Buffalo Bills second-year receiver Zay Jones is looking to have a breakout year after a disappointing rookie season and a scary offseason incident.
Zay Jones certainly had a season to forget in 2017 and an even more forgettable offseason.
The second-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in the 2017 NFL Draft was brought into the fold to be a top receiver for the team but the results just were not there in his rookie season.
The reasons for the struggles were not all Jones’s fault, but the lack of production certainly made fans, analysts and experts claim that Jones was destined to be a bust. His rocky offseason highlighted by the bizarre incident in Los Angeles only added to those concerns.
Thankfully, Jones appears to be using all of the struggles, doubt and skepticism as fuel heading into the 2018 season. If Jones can put it all together for the 2018 season he would be a massive boost to the Bills offense and be poised to be a breakout player of the year in the NFL.
While much was made of the fact that Jones led the league in dropped passes rate for the 2017 season, many also forget that he led the league in targets that were deemed “uncatchable” balls. In fact, more than half of the passes thrown Zay Jones’s way in 2017 were deemed to not even be catchable.
So while you can certainly point out that Zay dropped his fair share of passes, you cannot do that stat justice without mentioning the fact that more than half of the passes thrown to him were not even catchable. When evaluating a talent you have to be fair in your evaluation and to be fair to Zay you have to use both statistics in that evaluation.
He has admitted that he should have been better in 2017. He is right, he should have, but any fair analyst will also admit that many of the factors that contributed to his poor 2017 season were out of his control.
Yes, his bizarre incident in Los Angeles was in his control but without knowing the full extent of what happened and what Zay was dealing with it is 100 percent unfair to judge him on that incident. What is important is that he learned from the incident and is prepared to put it behind him and grow as person and player from it.
The stage is certainly set for Zay Jones to have a rebound and breakout season in 2018. He is in a new offense that certainly appears to be more modern in nature and should better utilize his skillset. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is all about creating and using mismatches to make his offense hum. That in and of itself should help the second-year wideout.
He will also most likely be a featured wide receiver in the Bills offense. This should create plenty of opportunities for him to catch passes and prove that his 2017 season was a fluke. Based on his college numbers at East Carolina you can certainly see that he has the talent to succeed.
It goes without saying that all Bills fans are rooting for Zay Jones to succeed in 2018, not only for the sake of the Bills, but also for his sake after rough 2017 season and a scary offseason incident.
Time will tell if he breaks out in 2018, but the opportunity is certainly right there for the taking.