Buffalo Bills: The tight end group should be major part of the offense

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

The talent among the Bills tight end position is undeniable, but they need the opportunity to play to take the next step forward. With a lack of weapons on the outside and the athleticism at the position, they should incorporate their four tight ends into the offense as much as possible.

No one will mistake this season’s version of the Buffalo Bills offense for the greatest show on turf. The team is unproven and inconsistent on the outside, questionable on the line, and LeSean McCoy is aging and can’t keep up his production forever.

However, the team has a lot of young talent at the tight end position. Jason Croom, Logan Thomas, Khari Lee and Charles Clay all offer something different and can bring something to the offense.

Croom is a converted wide receiver and provides more of a modern NFL tight end with speed, hands and athleticism. Thomas is a large man at 6-foot-6 and is still growing into the position, but he has the size, speed, and hands to become a threat once developed. Lee has plenty of size and is a great blocker while Clay is the best mix of all of the above and the starter.

With all of the size and versatility available, it would be smart for the Bills to utilize all of them at one point or another. I have read multiple reports of Brian Daboll putting several packages out there to utilize the team’s size. Kelvin Benjamin is another huge body, and pairing him with Croom, Thomas and Clay would be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.

In a year like this, where the team is not expected to flourish and the offense lacks talent, the team should be looking at what it has and may be able to give an expanded role in the future. To me, that means Charles Clay should receive less snaps.

While Clay has been one of the top targets on the team over the last several years, he has injury issues. Yes he will need to be a big part of the offense if the team is to succeed in that area, but the younger talent has the chance to make an impact for the long-term.

Croom and Thomas should be considered the future at the position due to their youth, pay and upside. Many Bills beat writers such as Sal Capaccio and Joe Buscaglia have been raving about Croom’s training camp, and I for one have bought into the hype.

His touchdown catch against the Bengals was impressive, and he has made several really nice plays in previous games to warrant the extra playing time. His snap count should increase as the season goes along and hopefully he can earn a big role in the passing game. As for his blocking abilities, they will come in time. With the way the league is adapting tight ends to more of receivers, that is what his skillset should be utilized for.

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This offense will most likely rank near the bottom of the league due to the unproven receiver position and questions along the offensive line, but that shouldn’t stop Daboll and the offense from exploring the option of using their tight ends to create as many mismatches as possible.