Buffalo Bills Offseason Grades: Wide Receivers


The Buffalo Bills wide receivers might be the toughest group to grade this offseason.

Not only did Buffalo lose its No. 2 target less than halfway through the season, three of the Bills’ top four wide receivers either finished the season on injured reserve or revealed that they had been playing the majority of the year with a serious injury.

And then there’s Sammy Watkins, who registered the best season of his career.

As a whole, Buffalo’s passing offense finished a dismal 28th overall with just 3,343 yards.

However, those 3,343 yards came on the second fewest attempts league wide – 465. So when you look at Buffalo’s yards per attempt at 7.7, good for sixth overall, and project that using the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 590 attempts which was 16th in the league, Buffalo would finish sixth just behind the New England Patriots with 4,543 yards.

If the Bills got anything out of this season, it’s that it looks like they have a future franchise quarterback on this roster and a star wide receiver to pair with him.

From Week 12 on, Watkins was a legitimate stud.

The former Clemson wide receiver finished 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns on just 60 receptions, which doesn’t sound to staggering, ranking only in the top 25, but Watkins dominated in each of the final six games of the season. Watkins made child’s play of secondaries that included quality players like Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Marcus Peters and Kevin Johnson. And what might have been most astonishing was that Watkins was dominating the last few weeks while being the only legitimate receiving threat outside.

However, the second-year player is probably the easiest to analyze out of the group.

Starting with Percy Harvin, it’s certainly worth wondering what could have been if he stayed healthy. Harvin seemed to have built some significant chemistry with Tyrod Taylor early on in the season and would have helped Watkins become a dominant receiving threat earlier in the year. If the Bills front office can bring Harvin back at a reasonably priced deal, it’s certainly an option worth considering and one that every fan should be open to.

After learning that Robert Woods played the majority of the season with a torn groin, it doesn’t come that surprising that he had the worst season of his career. However, it is pretty clear that Woods is most likely just a No. 3 wide receiver in the NFL. The former Trojan had plenty of opportunities this season and only rose to the occasion a few times. Woods isn’t consistent enough to trust as a No. 2 wide receiver.

Chris Hogan on the other hand, his days in Buffalo might be numbered. Hogan will become a restricted free agent when the new league year begins in March, and after a season full of untimely and costly drops, its possible Buffalo might not bring the former small-school wide receiver back when there are more pressing needs.

All things considered, Buffalo’s receiving corps was not necessarily an over-talented one, but was a deep one. Aside from Watkins, the Bills had a few No. 3 wide receivers, which is why the position will be a potential target in the draft or through free agency.

Buffalo already made an interesting move earlier in the week signing Greg Little to a reserve/futures contract. Little is an intriguing wide receiver. He’s a former second-round pick, but has yet to live up to that potential. At 6-foot-2, it’s clear Buffalo is continuing to find that big bodied wide receiver that can dominate in the red zone.

And that big bodied wide receiver might just be what the Bills are missing.

Overall: B 

Next: Buffalo Bills Offseason Grades: Running Backs