B/R has interesting choice for Buffalo Bills ‘Rookie Gem’

Buffalo Bills, Matt Araiza (Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)
Buffalo Bills, Matt Araiza (Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Buffalo Bills look like they were able to put together a good draft class earlier this year in the 2022 NFL Draft. It has a number of players who appear poised to make an immediate impact with this team in their first season in the NFL.

Recently, Ian Wharton at Bleacher Report put together a list of one rookie gem for each NFL team and made an interesting choice for the Buffalo Bills in selecting punter Matt Araiza, who the Bills selected in the sixth round.

"He likely won’t often see the field as a rookie. After all, Buffalo tied for the sixth-fewest punts in the league last year with 53. Nevertheless, the Bills upgraded from Matt Haack to Araiza.His rare ability to flip the field may lack polish of punters who are masters of pinning offenses inside their 10-yard line, but the dynamic he brings is so much more valuable. Araiza can force opposing offenses to travel an extra 10 or more yards on every punt from within their 30-yard line. No other team has that luxury."

Araiza undoubtedly has a strong leg and this certainly will be a boost for the Buffalo Bills as Wharton notes it will help in the field position battle during the course of a game.

Khalil Shakir may end up being the Buffalo Bills’ rookie gem

Based on the rules Wharton used to compile this list, which is players selected in the third round or later, Khalil Shakir may end up being a better option. The former Boise State wide receiver was selected in the fifth round and is a dynamic player that can be utilized in a number of different ways.

He could even be a candidate to win the punt return job, which at this point is very much up for grabs with no real clear favorite.

However, the reason that I believe Shakir has a better chance of being the rookie gem over Araiza is something that Wharton mentions in his article. The Buffalo Bills are not a team that punts much, in fact last year was near the bottom of the league in punts.

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Meanwhile, they have an excellent offense that should once again be able to put up a ton of points. While Shakir is lower on the depth chart right now he should still have some role as a rookie and could end up being the one player who stands out among the draft picks in the later rounds.