Coming into camp, the Buffalo Bills have with a young but special receiving corps. In addition to Stevie Johnson, 2013 second round pick, Robert Woods, third round pick Marquise Goodwin, and undrafted free agent Da’Rick Rogers join the fold. The young talented additions are nice, but who is the real answer worthy of starting beside Stevie as the second receiver?
Everyone’s typical answer to say Robert Woods. The USC receiver racked up big numbers throughout his career. He contains great foot quickness, great route running and burst after the catch, but he was bothered by a right ankle injury throughout the majority of his time at USC and couldn’t stay healthy. The only skill set he lacks is his consistent ability to catch the ball. Woods needs to be able to catch the ball more consistently down field, but the young receiver thrives on short to intermediate routes which is a perfect fit as a slot receiver in today’s NFL.
The receiver that is the perfect fit for the job is second year receiver T.J. Graham. Graham did struggle his first year in the league, but receivers do take time to develop. Graham is a burner that can take the top off of defenses. He can beat corners in man coverage and use his hands to stack on top of them to continue to gain separation. He is very good when it comes to deep routes and looks natural in his catches. He is quick off the ball and uses his feet well to avoid and stem corners that can overpower him. He can vary his speeds well to keep corners off balance.
Goodwin and Rogers are two guys that will develop into great receivers, but the two don’t stand a chance to start on opening day. There is a whole lot of inexperience at a position that is about much more than just catching balls. The intricacies of playing wide out, reading coverages, understanding when you’re the hot target on a blitz, and blocking in both the run and pass game can vex veterans, so the Bills will have to deal with potentially painful growing pains.