Givanni Damico | February 7th, 2020
The Buffalo Bills made a nice run during the 2019 season, finishing 10-6 and making the wildcard game. Unfortunately, they blew a lead to the Texans, so they are still winless in the playoffs in recent history. The culture is meshing well in Buffalo right now. The coaching staff has it figured out and this group of guys resembles a true team. They have a tough 2020 schedule, so they will need to add some talent, especially on offense, in order to compete next season.
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Round 1, Pick 22: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
If I’m Brandon Beane, I cannot pass up an electrifying talent like Jefferson. I’m not too high on Tee Higgins; I see him as a Mike Williams archetype, meaning that he is not a dynamic receiver, just a solid number two or three. Jefferson flourished in the LSU offensive system. He was not quite as explosive as his teammate, Ja’Marr Chase, which may overshadow him a bit. The Bills need a receiver over 6’0” to complement John Brown and Cole Beasley. Jefferson has the ability to go up and get the ball, but he’s great in space for a big man as well. The Bills need to surround Josh Allen with some weapons because it was their offense that stalled out last season. Their defense got the job done every week. If Buffalo drafts Jefferson, he may immediately jump to the top of the depth chart.
Round 2, Pick 54: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Many of you who are reading this are probably asking how Jonathan Taylor fell so far. Running backs just do not have the same value as any other position. They’re easily replaceable and are normally not worth a first-round pick. Taylor dominated in his time at Wisconsin, taking the nation by storm as arguably the best running back in America. He has some issues when it comes to fumbles, but that seems to be the only area of concern. Devin Singletary was very productive last year for the Bills, but they need a two-headed monster in the backfield. Singletary won’t be a bell cow, so the addition of Taylor will allow for a consistently strong rushing attack.
Round 3, Pick 86: Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
Davis-Gaither showed out at the Senior Bowl, cementing his name as a potential “diamond in the rough” in the 2020 NFL Draft. He was a tackling machine at Appalachian State, while he also managed five sacks during his senior year. Akeem is very physical, which makes up for his slight lack of size. He’s versatile, showing the ability to line up as an outside linebacker or a stacked backer. With the retirement of Lorenzo Alexander, Buffalo is in need of a replacement at his position. Davis-Gaither is a perfect fit for Buffalo’s scheme and should bring even more firepower to the defense.
Round 4, Pick 125: K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
Depending on if they pick up a veteran wide receiver in free agency, I see no reason why Buffalo shouldn’t draft two receivers in this draft. Hill had a monster Senior Bowl week and proved how underrated he is. He’s got sneaky speed that Josh Allen could put to use on deep-ball routes. He also has a rather advanced route tree due to the Ohio State offensive scheme. Hill is sure-handed; he cemented himself in Ohio State history, becoming the all-time leader in receptions. Benjamin Solak of The Draft Network described Hill as having a “low ceiling”, also stating that he will do his best work on checkdowns. I do not agree. If properly utilized, Hill could be a starting slot wide receiver. He lacks physicality which will hurt his contested catch game, but Hill is still a valuable player who would fit well with this offense.
Round 5, Pick 155: Jonah Jackson, OG, Ohio State
Jackson, a grad transfer from Rutgers, jumped in and solidified the offensive line. In a class that is lacking talent at the guard position, some people have named Jackson as one of the best guard talents in this draft. He is a low-ceiling, high-floor player. You know what you’re going to get. I don’t expect tremendous growth from him, but he could be one of those players who has a very long career as a solid lineman. This would be a steal for Buffalo in round five.
Round 5, Pick 168: J.R. Reed, SAF, Georgia
This is more of a depth pick than anything for Buffalo. Reed was solid at Georgia, showing his solid ball skills and tremendous tackling ability. He would likely be a great special-teamer for Buffalo, as his playstyle compares well to current Bills safety Siran Neal. With Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde locking down the safety positions for at least this season, Reed wouldn’t see too much defensive action outside of playing in the box against the run.
Round 6, Pick 189: Davon Hamilton, DL, Ohio State
This makes three Buckeyes for the Bills in the 2020 draft which seems unlikely in and of itself. I was close to giving them Jordan Fuller at safety instead of Reed last round, but I thought Reed was a slightly better prospect. Hamilton is a monstrous man who has shown his intelligence and leadership ability. He has a good first move and quick hands. He wasn’t incredibly productive at Ohio State, but he would certainly be a great depth option for Buffalo.
Round 6, Pick 202: Darryl Williams, OC, Mississippi State
Another depth player being selected here for Buffalo. Williams was solid as a Bulldog, showing decent power at the point of attack and exhibiting his long reach and good size. He was trouble holding blocks and will definitely be a developmental player. You never know though, Elgton Jenkins (former Miss. St. OC) was slept on in the 2019 draft and ended up being the best offensive lineman from that class. This is a weak link to connect the two, and Jenkins was projected better than Williams, but this would definitely not be a reach for Buffalo.
Round 6, Pick 208: Alex Highsmith, EDGE, Charlotte
I have my doubts that Highsmith falls this far after recording a 15 sack season at Charlotte last season. Buffalo needs a bit of help rushing the passer and creating pressure. Highsmith is a high-ceiling, low-floor player who I honestly don’t have expectations for. He may excel or he may just be another non-Power-5 player who shined in college but doesn’t translate to the NFL. Who knows, he might have a season like Maxx Crosby did for the Raiders this year.
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