Friday, July 26, 2013

2013 Bills Training Camp Preview: Wide Receivers

by Steve

The Buffalo Bills report to St John Fisher in Rochester this weekend.  Since you're dumb and we're smart we're previewing the team for you. Here was a look at the new coach and the defense, now on to perhaps the weakest position of the entire team, the wide receivers.

This weak yet young wide receiver corps can be summoned up pretty easily, it's Stevie Johnson (the face of the franchise) and a bunch of kids. Well, that doesn't count "cut me" Brad Smith because I assume the Bills will cut Brad Smith.  Why wouldn't they?  There is no more wild cat, he is a marginal receiver and his only real talent is returning kickoffs.  Sorry, you're replaceable dawg, you're cut.

Even with Smith on the roster, SJ13 has 95 more catches 1,703 more yards and 19 more TDs than the other 11 WRs on the roster combined.  Take away Brad (and Dorin Dickerson because I assume he's a TE) and all the other players on the roster listed at WR combined have 9 total years of experience with 4 rookies combined for 0 (obviously).

The main problem with this is the idea that rookie wide outs rarely make a big impact their first year in the league.  The problem with this problem is the Bills are counting on rookies to make an impact in 2013.

Here are some prominent WRs and their first season in the NFL:

Julio Jones 54 959 8
Calvin Johnson 48 756 4
Demaryius Thomas 22 283 2
Dez Bryant 45 561 6
Hakeem Nicks 47 790 6
Arrelious Benn 25 395 2 (2nd round pick same year as De Thomas) Benn drafted 39 Robert Woods 41

Other than Julio Jones none of those guys had really impressive seasons and they are some of the best wide receivers now in the league.  All I'm saying, don't expect much from any of the Bills rookies and that is exactly what the team is doing.

Another case in point being second year guy TJ Graham.  The speedster out of NC State came into the season with mild expectations because the Bills traded up to get him and the team had a dearth of speed at the position.  He didn't fail to disappoint only catching 31 balls with 322 yards and one touchdown. Ouch.  Blame the quarterback and the shitty coach if you'd like (and I will too) but if this team had any discernible talent at the position Graham would be on the hot seat.

The Bills brass knew they needed a reset at this position and went hard in the draft to restock the roster. Robert "Bobby" Woods was taken in the 2nd outta USC and Olympian Marquise "4.21 40" Goodwin was taken in the 3rd round.  Woods at least from reports is much more polished a WR and appears to be slated as the #2 guy oppo Johnson.  Was Goodwin taken too high and will have a season ala Graham last year? Probably, but I heard once that speed kills, so we'll see.

The two most intriguing and wildcard esque players in the mix at WR are Da'Rick Rogers and Marcus Easley. One an undrafted "bad boy" (no he isn't a rapper in Diddy's crew he got booted from Tennessee, yes Tennessee kicked him off their team so you know he's a screw up) and the other an injury prone "never was".  Both of them have a good shot at making the roster.  Rogers has the potential to be a beast if he wants to be (think Moulds with more speed) and Easley just needs a break and good health.

With this corps of wide receivers the franchise must be thinking rebuild mode, have the young guys take their lumps this year and look towards 2014.  I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment but again why is Brad Smith still here taking up a roster spot then?

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