The first of Buffalo’s two drafted rookie wideouts established himself as a legitimate target
The Buffalo Bills have revamped their wide receiver group over the last few years, going from one of the worst groups of pass catchers in the NFL to one of the best. We’ve already discussed the splash addition, as general manager Brandon Beane added Stefon Diggs via trade last March, but Beane has also done a nice job adding talent in the draft.
In 2020, Buffalo drafted two wide receivers who added size and contested catch ability to a group of smaller, speedier wideouts. While the second of those two draft choices took what amounted to a medical redshirt as a rookie, the first of those picks flourished as a rookie, establishing himself as one of Josh Allen’s favorite red zone targets.
Coming in at number five on our list of the Buffalo Bills’ best salary cap values for 2020 is a second-year wideout with big potential.
WR Gabriel Davis
2020 Salary Cap Figure: $784,845 (.36% of Buffalo’s salary cap total)
2020 Stats: 62 targets, 35 receptions, 599 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns, one rush, zero yards, one fumble
Davis began the year as Buffalo’s WR4, as the team expected to roll with Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley as the top three in the group. Once Brown was injured early in the year, though, it was Davis who stepped up and took his snaps. By the end of the season, Davis was WR2 in terms of total snap share (73.25 percent) and WR3 in terms of targets. He finished fourth on the team in total receptions, trailing Diggs, Beasley, and Devin Singletary. He was second behind Diggs in receiving touchdowns. Early in camp, it was clear that Davis was pro-ready, as Brown said in a Zoom call with reporters that Davis was correcting veterans on their routes on certain plays during practices.
When a team drafts a receiver, it’s often understood that player will need some time to acclimate to the pro game. The Bills had the perfect infrastructure in place to allow Davis to become a big part of the offense slowly. Once that plan blew up as a result of Brown’s injuries, Davis took advantage of his uptick in snaps and reps. For a rookie to have performed as well as Davis did as the third option in the passing game with a limited offseason bodes well for his future. Davis was an easy choice for one of the team’s best cap values last year.