What to make of Christian Wade?
I bet it has been a while since you heard his name.
Christian Wade, who is a former Premiership Rugby star turned NFL hopeful, was an electric sight during a preseason game against the Carolina Panthers where he snapped off a 48-yard reception for a touchdown.
Following the preseason, the Bills opted to keep the Slough, United Kingdom native on their practice roster. This, to help him get acclimated to the NFL game and hopefully groom him into a very useable player. Now that his first season is under his belt, what can we make of him?
Well, there are two schools of thought: One, use him during specific packages or two, use him in special teams.
Wade showed during the preseason that he certainly has the speed. Coming from an extremely speed-and-aggression driven sport such as ruby, Wade is no stranger to contact. He possesses a truly remarkable amount of “getaway speed” and he could be a great addition to the Bills backfield. This though would only crowd the running back room as the team currently has Devin Singletary, Zack Moss and T.J. Yeldon. Though it is too early to say if Wade would make a better addition to the offense than Yeldon, the only way to know is to give him a shot to compete for a spot.
The other option is to have Wade return kicks. Now last season, the Bills had Andre Roberts return kicks and punts. And in his defense, he did a good job. Given the landscape of the NFL and how it has changed to allow for more touchbacks and less actual returns, Roberts was still able to record 664 return yards on the season.
One area where Wade could have a slight edge over Roberts when it comes to the 53-man roster is Wade’s age. Though there is a two-year difference between the 29-year old Wade and the 31-year old Roberts, if Wade can show during training camp and preseason that he can be comfortable with the ball, throwing him in the special teams unit might not be such a bad idea.