Hoping to fill Frank Gore’s absence, Zacchaeus Malik Moss is a very hopeful and needed addition as an offensive threat on the Bills’ roster. A previous PAC-12 Offensive player of the year along with multiple all-time leader records from his time with the Utah Utes, Moss is anticipated to become a close duo with second year team veteran RB Devin Singletary.
A TRIP TO THE UTES PAST
Looking back at his time with the Utes, finishing out his college tenure with 4,067 rushing yards along with 38 rushing touchdowns, Moss was anticipated to go mid second round of the 2020 NFL draft. In his Junior year, he started nine games of the regular season before a season ending knee injury during a practice route, although still being elected to the second team all PAC 12 roster. He returned senior year in 2019 starting 11 of 12 games rushing for 1,246 yards, 15 touchdowns averaging 6.2 yards a carry becoming the Utes all time leading rusher helping clinch the PAC 12 south title.
With his physical and fast style of play, during his senior year with the PAC 12 focused Utes, he was able to rack up 53 broken tackles, being the first RB in team history to have three 1,000 yard seasons while breaking six school records.
2020 NFL DRAFT
Moss was heavily scouted in the beginning of 2018 with many experts anticipating the junior to be a high first round pick if he decided to enter the draft. That was until a season ending knee injury halfway through the 2018 season happened during a practice requiring meniscus surgery and a history of reoccurring minor ankle injuries.
At what was presented at the combine, Moss was able to show a 33” vertical jump with a 4.65 second 40 yard dash at 5’9”, 223 pounds. With the combine being cut short, the follow up medical investigations into player injuries were cut short as well leaving a definitive prognosis not being able to be obtained.
Going off of what information teams could, looking at the two ranked teams the Utes played his senior year (Oregon and Arizona State) coming off with 212 yards, 44 carries and 2 touchdowns, Moss’s communication was key to pulling off a draft pick just like many of the
other lower drafted rookies. He has been quoted as saying he lives football and likes to come out of the gate very physically, not afraid of contact. Pro Football Focus had him ranked eighth in yards after contact and second in missed tackles forced his senior year in 2019.
After injury consideration, Moss was anticipated to be drafted middle of the second round to the middle of the third drawing interest from the Raiders, Chiefs and Cowboys.
Buffalo Bills Third Round Draft Choice
With the veteran Frank Gore signing with the New York Jets now known, and the rise of second year Devin Singletary becoming the star role of the RB position, and Christian Wade not seeing any snaps in an NFL game to this point besides preseason, Moss’ physical style of running will be used to create a duo between himself and Singletary. T.J. Yeldon will help compensate although just appearing in six games with 17 carries in 2019 and a year left on his current contract, Yeldon may not be a definite future for the Bills’.
The Bills’ knew the need to draft a strong RB going into the 2020 draft. Buffalo’s’ general Manager, Brandon Beane, had a lot of interest in Moss and contemplated making offers to draft Moss in the second round but held steady until the third with the 86th pick. Coming off a 10-6 record finishing second in the AFC East, various media outlets had the Bills’ offense ranked 24-26 in the league and many are anticipating a 12-game win season in 2020 if the offense can advance with the addition of Stefan Diggs and strong draft picks. According to an interview with Moss on KJZZ-TV, Moss has stated the Bills’ playbook and Utah’s are remarkably similar which he excelled at breaking numerous school records. The Bills’ played the most percentage of snaps for rookies at 40% in 2019 and are implying he will be used heavily from the beginning.
LOOKING TOWARDS THE 2020 SEASON
With all the anticipation going into the 2020 season with many outlets saying the Bills’ are the AFC team to watch now that New England will be in a rebuilding process, time will tell if Moss’ injuries will become an impact playing at a professional level or if he will have a breakthrough season eventually taking the lead RB role from Singletary and filling the much needed leadership that will be missing with Gores’ absence on the line. Franchise quarterback Josh Allen is entering a crucial third year and all eyes will be on this offense and how fellow 2020 draft pick Jake Fromm will fit into the picture if Allen were to not perform as needed.