Despite the immediate grading of each's team draft class, the real grades are determined over time when potential meets productivity.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. re-graded the 2017 draft after he gave the Bills a B+. Only the New Orleans Saints, with an A, did better. The Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers also earned B+ grades.
Kiper had originally given the Bills an A- in his initial grades last April.
Of the Bills' 8,798 snaps, 3,448 were taken by rookies – which is a good sign for the future. Those 3,448 snaps ranked fifth among NFL teams, according to Pro Football Focus, with the 49ers leading the way at a whopping 5,033.
Cornerback Tre’Davious White played 1,093 defensive snaps (99 percent of the team's total), which was third among all rookies, according to PFF, behind just Tennessee’s Adoree Jackson (1,165) and New Orleans’ Ryan Ramczyk (1,163).
Linebacker Matt Milano, a fifth-round draft pick, played 676 combined snaps (450 on defense, 226 on special teams), while sixth-round linebacker Tanner Vallejo played 256 snaps on special teams, which ranked third on the team. Offensively, wide receiver Zay Jones saw 792 snaps (76 percent of the offensive) and tackle Dion Dawkins took 781 (74 percent of the offensive total). Backup quarterback Nathan Peterman saw limited snaps and started against the Chargers.
"This is a great class, and it gets a boost with Buffalo picking up an extra first-round pick in 2018 for trading down from No. 10 with Kansas City. The Bills already have used that extra draft capital to get in contention to move up in April's draft and pick their quarterback of the future, though they still like fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman – I wrote last year that I wouldn't be surprised if Peterman, now known for his disastrous five-interception debut, "is the starter in a year or two" – and added AJ McCarron on a short-term deal. After moving on from Tyrod Taylor, they have to find an answer there. This was a 2017 playoff team, but the Bills overachieved.
As for the picks, first-round cornerback Tre'Davious White started every game and had four interceptions. Now they need to figure out the spot across from him. Dion Dawkins was so good filling in for Cordy Glenn at left tackle that Buffalo traded Glenn and installed Dawkins on the blind side. Linebacker Matt Milano had 43 tackles in limited snaps and looks like a useful Day 3 pick. I liked the pick of wide receiver Zay Jones on Day 2, but he did not have a great rookie season, catching only 27 of 74 targets.