Bills sign top draft pick DE A.J. Epenesa; and two others
The Buffalo Bills have signed defensive end A.J. Epenesa and two other players taken in the NFL draft last month.
The Bills announced the signing of the second-round pick from Iowa on Friday, along with wide receiver and fourth-round pick Gabriel Davis, and quarterback and fifth-round choice Jake Fromm. All three got four-year contracts.
The signings came a day after Buffalo put three other draft choices under contract: placekicker Tyler Bass, receiver Isaiah Hodgins and cornerback Dane Jackson. Bass and Hodgins were taken in the sixth round and Jackson in the seventh.
The 6-foot-5 Epenesa led the Big Ten with 10 1/2 sacks as a junior. A three-year starter, he had 26 1/2 sacks and forced nine fumbles in 37 career games.
Upgrading the pass rush was considered a partial need for Buffalo; returning starters Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy will both be 30 or older before the end of this year.
He joins a defense that lost backup defensive end Shaq Lawson in free agency last month. The Bills addressed his departure by signing Mario Addison in free agency.
The Bills had traded their first-round pick and three other choices to Minnesota to acquire receiver Stefon Diggs from Minnesota earlier this year.
Fromm, who led Georgia to the College Football Playoff title game in 2018, isn’t expected to challenge Josh Allen for the starting job. He provides insurance as a backup with Matt Barkley in the final year of his contract.
Davis played at Central Florida, where he caught 152 passes for 2,447 yards and 23 touchdowns in 38 games.
Covering as journalist: NFL, MLB