Buffalo Bills: 4 Non-QB First Round Draft Prospects

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 02: Mike McGlinchey
SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 02: Mike McGlinchey /
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Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills /

Calvin Ridley

A total of 84 receptions sounds pretty good, right? For most wide receivers, that could be a decent year.

How about 84 receptions spread out between eight receivers? You read it right; the current Buffalo receiving corps of eight wide outs made a grand total of less than 100 grabs in 2017.

You could argue that the wide receiver position has the weakest free agent class. The Bills lost 52 total receptions from last year with the departure of Deonte Thompson and Jordan Matthews to Dallas and New England, respectively; they added Kaelin Clay, a depth piece and special teams player with only six career receptions.

With only Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones in set roles, the Bills must add a wide receiver in the draft. Even so, Benjamin’s injuries and Jones’ inconsistency on the field — as well as his off field incident — make the group tenuous at best. Behind them are veterans Andre Holmes and Rod Streater, the latter missing all of last year to injury.

While the position isn’t the strongest it’s been, wide receiver prospects are pretty deep in the upcoming draft. Mike Mayock, the NFL media draft analyst for NFL.com, ranked Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk and Courtland Sutton as his top three wide receivers.

The consensus has Ridley as the top wide receiver for the draft. Despite this, he should still be available when the Bills are on the clock due to concerns with his size.

As far as weaknesses, that’s where it stops. The three-year starter at Alabama has succeeded on the highest level at the collegiate level.

In addition, he exhibits playmaking ability, with breakaway speed which stretches the defense. Ridley has shown an ability to run routes effectively with his great control and quick feet.

This seems like a perfect fit, with Ridley matched up opposite from Benjamin and Jones residing in the slot. He complements the Bills’ receivers, using his speed to become a deep threat and opening up the field to allow space for the rest of the offense.

It also helps that the Bills’ new offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, was in the same capacity at Alabama last season; he can undoubtedly utilize the young receiver properly.