Buffalo Bills Tight End Need Is Imminent


The Buffalo Bills have been riding the coattails of Scott Chandler and his expertise as a tight end.  I hope that the sarcasm can be felt with that first statement.  The Buffalo Bills are in need of a tight end.  With options on the table both within the draft and free agency, there are better options out there than Scott Chandler, Lee Smith, and Chris Gragg.

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As far as our tight ends go; Pro Football Focus was able to grade both Scott Chandler and Lee Smith.  As for Scott Chandler, he finished with a grade of -7.8 for the season.  Now when the grades come back with a negative or a positive, it is viewed as a score of 0 is an expected performance by the player or players.  So with a negative such as -7.8 that Chandler got, it is well below his expected performance of play.  With Scott Chandler, He received a a -7.5 grade for pass receiving, a +1.4 for pass blocking and a -0.8 for run blocking.  For pass blocking he was above the expectations of him and fell right in the range of expectations when it came to run blocking.  Even though it is a negative score, it is still close enough to 0 to be considered an expected performance.

As for Lee Smith, he fared just a bit better, he was not on the field as much as Chandler was; 342 to 769.  Smith came out with a grade of +0.3.  His overall expectations for the season were pretty much met.  No downside, but no upside either.  He finished with a -1.4 grade for receiving, a +0.8 for pass blocking and a +1.9 for run blocking. Seeing as he was used as a blocking TE, it seems fitting that he would have a little better numbers in that area than Scott Chandler did, although Chandler did edge him out on the pass blocking area, but he did have twice as many snaps as well.

As for the TEs that the Buffalo Bills have been reportedly eyeing up as for free agency; Jordan Cameron, Julius Thomas, and Charles Clay all finished in a variety of areas and with a variety of grades.

Let’s work our way from Worst to First per se.

Jordan Cameron finished lower in grade than Scott Chandler did.  He finished with a grade of -10.2 which ranks him in 56th place out of 67 tight ends.  Scott Chandler was ranked 47th overall out of 67, slightly better.  Jordan Cameron had a +2.0 for a receiving grade, a -3.1 for pass blocking and a -10.5 for run blocking.  These stats are used by some NFL teams, and this is basically stating that Cameron can catch the ball but as a blocker, he is No Bueno!

The next two tight ends fall into the positive category for grading and could be definite possibilities to nab in free agency.  First we will look at Charles Clay.  Clay finishes the year ranking 14th overall, out of 67 tight ends with a grade of +4.9 overall.  Charles Clay was given a grade of +4.0 on receiving, a -2.9 for pass blocking and a +3.4 for run blocking.  The word on Clay is that he can catch the ball and run block as well.  Based on these grades he fell below expectation on the pass blocking end of things, but still one of the better tight ends in the league last year.

Finally we come to Julius Thomas.  If the Buffalo Bills have even a slight chance to grab him in free agency, there should be an effort to do so. Thomas was not graded much higher than Charles Clay in that he was ranked one spot ahead of Clay, 13th overall with a overall grade of +5.4.  Thomas finished the year with grades of a +3.3 for receiving, a +1.1 in pass blocking and a grade of +0.1 in run blocking.  Thomas met or was above expectations for every ratings category.  There is only upside with Thomas.

As far as tight ends go, the Buffalo Bills should be targeting Julius Thomas or Charles Clay or both during this free agency, if they are available, for their all around play and ability.

Next: Buffalo Bills: Grading The Offensive Line

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