2022 WR Elimination Game

Photo of Arkansas WR Treylon Burks from onlyinark.com.

Here’s a list of most of the draftables:

First, I’ll sort them by their DraftScout Low 40 time. That’s the best predictor of their Combine time.

Eliminating all WRs with a time worse than 4.42, we have this crop. That knocked off a few names you’ll hear this year, Ty Fryfogle, Trey Knox, Jalen Tolbert, and Chris Autman-Bell. I’m leaving Keylon Stokes of Tulsa in the mix for now; he’s a kick returner. I’ve sorted them by YPC vs AP-ranked teams in 2020 or 2019.

We’ll cut that list down by eliminating all WR draftables who didn’t have 8.4 YPC:

Now it’s time to look at the player interviews. My “All-Interviews Team” list has been very predictive of the Bills’ selections. The first two picks of 2021, Gregory Rousseau and Boogie Basham, were on my A++ List, and the next two, Spencer Brown and Tommy Doyle were on my A+ List. Guard Jack Anderson’s also on there. Here’s who makes this year’s A++ List, and yes, I’ll leave Keylon Stokes on there still, but I’m removing Olave, Justyn Ross, and Rambo.

Now we have a workable list. In 2019, 2020, and 2021, Brandon Beane has drafted 8 playmakers, and other than Singletary (ConfUSA) they’ve hailed from AAC, ACC, PAC12, or SEC. Let’s apply that here, and that knocks out Haselwood and Bell, two Day 3 guys. It would also eliminate Michigan’s Giles Jackson, except he’s versatile as a kick returner.

Let’s take a deeper look at each of my six early “best bets” for the Bills in a crowded WR room. I’ve arranged them in order of likelihood.

Photo of Arkansas WR Treylon Burks from djournal.com.

Treylon Burks WR Arkansas
SEC
6030 228 4.42
YPC vs AP Teams:14.6
KR Yardage, Career: 226
Interview Cued Up (Click To Listen): A++
Watch This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK_bg0n1rno
Stats: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/treylon-burks-1.html
Burks ranks right near the top of my list because he’s the heaviest WR, and he’s physical. I’m thinking the Bills would still be looking for that trait. There’s some make-ya-miss in his game, and that trait fits into the room, too.
Fit For Bills: A+

Photo of Oregon WR Mycah Pittman from 247sports.com.

Mycah Pittman WR Oregon
PAC12
5011 198 4.36
YPC vs AP Teams: 11.3
KR Yardage, Career: 0
Interview Cued Up (Click To Listen): A++
Watch This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okHZdiEet4E
Stats: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/mycah-pittman-1.html
Pittman is the speed in the Ducks’ offense => and you could compare him to the venerable Emmanuel Sanders in that regard. Notice his focus catching the ball about an inch from the turf.
Fit For Bills: A

Photo of Michigan WR KR Giles Jackson from maizenbrew.com and USATODAY.

Giles Jackson WR KR Michigan
BIG10
5090 188 4.32
YPC vs AP Teams: 14.8
KR Yardage, Career: 976
Interview Cued Up (Click To Listen): A++
Watch This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQR52Jjs9vI
Stats: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/giles-jackson-1.html I think Giles Jackson has some potential as a Cole Beasley-Isaiah McKenzie type. He’ll be a wonderful kick returner with contact balance and full-speed cuts. Watch two plays cued up here. The obstacle for this waterbug isn’t his production (highest ypc vs AP-ranked teams on this list); it’s the youth of Marquez Stevenson (23) and Brandon Powell (25), both of whom impress with a similar skillset.
Fit For Bills: A-

Photo of UCF WR Jaylon Robinson from 247sports.com.

Jaylon Robinson WR UCF
AAC
5090 163 4.36
YPC vs AP Teams: 8.4
KR Yardage, Career: 0
Interview Cued Up (Click To Listen): A++
Watch This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpwwUQy38J4
Stats: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/jaylon-robinson-1.html
Robinson transferred in from Oklahoma. He’s one of the lightest in the draft class, but he’s still on here for two reasons: his jukes like the one I cued up, and the fact that he was a Gabriel Davis teammate. He had the third-most receiving yards in the AAC in 2020: 979. He’s just to Tutu for me, and likely for Beane. Atwell is 5’9″ 156 4.32.
Fit For Bills: B+

Photo of NC State WR PR Thayer Thomas from newsobserver.com.

Thayer Thomas WR PR NC State
ACC
6000 195 4.4
YPC vs AP Teams:13
KR Yardage, Career: 0 (391 PR, 0 KR)
Interview Cued Up (Click To Listen): A++
Watch This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLIjKMsVjVM
Stats: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/thayer-thomas-1.html
Has established a nice relationship with Hockman, shows toughness here=>https://youtu.be/JdRZhQ0xfjw?t=37 punt return=>https://youtu.be/JdRZhQ0xfjw?t=55 Thomas would be a nice mid-round pickup, but I don’t think he’d distinguish himself enough to make the 53. He’ll likely get more work on other teams.
Fit For Bills: B

Photo of Tulsa WR KR Keylon Stokes from 247sports.com.

Keylon Stokes WR KR Tulsa
AAC
6000 190 4.56
YPC vs AP Teams:14.6
KR Yardage, Career: 1244
Interview Cued Up (Click To Listen): A+
Watch This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M29M-RPr488
Stats: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/keylon-stokes-1.html
“KEY-linn” made the list for his draft class’s best 1201 KR over his career, but he’s also notched a respectable 16.8 ypc in the AAC despite no decent QB to throw to him. I’m also impressed that Keylon , improved in receptions, yards, and TDs every year, and has the experience Beane likes (42 career games and 32 starts) … has 155 receptions for 2,402 yards and 11 touchdowns … ranks third on the school’s career list for all-purpose yards with 3,956 yards … caught 46 passes for 644 yards and 3 TDs in 2020 … earned Second-Team All-AAC in 2020. He’d be a great guess as a Day-3 KR had we not nabbed a much-speedier Marquez Stevenson whose game will translate to the NFL better.
Fit For Bills: B

Editor’s babble: These lists are a fantastic way to get to know names to pay attention to during what is hoped to be a “normal” college football season. We are blessed to have Dean Kindig writing for our blog. You can find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.

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