Buffalo Bills Overhauling Wide Receiver Position In 2013

Joel Auerbach

The Buffalo Bills are thin and getting thinner at wide receiver, where Stevie Johnson is now the only accomplished player on the roster.

In the past two weeks, the Buffalo Bills have decided not to offer restricted free agent tenders to wide receiver Donald Jones and David Nelson. While not terribly surprising given the presence of a new coaching staff (and with it a brand new offense), the moves nonetheless leave the Bills woefully thin at the receiver position.

Stevie Johnson is the only accomplished receiver on the roster; he's caught 237 passes for 3,123 yards and 23 touchdowns over the past three seasons. The team has talked about moving him into the slot full-time; given the dearth of talent at this position, it's hard to foresee that happening today.

T.J. Graham, a 2012 third-round pick, is the other projected starter for the moment; the vertical threat caught just 31 passes for 322 yards as a rookie, and dropped over 12 percent of his targets (7-of-58). Beyond Johnson and the exceedingly raw Graham, the only other receiver on the roster with any sort of reputation is Brad Smith, who has 37 receptions in two seasons with Buffalo.

Of the other three receivers on the roster - Marcus Easley, Chris Hogan and Kevin Elliott - none offers anything more than intriguing upside. In essence, we can now boil Buffalo's receiver position down to Johnson as the alpha dog, Graham as the project and spare parts. Clearly, the team is bracing to make sweeping changes at this position over the next couple of months.

Do the departures of Jones and (maybe especially) Nelson change where the wide receiver position is on your list of off-season needs, Bills fans?

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