Bills Projected to Add ‘Ultra Explosive’ Receiver to Offense

Brandon Beane, Sean McDermott

Getty Head coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills stands with general manager Brandon Beane on the field before a game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on September 8, 2019.

It has been a full decade since the Buffalo Bills used a first-round pick on a wide receiver, and one insider believes the streak will end this year.

The Bills struggled to find consistency in their wide receiving corps, with top pass-catcher Stefon Diggs suffering through a late-season slump and the supporting cast offering uneven contributions. With No. 2 receiver Gabe Davis headed to free agency, Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports believes the Bills will make a big investment in the position this offseason by using their first-round pick on a speedy receiver who can bring a much-needed aspect to the offense.

Bills Grab Oregon Standout

Trapasso predicted that the Bills would use their No. 28 overall pick on Oregon receiver Troy Franklin, the 6-foot-3 target with an ability to make big plays.

“Franklin is a tall speedster whose numbers increased in each of his three seasons at Oregon,” Trapasso wrote. “There’s some after-the-catch juice to his game too. Precisely what the Bills need offensively.”

Bills general manager Brandon Beane has emphasized the need to add players who can generate yards after the catch, a weak point in Buffalo’s offense in recent years. The team made some attempts to bring that aspect to the offense in signing the speedy Deonte Harty last offseason, but he ended up playing only a light role in the offense.

While the draft’s top receivers like Marvin Harrison Jr. and Rome Odunze will be out of reach for the Bills without a significant trade to move up the board in the first round, others believe Franklin would be attainable.’s Daniel Jeremiah predicted in his January 19 mock draft that the “ultra explosive” wide receiver would go to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 30, two picks after the Bills.

Taking Franklin would be a big investment for the Bills, and a rare position for the team in the first round. The last time the Bills took a wide receiver in the first round was 2014, when they traded up to the No. 4 overall pick to land Sammy Watkins.

Bills Could Make Other Additions to Offense

While many insiders agree the Bills will use their first-round pick on a wide receiver, there are varying opinions on just who they might take.’s Luke Easterling predicted that the Bills would draft South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette, adding another deep threat alongside Diggs.

“Stefon Diggs is still one of the league’s best route-runners, but Josh Allen needs more juice from the rest of his receiver group,” Easterling wrote. “Legette has the physicality you’d expect from a 6-1, 227-pound receiver, but has elite speed to go along with his impressive frame, making opposing defenders look silly as he leaves them in the dust after the catch.”

Vinnie Iyer of The Sporting News had the Bills taking LSU receiver Brian Thomas Jr. in his mock draft, predicting that he had the potential to grow into a No. 1 receiver to take over for Diggs one day.

If the Bills do add a game-changing receiver, it will most likely be through the draft. Beane has already warned that the team will not be making any big moves in free agency as they face a significant cap crunch this offseason.

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