Buffalo Bills: Battle for the second receiver role

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 28: Zay Jones
MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 28: Zay Jones /

Zay Jones and Andre Holmes split reps on day one

We all know Sammy Watkins is going to be the Buffalo Bills number one receiver. However, the battle for number two may be more interesting than you thought.

When the Bills drafted Zay Jones 37th overall, many people thought he was guaranteed to be our number two guy. There’s a long way to go before that’s the case. Andre Holmes hasn’t come here just to let Zay take the number 2 role.

At 6ft 4, Holmes gives the Bills the red zone threat we so badly need after the loss of Justin Hunter to the Steelers. On day one of practice, Jones and Holmes split reps with the first team. I expect it to stay that way until one of them makes a huge stride forwards or backward.


Zay Jones was a catch machine last year for Eastern Carolina, racking up 158 receptions in 12 games, for 1746 yards with eight touchdowns. He’s very much a hands catcher, meaning he doesn’t use his body very often which is always a good thing.

Holmes played in 16 games for the Raiders last season, making 14 receptions with 3 of those going for touchdowns. In 2014, the last time he was a consistent starter, he had 693 yards on 47 catches. You may think at 29 years old that he’s reached his potential, but you never know, look at Lorenzo Alexander.

It’s worth remembering there’s also Walt Powell, who performed well at times last season. Unfortunately for him, he’s suspended for the first four games. Of course, there’s Corey “Philly” Brown too, but if he makes the roster, it’ll be a 4/5th guy and a punt returner.

Who will win the job?

My hope is that Zay wins the job for obvious reasons. He’s our second round draft choice; he’s got all the talent we just have to hope it translates to NFL level.

I do expect the competition to be pretty closely fought. We probably won’t know who the number 2 WR is until we play the Jets opening day. One thing that’s for sure, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

Next: Buffalo Bills: 3 rookies to watch in training camp

Let us know what you think, who will win the job for WR2?