Buffalo Bills Get Solid Grades For Performance In NFL

Buffalo Bills Get Solid Grades For Performance In NFL 


The Buffalo Bills not only got good grades for their picks in the NFL draft, but their rivals in the AFC East Division didn’t do them much immediate damage, unless Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, selected at No. 5 overall, plays up to expectations and the hype in Miami.

As it stands, Josh Allen will be the best quarterback in the division now that Tom Brady is no longer in New England, and Allen gives the Bills the best chance to win now. And the Bills acted on their weakness in the passing game by adding two big wide receivers in Gabriel Davis out of Central Florida in the fourth round and Oregon State’s Isaiah Hodgins in the sixth round.

After all, when your wide receivers are so small they are called “The Smurfs,” there was motivation to go big in this draft.

Tagovailoa, the left-hander with a long injury history, doesn’t seem to me to deserve any comparisons to Dolphins legend Dan Marino and does not seem to be an immediate threat to the Bills in his first year. Many thought Oregon QB Justin Herbert, who was selected No. 6 overall by the L.A. Chargers, would have been the better pick for Miami because of his size and arm strength, and the fact he is more in the mold of Marino.

But no one really knows how these draft picks will turn out in the long run. Only when we reflect back in the rearview mirror will anyone really know.

But the Bills, who gave up their first-round pick to acquire Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs in a trade last month, did well with the seven picks they had and some believe they got a steal with seventh-round pick Dane Jackson, a cornerback out of Pittsburgh.

With their first pick, in the second round, Buffalo took Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa at No 54 overall, and this was seen as a good move because some considered Epenesa a first-round talent and Bills GM Brandon Beane commented later that Epenesa might have fallen because of his 40-yard time (5.04), but Beane doesn’t care about that stuff.

“The thing about Epenesa that I really liked is his versatility,” Beane said. “He’s got production from the inside as a three tech and then from the outside, so I see him lining up as a left defensive base end. And then reducing down as a sub rusher at times, so the versatility is what I like.”

Epenesa is also a good fit because the club needed a promising pass rusher after the club lost Shaq Lawson in free agency and signed veteran Mario Addison in free agency.

Epenesa, at 6-6, 280 pounds, isn’t seen as flashy but he’s big and powerful and is seen as a foundational piece who could be used situationally behind Addison, Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy. Hughes and Addison are also over 30 and Murphy will be 30 by the end of the regular season.

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