Stefon Diggs had a career-best season for the Buffalo Bills last year, leading the league in receptions and catches en route to his first All-Pro season. But it wasn’t enough for him to land in the top five in one recent list of the league’s top outside receivers.
Diggs was in good company in the list published by USA Today’s Touchdown Wire, but ranked behind other pass-catchers who failed to perform as well as Josh Allen’s favorite target. This marks the second curious ranking of a Bills wide receiver from the news outlet, which also wasn’t as high on Cole Beasley — but did give a strong rating to one of Buffalo’s lesser-used weapons.
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Diggs Lands Outside of Top 4
Touchdown Wire has been publishing position-by-position rankings of NFL players, and decided to separate out the slot and outside receivers. Diggs, who was statistically the best wide receiver last season, failed to crack the top four. The outlet ranked him at No. 5, with Devante Adams at first followed by DeAndre Hopkins, Tyreek Hill and Allen Robinson.
Though Diggs ranked lower than his stats would seem to indicate, Touchdown Wire writer Mark Schofield had some high praise for him.
Since breaking out with the Minnesota Vikings a few seasons ago, Stefon Diggs has been one of the most impressive wide receivers to study. His combination of athleticism and footwork makes him such a difficult receiver to cover, as Diggs can sink into and out of breaks with the best in the game. This was something I highlighted a few years back when he was with the Vikings.
The ranking drew some opposition, even within the same media outlet. Nick Wojton of USA Today’s Bills Wire disagreed with the ranking, saying that there should not be four outside receivers listed above Diggs. He speculated that Diggs may have been ranked lower because he had a higher volume of targets than the others listed, but said it should not be a knock on Diggs that he had the full faith of Josh Allen and Bills coaches.
Other Bills Receivers Get Lower Marks
Diggs isn’t the only Bills wide receiver with a relatively low grade from the team at USA Today. Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire didn’t even have Cole Beasley listed among the league’s top 12 slot receivers. Instead, it was another member of the Bills receiving core who got honored, with Farrar putting Isaiah McKenzie at No. 7. In the write-up, Farrar noted that McKenzie became the more reliable red-zone target for Allen and the Bills.
“Like all great slot receivers, McKenzie has the ability to elude defenders with quick option and movement concepts in compressed areas, and there’s no more compressed area than the red zone. That’s why McKenzie caught six touchdown passes on just 21 overall slot catches and 23 targets for 152 yards,” he wrote.
But other members of the Bills offense are getting recognition elsewhere. An assessment of league executives from ESPN ranked Allen as the fifth-best quarterback in the league, with one exec ranking him as the second-best in the league. Allen was in good company on the list — Patrick Mahomes came in first, followed by Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Russell Wilson.