Even though the Buffalo Bills already had a promising young running back in Devin Singletary, they snapped up Utah’s Zack Moss in the third round of this year’s draft. Here are Moss’ odds at Mybookie to win 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year as well as the Bills’ over/under win total.
Buffalo took Moss with the No. 86 overall pick in April’s draft.
Moss is from the Miami area and originally committed to the University of Miami to play college football but changed to Utah. He was named the running back MVP at the Rivals Camp Series in Miami and led Hallandale High School with 1,098 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns on 145 carries as a senior. Moss is a cousin of Santana Moss, an All-American at Miami who had more than 10,000 yards receiving during a 14-year NFL career, and Sinorice Moss, a second-round draft pick out of Miami who spent six years in the NFL
Moss played in 10 games in 2016 at Utah as a freshman with three starts — he averaged 83.7 yards in the three games he started (SJSU, USC, California) before missing the next two games due to injury. Moss would finish second on the team in net rushing yards (382) and carries (84), while averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
The next year, Moss took over as the clear starter. He led the team in rushing yards (1,173), carries (214), yards per game (90.2), and rushing touchdowns (10). Moss was seventh in the Pac-12 in rushing yards and had 29 receptions for 243 yards. He finished with the team lead in all-purpose yards with 1,416.
In 2018, Moss was second-team All-Pac-12. He played and started in nine games before a season-ending injury. Despite missing five games, he led Utah with 179 carries for 1,096 yards (11 TD). That yardage ranked sixth in the Pac-12 and he averaged 121.77 yards per game, which is the sixth-best season average in school history.
Moss thought about turning pro but didn’t – and it’s probably good he returned as Moss was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and Pac-12 All-Conference first-team. He was also third-team All-American. Moss played in 13 games, starting 12, missing the Washington State game with injury. He was a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award and the Doak Walker Award, leading the team in carries (235), rushing yards (1,416), rushing touchdowns (15) and rushing yards per game (108.9). He also finished third on the team in receptions (28) and yards (388) with two receiving touchdowns.
Moss was second in the Pac-12 in all-purpose yards per game (138.8), No. 13 in the FBS and No. 1 in the Pac-12 in rushing touchdowns (15), No. 22 in the FBS and second in the Pac-12 in rush yards per carry (6.0), No.14 in the FBS and No.1 in the Pac-12 in total rushing yards (1,416) and No.12 in the FBS and first in the Pac-12 in rushing yards per game (108.9).
Moss ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine. He came out in sluggish style with a 4.72-second 40-yard dash, but he managed to improve upon that nicely with his second run through the sprint. The 5-foot-9, 223-pounder also did 19 reps on the bench press.
Moss was a Pro Football Focus darling, as the data analytics crew viewed him as the best running back prospect in the 2020 class. Moss posted PFF’s third-highest broken tackle per carry rate over the last six seasons in 2019. Moss’ game is not predicated on mind-bending speed — he excels in terms of physicality and especially broken tackles/elusiveness.
Most NFL analysts see a prime opportunity for Moss to get playing time as a rookie. With Frank Gore no longer on the roster to serve as that physical between the tackles back to complement Singletary, many see Moss filling that role. The backs have the potential to be one of the best young running back duos in the league.
Moss has already been compared to former Bills running back Marshawn Lynch and is selling merchandise using the slogan, “Moss Mode,” similar to Lynch’s “Beast Mode” moniker. “Anybody who wants to tackle me it’s going to have to be a business decision,” Moss said. “I’m trying to be the most dominant player on the field every time I have that ball in my hands.”