggs joins both John Brown and Cole Beasley. Both Brown (30) and Beasley (31) will be past 30-years-old this upcoming season, but both Brown (2021) and Beasley (2022) are both signed for at least the next two seasons.
Inevitably the Bills will have to look to replace both, but for the immediate future, the top of their depth chart is set. Duke Williams is set to be an exclusive rights free agent after the season while Robert Foster is a restricted free agent, giving the Bills control of some of their depth.
Buffalo used a third-round pick (96th overall) on Dawson Knox last season and the rookie found the field for 61% of the offensive snaps, turning in a 28-388-2 line while averaging 13.9 yards per catch. He did lead all NFL tight ends with nine credited dropped passes. Looking at the depth behind him, Tyler Kroft’s deal is expiring after the season while Jason Croom -who missed all of 2019 with hamstring injuries- is a restricted free agent.
LT: Dion Dawkins/Ty Nsekhe/Ryan Bates
LG: Quinton Spain/Ike Boettger
C: Mitch Morse/Evan Boehm
RG: Jon Feliciano/Spencer Long
RT: Daryl Williams*/Cody Ford/Victor Salako
Buffalo rebuilt their offense line via free agency last season and the results were a mixed bag. The team ranked ninth in ESPN’s Pass Blocking Win Rate, but ranked 23rd in adjusted sack rate allowed (7.8%) and 15th in adjusted line yards created (4.32) per Football Outsiders.
Right tackle Cody Ford ranked 69th out of 81 qualifying tackles per Pro Football Focus while left guard Quinton Spain ranked 74th out of 82 qualifying guards. Both Ford and Spain are under contract through the 2022 season, as well as center Mitch Morse. New addition Daryl Williams signed a one-year deal to challenge Ford while Jon Feliciano and Dion Dawkins are also in the final years of their contracts.
Buffalo Bills Defense
by Dan Pizzuta
2019 Buffalo Bills Defensive Ranks
interior defensive line
Ed Oliver immediately became of the best pass-rushing interior linemen as soon as he stepped on the field as a rookie. Oliver ranked seventh among defensive tackles in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate. Free agent addition Quinton Jefferson ranked fifth in that group with the Seahawks last season.
Star Lotuleiei offers little to nothing as a pass rusher but can still be a dominant presence up the middle against the run and it’s not like the Bills are lacking for pass rush from the interior. Vernon Butler neither rushes the passer as well as Oliver or Jefferson nor stops the run as well as Loutuleilei but he’s a solid rotational piece as a fourth iDL. It would be hard for this position to be deeper or more well-rounded.
For as strong as the Bills’ interior defensive line is, the edge leaves a bit to be desired. Jerry Hughes has been one of the league’s most underrated defenders for years, though his pressure rate cratered in 2019 and his quarterback hits dropped from 18 to nine last season. Trent Murphy and former Panther Mario Addison provide fine depth as the second and third edges on the team, but if there’s a weakness on this defense, it’s definitely here.
With Edmund and Milano, the Bills have an impressive duo at linebacker. Buffalo played 0% of its defensive snaps in Dime+ personnel last season so at least two linebackers were on the field for every play.
A.J. Klein is a fine option as the third linebacker and special teams ace Tyler Matekevich can fill in on limited defensive snaps if needed.
Last season Tre’Davious White solidified his case as one of the league’s best cornerbacks. He finished fifth among 92 cornerbacks with at least 300 coverage snaps in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap. The Bills signed Josh Norman on a one-year deal to play opposite of White and the Bills will have to hope for some type of bounceback. Norman ranked 91st among those 92 corners last season.
Taron Johnson, Levi Wallace, and E.J. Gaines will form a decent rotation for the slot role and potentially as an outside fill-in should Norman not improve from 2019s play. There’s still room to improve the slot and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Bills look to the draft for a contingency plan behind Norman for an outside corner, either.
Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde arguably make up the best starting safety group in the league. Last season, Poyer played 94% of the defensive snaps and Hyde played 93%. Availability is great and when healthy, both safeties have no problem being ironmen for the season. But should there be a need for a backup, there isn’t much behind them.
Jaquan Johnson played 5% of the defensive snaps in 2019 but the Bills could potentially use another body on that depth chart and with enough quality could maybe work in some more three-safety looks which would allow the team to play at least some Dime and not rely on a third linebacker as often.