We are now less than 10 days away from the Bills reporting for training camp at St. John Fisher.
As we near the start of the 2022 NFL season, we take a look at the roster Brandon Beane has built for Sean McDermott. In many ways, an embarrassment of riches.
Part 3 of the ten part preview is on the wide receivers.
Strength: Stefon Diggs
There are lots of good receivers, but few who check every box like Buffalo’s number one. Diggs is an elite route runner who can move the chains and create big plays. He’s dominant on any route and at any level.
He’s also become a respected leader and the perfect confidant for the Bills’ superstar QB. When it comes to a top dog for the wideout room, the Bills can’t ask for much more than Diggs.
This is about receivers beyond Diggs. Gabriel Davis, for all his potential, has never been the regular number two outside receiver. His career has been exceeding low expectations in a lesser role. The Bills won’t just expect more from Davis this season, they will depend on it. While there’s every reason to be optimistic Davis responds well to a more primary role, it is something new to him.
Whoever ends up the top option in the slot will also be brand new to that role in Buffalo. The lack of general familiarity at receiver is not a giant problem, but don’t be surprised if the Bills’ passing game takes a month or two to really get humming.
X-factor: The Slot
The Bills have myriad of options to replace the Cole Beasley role for 2022.
Jamison Crowder is the traditional, shifty, find space guy, but he’s strictly a receiver. Rookie Khalil Shakir offers big play potential as a runner or receiver. Tavon Austin is the older version of Shakir and impressed in mini-camp. Isaiah McKenzie might be the fastest of the group. He’s also versatile and is the only one who knows the offense.
It will be fascinating to see which player–or more like which combination of players–ends up with the lead job inside.