2020 Draft Perks: Wide Receivers
Quite possibly the second biggest need on the Buffalo Bills roster, Wide Receiver. Lucky for us fans, this is the best group of receivers coming out of college since 2014. There talent all over the board, it's just a matter of who will fall to 22, and who could be there on day 2 of the draft. This will be a long article, and I'm going from top prospects, to my favorite late round guys.
Henry Ruggs III, Wide Receiver, Alabama (Junior)
5'11'' 188 lbs
Ruggs is coming off a career at Alabama where he caught 90 passes, and 24 for Touchdowns. He had an impressive day at the combine showing off he speed, running a 4.27 second 40 yard dash. He showed excellent explosion with a 42'' vertical jump, and an almost 11' broad jump. He may be a little shorter than a receiver that most fans want, but his speed and quickness off the line of scrimmage can create separation that will be welcoming to Josh Allen. He's not just a guy who can run a vertical route, he can run the 5 yard slant, and gain 50 yards after catch and bring it to the house. The Buffalo offense was lacking in the explosive play department last season, and Ruggs can come in and bring that explosion with him.
Laviska Shenault Jr., Wide Receiver, Colorado (Junior)
6'1'' 227 lbs
This is a name that a lot of Bills fans have become familiar with since the end of the season. He has the size that fans are looking for. He has the speed to run away from defenders. He ran a 4.58 second 40 yard dash, which a little slower than anticipated. It came out after his run that he is dealing with a core muscle injury. He will be going under the knife to help alleviate the injury. It is yet to be seen how his injury will hurt his draft stock, but if Buffalo is looking to upgrade their gadget and misdirection game, Shenault is the guy. He did a lot of trick plays while at Colorado. Jet sweeps, screens, reverses. He did it all. I think his skill set will be more than welcome at One Bills Drive.
Justin Jefferson, Wide Receiver, LSU (Junior)
6'1'' 202 lbs
Jefferson came on late in the season as a first round favorite. He was a trusted target for Joe Burrow, and Jefferson showed why. He led the National Champs in catches with 111, he averaged 13.9 yards per catch, and had 18 touchdowns. He has prototypical size for the position, but tested a little lower than expected. a 4.43 40 time is solid, but a 37.5'' vertical jump and a 10'6'' broad jump didn't show the kind of explosiveness I expected to see. His reliability to catch the football is what matters most, and he has shown that he can be trusted to catch the football with authority.
Brandon Aiyuk, Wide Receiver, Arizona St. (Senior)
6'0 205 lbs
Aiyuk is an solid player coming out of the PAC 12. Not only is he a solid and dependable receiver, he is also a 2 way special teams returner. He averaged over 16 yards per punt return, and over 31 yards per kickoff return during his senior season. He averaged over 18 yards per catch, and scored 8 touchdowns. He has the size, and the quickness Buffalo needs. Running a 4.5 second 40 yard dash shows the acceleration that one needs to create enough separation while running routes, and while returning kickoffs. Andre Roberts isn't going to be on the Bills forever, and if they are looking for a specialist that can also contribute on offense, Aiyuk will be a great day 2 pick.
Denzel Mims, Wide Receiver, Baylor ( RS Senior)
6'3'' 207 lbs
Mims showed off during his testing at the combine. He was one of three guys I couldn't turn away from while he was testing. 4.38 40 yard dash, 38.5'' vertical jump, 10'9'' broad jump, 6.66 second 3 cone drill. He showed off his speed, explosion, and agility. He averaged 15.5 yards per catch and had 12 touchdowns in his senior season. He has borderline elite size, and with his combine numbers, it would be interesting to see if he can replicate those numbers during game play.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Wide Receiver, Michigan (Junior)
6'2'' 212 lbs
Peoples-Jones is another big bodied receiver that has shot up draft boards since he blew up at the combine. He showed excellent athleticism by running a 4.48 second 40 yard dash, 44.5'' vertical jump, and a 11'5'' broad jump. He was hindered in college by poor quarterback play, which I believe is what kept him hidden during the college football season. His collegiate numbers don't do him justice, only 34 catches (12.9 yard average) and 6 touchdowns. It will be interesting to see where he goes, and who he has to teach him. I think with some seasoning, he can become a scary option. Also, he was a 100 meter track champion in high school.
Antonio Gandy-Golden, Wide Receiver, Liberty (Senior)
6'4'' 223 lbs
Gandy-Golden is probably my favorite receiver in the group. He is a small school talent, so his level of competition was a little less. He was more of a big fish, little pond. He is a huge human to be playing the receiver position. At his size, he is an extraordinary athlete. A 4.6 second 40 yard dash isn't bad for a guy his size. He did 22 reps on the bench press. Most of the time, I could care less what a receiver did on the bench, but 22 reps is solid. That helps with run blocking and getting off of press coverage within the first 5 yards. He had an above average vertical jump at 36'' and a broad jump of 10'6''. Watching his tape, he has a catch radius that is insane. His length helps with that, and him being so big, he was able to bully corners in contested catches while in college. He can be a 4th round steal, and can be a solid red zone target in his rookie year. He can win contested catches and 50/50 throws. It will take some time for him to get used to the steep talent level change, but he has done that before. Liberty went from FCS in 2018 to FBS in 2019, and he got better with that change.
Chase Claypool, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame (Senior)
6'4'' 238 lbs
Talk about a guy who improved his draft stock at the combine. A 4.42 second 40 yard dash, and a 40.5"vertical jump opened everyone's eyes to his athleticism. He led the Irish in receiving with 66 catches (15.7 yards per catch) and 13 touchdowns. He is another big bodied receiver who will excel with contested catches and high pointing the ball. He's not only excellent at creating space with his size. His run blocking ability is something to marvel at. He uses his size to pancake smaller corners during run plays, and that is something that Buffalo could use.