Entering the 2017 NFL Season, the Buffalo Bills have plenty of decisions to make before the start of the season. With training camp and the preseason now just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how these on and off the field decisions are made and what effect they are likely to have on the short term future in Buffalo.
As it pertains to the team’s roster for the upcoming season, decisions are quickly looming with roster cuts and depth chart moves likely to come. Beginning a new series for the next couple of weeks, we will take a look each day at a positional group on the Buffalo Bills roster and what the outlook appears to be as well as make our own predictions on how things will turn out.
Continuing our new series today, we will take a look at what the future holds for the Buffalo Bills at the wide receiver position.
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Starter: Sammy Watkins
The number one receiver in Buffalo by a mile, Sammy Watkins will be the main starter for the Buffalo Bills this season. While the two, three, and four spots will likely switch throughout the season, Watkins need to only remain healthy to maintain his status with the team. However, based on his past, Watkins remaining healthy is not something I would bet on.
Second String: Andre Holmes
A player that has received a lot of praise during the minicamp period of the offseason, Andre Holmes looks to be the favorite to land Buffalo’s number two receiver spot. Possessing size and skill, Holmes is the best of the rest when it comes to Buffalo’s receiver depth chart with the only question mark coming on what kind of production can be expected from Holmes at this stage.
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Third String: Zay Jones
Selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Zay Jones looks to be the future number two receiver for the Buffalo Bills. A solid guy that reminds some of former Buffalo receiver Robert Woods, Jones should fit nicely into a slot role on this offense while also putting up some solid numbers during his rookie season. That said, Jones can easily flop to the fourth string role with the next player listed.
Fourth String: Philly Brown
Following new Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott to the team this past offseason, Brown had a solid career with the Panthers during his three years with the team. Likely to be a number three or four guy for the Buffalo Bills, expect Brown to battle both Holmes and Jones during the preseason as each searches for a starting role this season.
Fighting for Roster Spots: Brandon Tate, Walter Powell, Daikiel Shorts, Brandon Reilly
With six wide receivers appearing to be the standard for roster spots, the battle for the final two spots on the Bills roster is likely to come down to these four men. Each carry their own skill sets and have varying experience levels but all should manage to compete one way or another for a spot. Right now, my early bet would go on both Tate and Reilly to earn the two roster spots.
Kick Returner: Rashad Ross
Added to the Buffalo Bills roster during the offseason, the journeyman player looks set to battle for the kick return spot with the Buffalo Bills. Considering that he has had some success in the past, Ross looks set to either earn this role or miss the roster completely. Should Brandon Tate move into a full receiver role, Ross will be a shoo in for this spot.
Cut: Jeremy Butler and Dezmin Lewis
Two players I don’t see playing a role in the roster battle this preseason are Jeremy Butler and Dezmin Lewis. While Lewis failed to impress during his chance with the team last year, Butler has been a player constantly switching teams due to poor levels of performance. Despite the lack of overall talent at the position in Buffalo, Butler and Lewis already seem to be on the outside looking in.