Friday, April 11, 2014
Bills draft preview: Wide receiver
By Mike Rodak
As we step away on vacation, we'll provide a position-by-position preview of next month's draft from a Buffalo Bills perspective:
Position: Wide receiver
Current personnel: Steve Johnson (signed through 2016), Mike Williams (2018), Robert Woods (2016), T.J. Graham (2015), Marquise Goodwin (2016), Marcus Easley (2014), Chris Hogan (2014 tender), Ramses Barden (2015), Kevin Elliott (2014), Cordell Roberson (2015), Brandon Kaufman (2015), Chris Summers (2015)
Draft need: Moderate-to-low
State of the position: This is a hard position to pin down. Theoretically, the top of the depth chart should be set for the next several years, with Johnson, Williams, and Woods all under contract for at least the next three seasons. Even then, it's tough to say whether Johnson or Williams will play out their deals in Buffalo. Johnson has cap numbers approaching $9 million in each of the remaining years of his contract, putting him at risk of being a salary-cap casualty. His production has been good but may not justify that sort of salary.
Williams, on the other hand, was jettisoned from Tampa in part due to off-field issues. If those crop up again in Buffalo, would the Bills tolerate him? It's a question worth pondering. If Williams puts up the same numbers that he did in his first three seasons with the Buccaneers, he'll be a significant part of the Bills' offense, but the possibility also exists that he doesn't bounce back from a hamstring injury last season and is relegated to a lesser role.
Beyond Johnson and Williams, the Bills have used a second-round pick (in 2013, for Woods) and two second-round picks (in 2012, for Graham and in 2013, for Goodwin) and may have enough young talent to justify not drafting another receiver. But with Graham's future in Buffalo iffy, it wouldn't be shocking if the Bills drafted a taller receiver in the late rounds to compete for a roster spot. The chances of Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans coming to Buffalo, however, are slim.
Sweet spot: Second round or later.
Possible targets: Brandon Coleman (Rutgers), Cody Latimer (Indiana), Devin Street (Pittsburgh)