Prior to the 2022 NFL Draft there was some buzz among analysts and members of the media that the Bills might add a receiver.
On the third day of selections, Buffalo made a move up the board in the fifth round to do just that.
GM Brandon Beane and company traded picks No. 168 and No. 203 to the Chicago Bears, taking WR Khalil Shakir from Boise State at 148th overall.
“They were one of the first teams that I talked to within zoom meetings and all that,” Shakir said over a video conference. “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. I’m truly excited to get to work.”
Playing primarily in the slot, the newest member of the Bills offense adds depth and versatility as he can run jet sweeps, end-arounds, as well as screens. He joins a receiver group that has room for him to contribute while growing into a regular part of the offense following the departure of Cole Beasley.
A speedy threat who was clocked at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine, he also was graded the highest of any WR in the 2022 draft class by Pro Football Focus, with a 92.0 career grade
He even drew comparisons by ESPN’s Matt Miller to San Francisco 49er’s star Deebo Samuel, with Miller calling Shakir “a steal” for the Bills.
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.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 30, 2022
A part of the WR’s game that he brings to the team is yards-after-catch, an area the Bills are looking to improve in.
“I can’t even put the words together to show how excited I am to get to work and showcase my talent,” he added. “The work is going to show. I’m gonna work my tail off every single day and make sure the people in the organization know that this pick was a really, really good pick for them.”
In 11 college games as the leading receiver for the Broncos last season, he went for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns on 77 catches while adding 21 carries. He earned first-team All-Mountain West honors in 2020 and 2021 and logged 10 games with 100-plus receiving yards and 414 rushing yards during his collegiate career.
He also averaged 23.8 yards per kick and 7.5 yards per punt as a return man throughout his time with the University. A position he may see playing time at for Buffalo.
“That’s something that I believe I can bring to the table, If that’s what the Bills need me to do,” Shakir said. “I’m not going to sit here and say I want to do this, or I want to do that. I’m going to do whatever the team wants me to do, whatever the organization wants me to do, and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability. I’m going to do it at an elite level.”