Is the Buffalo Bills new number one receiver already on the roster

Stefon Diggs is out, and many believe the Bills need to make a huge trade for a big-name vet or move up in the draft for one of the big-three.
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages

We all know the receiver that just walked out the door, so now we look to the future and find out who the Buffalo Bills' new "number one" receiver will be. There will be a lot of discussion with the upcoming draft too. Perhaps the Bills should sign another free agent receiver, or like some fans are hoping, swing for the fences in a massive trade for a big-name veteran receiver. Of course, there is that contingency of fans who are looking for Buffalo to make a huge jump in the draft and put themselves in a position to draft one of the top three receiver prospects.

But I want to bring your attention to someone already on the Bills' roster. I think a lot of fans don't see him as a number-one receiver, but a lot of receivers aren't seen that way until they are either. I think most fans will agree he's a good receiver and many fell in love with him last season, but Khalil Shakir has the tools to be that guy. He led the league in catch rate percentage among receivers last season and came on strong over the last half of the season.

Through the first six weeks of the 2023 season, Shakir was targeted only five times, with four receptions, 40 yards, and a touchdown. If you noticed his snap count from week one, around only 10 percent, it climbed each week until he finally burst onto the scene beginning in Week Seven. Over the final 11 games, he was targeted 40 times, making 35 receptions, 571 yards, but only one more touchdown. However, he was targeted 12 times in the playoffs, with ten receptions, 75 yards and two touchdowns. And maybe you aren't aware but in four career playoff games (two starts), Shakir has 15 receptions on 19 targets, 166 yards, and two touchdowns.and

Can Khalil Shakir be the Buffalo Bills number one receiver after departure of Stefon Diggs?

The question will be whether he can continue to improve and take that number one role. Diggs no doubt took a lot of the coverage, but Shakir is no stranger to being the guy. I live in the Boise area and have watched all his collegiate games. He was the number one guy at Boise State and played as the boundary receiver. He was moved all over the formation, always there to make the play when BSU needed. The hands and catch rate you're seeing from him in the NFL is the same as I saw from him in college.

I know Boise State isn't the SEC or Big 12, but from a mental and confidence perspective, Shakir is more than willing, able and capable of being that guy for an NFL offense. He'll certainly get every opportunity in 2024 to prove he can do it and he won't have a bigger fan rooting for him than me. I fully expect the Bills to add another veteran receiver and at least one from the 2024 NFL Draft, possibly two. Regardless, Shakir will be the one the roster will look to for guidance, as he is entering his third season with the team, and knows this offense better than any other receiver, even with offensive coordinator Joe Brady installing his nuances to the offense. Don't sleep on Shakir in 2024.


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