The Buffalo Bills kept wheeling and dealing during the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday, April 30, with general manager Brandon Beane trading picks 168 and 203 to the Chicago Bears for pick 148 in order to select wide receiver, Khalil Shakir.
The Boise State alum ranked in mock drafts as the 15th best wide receiver in the draft, per Broncos News, so it was surprising to see the two-time First Team All-Mountain West offensive stud still on the board in Round 5.
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The Bills were universally praised for snagging Shakir this late in the draft, a player whom ESPN’s draft analyst Matt Miller compared to San Francisco 49ers star wide receiver, Deebo Samuel.
Miller tweeted, “Bills getting Khalil Shakir in Round 5 is a steal in my book. The Deebo comp has been overused, but Shakir can be used in a similar manner–albeit a poor man’s version of Samuel’s all-around game. Get him into a creative offense and he can be a weapon.”
The Athletic’s Nat Trice tweeted, “I would have liked Khalil Shakir for the Bills on Day 2. So pretty sure I like it even more in the 5th round.”
Shakir joins a receivers room that’s already stacked with talent, as the Bills have Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Isaiah McKenzie, Jamison Crowder, Dawson Knox, and O.J. Howard.
SB Nation Says Shakir Looks to Be Cole Beasley’s Replacement
During the 2021 season with the Boise State Broncos, Khalil recorded 77 receptions for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns, while racking up 14.5 yards per reception. During the NFL combine, the 6-foot, 196-pound receiver ran “a blazing 4.43 at the combine, and “showcased [his] explosiveness by broad jumping 124-inches,” The Draft Network‘s Justin Melo wrote.
Shakir met with all 32 NFL teams but he said after getting drafted that the Bills had left a lasting impression on him. The “Bills ‘were one of the first teams that I talked to within zoom meetings & all that,” he said, per The Buffalo News’ Katherine Fitzgerald.
“Kind of doing those pre-draft interviews,and in the back of my head I just couldn’t stop thinking about the talks that I had with the Bills. So, I guess it was a match made in heaven.”
SB Nation surmised that Bills general Brandon Beane drafting Shakir was his way of replacing Cole Beasley, their former veteran slot receiver:
Shakir fits the mold of a slot receiver in Ken Dorsey’s offense, but offers a bit more than former starter Cole Beasley. While his he’s a shifty route runner, his long speed (4.43 40-dash time) and physicality and straight up creativity with the ball in his hands allows him to be a threat in multiple scenarios and places on the field. He can get it done on bubble screens, direct snaps and even in the punt return game (where he has experience).
With Beasley now off the team, a full-time slot role seemed destined to go to newly signed Jamison Crowder. But now with Khalil Shakir, the team has a future long-term starter for the foreseeable future on a cost-controlled contract.
Shakir Says He ‘Can’t Wait’ to Learn From Bills Star WR Stefon Diggs
Following his selection, Shakir said he couldn’t wait to start working alongside Buffalo’s No. 1 receiver, Stefon Diggs.
“I’ve watched him for a long time. I study a lot of the great WRs in the league and he’s definitely one of them,” Shakir said, per One Bills Live host Chris Brown. “I can’t wait to learn from him and pick his brain a little bit.”
Shakir is also pumped to start catching passes from quarterback Josh Allen, especially since he’s previously had to play against the Bills’ superstar. “Kahlil Shakir says he was a freshman at Boise State when he played against Josh Allen during his last year at Wyoming,” Bills reporter Maddy Glab tweeted.