Buffalo Bills 2023 Undrafted Free Agent Profile: Jalen Wayne
Among the seven undrafted free agents the Buffalo Bills signed last week, four were at the wide receiver position. One of those wide receivers was Jalen Wayne, who played six seasons at South Alabama. He certainly has name recognition as he is the cousin of Reggie Wayne, who was a long-time receiver for the Indianapolis Colts during the Peyton Manning Era.
In total, Jalen Wayne had 152 receptions, 1,979 receiving yards, and 14 receiving touchdowns. However, he only had eight receptions in total in his first three years in college. He had a bigger role in his fourth year with 33 receptions for 418 receiving yards and a touchdown before becoming an even bigger part of the offense in his final two seasons at South Alabama.
During that stretch, he had at least 50 receptions each season, over 600 receiving yards, and in total had 11 receiving touchdowns.
He continued that strong play into the 2023 Senior Bowl where he would lead all receivers in receptions (8) and second in receiving yards (50).
How does Jalen Wayne fit on the Buffalo Bills?
The scouting report on NFL.com by Lance Zierlein notes that Wayne can play outside but he might be better suited as a big slot receiver. In the past, the Bills have looked for smaller, quicker wide receivers like Cole Beasley and Isaiah McKenzie.
However, that role could be changing in the coming years with the addition of tight end Dalton Kincaid. The Bills may want bigger players in the slot and Wayne, at 6'2" could play that role.
He is a player that is unlikely to make the 53-man roster this year with the depth the team has at wide receiver. However, with Gabe Davis set to be a free agent after this season and Trent Sherfield with the team only on a one-year deal, Wayne could be competing for a spot next year if he makes the practice squad coming out of the preseason this year.