Are The Bills Wide Receivers Better In 2016?


The Buffalo Bills currently have thirteen wide receivers on their roster. After final roster cuts, could the unit end up being better in 2016 than in 2015?

In 2015, Robert Woods pulled his groin in the preseason and played through the pain all year. He didn’t put up the numbers he had hoped to. Overall it was a disappointing season for him because of the injury.

Percy Harvin, who the Bills were counting on to be their number two, did not play for the team after Week 5 against Tennessee. This offseason, Harvin decided to retire after an injury-plagued carreer. The Bills added a few veterans to their squad towards the end of the last season but the unit overall had no real depth outside of star wideout Sammy Watkins.

Watkins, despite battling injuries and only in playing in 13 games, had his first 1,000-yard receiving season and displayed some dynamic playmaking ability. He developed chemistry with Tyrod Taylor on deep balls especially.

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So will the 2016 unit be better than the 2015 wide receivers? Unfortunately, my answer is NO. Percy Harvin is no longer on the roster and while he was always an injury concern he had more talent than any other player they added this offseason.

The Bills could get an upgrade from the spot that Marquise Goodwin held last year if sixth round pick Kolby Listenbee can make the roster. He is a taller and potentially an even faster version of Goodwin. He could be a nice pickup if he works on his route running technique.

Dez Lewis, who was drafted the year prior, has also been a pleasant surprise so far in the offseason although it’s still early. He has great height and size and the Bills would be very pleased if he wins the WR3 role.

Robert Woods should put up better numbers this year now that he is healthy. However, he was used as a WR3 last year before Harvin was shut down. Now he is the WR2 and will need to fill a bigger role. He’s capable of handling it, but hasn’t put it all together yet in his short career.

Watkins should remain the beast that he was last season. He is going to put up huge numbers assuming the foot injury which caused him to get surgery this offseason doesn’t slow him up.

That’s a major concern but Watkins has fought through several injuries in his short time with the Bills and he seems to be productive no matter what ailments he has. With a big year, he could enter the national conversation for top 5 wide receivers in the NFL.

must read: Are Bills Running Backs Better in 2016?

The Bills 2016 receiving corps is just not as talented as the 2015 squad. That doesn’t mean, however, that they can’t put up better numbers especially as Tyrod Taylor continues to grow as a quarterback. It is one of the few units, however, that did not improve in overall talent from last year to this year.