State of the Bills: Wide Receivers

Injuries have taken their toll on Buffalo's wide receivers.

The Bills have their bye week this week, so Buffalo Football Report will evaluate the Bills current roster after seven games. We will discuss each player at each position and provide you positives and negatives with their play through seven games this season.

Wide Receivers: 

Sammy Watkins

Positives: Opposing teams respect Watkins’ game. In Week 1, the receiver served as a decoy against the Indianapolis Colts. He not only took Indianapolis’ top cornerback out of the play but a safety was also sent in his direction. When Watkins is on the field, he opens things up underneath for the receiver in the slot and tight end Charles Clay.

Negatives: Watkins hasn’t been able to stay healthy this season. The second year receiver has played in four games this year while dealing with calf and ankle injuries. Quarterback play and bad luck with injuries are certainly factors, but Watkins hasn’t met expectations since being drafted with the fourth overall pick.

Future: Watkins has plenty of time to break out and show the league why he was selected so high in the 2014 NFL draft. There’s no telling if Watkins will return after the bye or be held out for another week or two, but it’s important for him to finish the season strong with the Bills.

Robert Woods

Positives:  Woods has been Buffalo’s most reliable receiver from a health standpoint. He’s also pretty reliable in terms of his stats. In his rookie season, Woods averaged 41.9 yards per game. He saw that total boosted to 43.7 in 2014 and through seven games, Woods’ YPG average sits at 42.1. Woods is coming off of his best game of the year in which he caught 9-of-13 targets for 84 yards and a touchdown. His role could expand over the last nine games depending on how long Percy Harvinis out with personal issues.

Negatives: Woods can’t carry the load on his own. With the amount of injuries the team has been dealing with, Woods wasn’t able to take on the No. 1 receiver role in this offense. He’s a steady performer but his upside is limited.

Future: Woods will continue to see plenty of playing time across from Watkins as long as Harvin is out, but teams will know to put extra help on Watkins' side of the field.

Percy Harvin

Positives: Over the course of the first three weeks of the season, no receiver was more consistent on the Bills than Harvin. The receiver had good chemistry with Tyrod Taylor and could be relied upon to catch the ball in important situations.

Negatives: No one really knows what is going on with Harvin. Throughout his career, Harvin has dealt with a hip injury and that has been the case in 2015. Currently, the receiver is out of action for personal reasons. No one knows exactly what is going on with Harvin.

Future: Long-term, Harvin probably doesn’t have a future in Buffalo. This should be a one-and-done situation but there’s no telling if he’ll even return to play in 2015.

Chris Hogan

Positives: Hogan struggled leading up to the regular season but has bounced back for the Bills. He’s been a steady contributor for Buffalo and is currently second in receptions and yards among all Bills wide receivers.

Negatives: Hogan’s upside is limited. When targeted, Hogan drops too many catchable balls. He should be a reserve player but injuries have thrusted him into extra playing time.

Future: If Watkins and Harvin return, Hogan should return to seeing limited action.

Marcus Easley

Positives: Easley is easily one of the best special teams players in the NFL.

Negatives: He has never developed into a wide receiver. His touchdown against the Jaguars was the first of his career and only the third reception of his career.

Future: As long as Easley continues to perform as a gunner, his role with Buffalo will be safe.

Denarius Moore

Positives: Has shown some punt return ability.

Negatives: Moore isn’t likely to contribute as a receiver.

Future: He could last until the end of the season as Buffalo’s punt returner but don’t look for him to contribute much in the receiving game.

Marquise Goodwin

Positives: Doubled his reception total from 2014.

Negatives: He caught two passes in 2015 rather than the one he registered in 2014.

Future: Goodwin is out for the year and Buffalo realistically needs to part ways with the receiver. He’s proven to be too small to stay healthy in the NFL.

 

 

 


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