Predicting the Buffalo Bills 2020 Depth Chart: Wide Receivers
By Daniel Bruce
Fourth: Gabriel Davis
This years fourth-round selection is on solid footing to lock in as the Bills fourth receiver. His size and vertical capabilities make him an ideal fit to specialize as a vertical threat for the team in 2020.
However, the rookie is likely to have trouble getting on the field as it is to be expected that the top 3 in Diggs, Brown and Beasley will be out on the field a significant chunk of the time. Davis could find time if Buffalo choses to spread it out and run more 11 personnel, playing to his strengths and going vertical.
At the end of last season, Buffalo would go with Isaiah McKenzie as their starter at the “Z” position after Zay Jones was dealt. Now with the Buffalo Bills having an established starting three, snaps for the backups won’t be as abundant.
Look for Davis to sub in for Cole Beasley on occasion and try go vertical on the smaller slot cornerbacks, Buffalo can be creative with how they use Davis’ skillset.
Fifth: Isaiah McKenzie
With Buffalo not picking up any “gadget” receivers through free agency or the draft, McKenzie will most likely assume a similar role to last season, while pitching in as a backup at the slot position to Beasley.
Ideally, the shifty receiver would be used in a limited role, but still be utilized in the jet motion role that he thrived in last season, whether on jet sweeps or the jet touch-pass.
McKenzie’s great speed made the touch passes very effective last season, and it would make sense for Brian Daboll to use iterations of it next year as well.
Sixth: Isaiah Hodgins
The second receiver the Bills took in the 2020 Draft, showcases great hands and at 6’3″ uses his great frame to come up with contested catches.
Likely brought in to compete with Duke Williams for the big receiving threat at the “Z” position, Hodgins should have the inside track. Hodgins has youth as well as far superior hands on his side over Duke.
Despite his size, Hodgins is a twitchy athlete, and could be used in a “big slot” role to cause mis-matches over the middle and in the red zone.
Seventh: Andre Roberts
The last receiver to make the roster is Andre Roberts, who was a pro bowler last season and offers invaluable returning to the Bills special teams. While having basically zero production on the receiving side last season (3 receptions for 20 yards), that’s not why he Roberts is on the roster, his pro bowl returning ability makes him a coveted piece.
While not breaking any big plays in the return game, with 8.0 yards per return on punts, he showed an ability to constantly gain positive yards. The consistent 5+ yard gains and steady hands add value that can’t be estimated. Also ranking fourth in kick return average at 26.6, his value is always understated with the great stability he offers to the position.
Having no fumbling issues as well is paramount, as Buffalo’s other return option is the shaky Isaiah McKenzie.