When an undrafted rookie makes an NFL roster, it’s always at a position where a team requires a lot of bodies but finds the talent pool somewhat lacking.
For the Buffalo Bills, wide receiver is one of those positions. I’ve profiled one undrafted receiver already, so here’s a look at the other post-draft signee looking to catch passes from Tyrod Taylor in 2017.
Name: Daikiel Shorts
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 202 lbs.
College: West Virginia
Draft: UDFA (2017)
Financial Situation (per Spotrac): Shorts is on a standard three-year UDFA deal. He’s set to make $465k this season with $90k raises in each of the next two seasons. There is no dead cap hit if the Bills release him.
2016 Recap: Playing in every game for the 10-3 Mountaineers, Shorts caught a team-high 63 passes for 894 yards and five touchdowns. He hit triple-figures in receiving yards three times, topping out at 131 yards on eight catches in a season-opening 26-11 win over Missouri. All but twenty of his yards came from the slot, which was the seventh-highest total among draft-eligible wideouts according to PFF.
Positional Outlook: Wide receiver is easily the most crowded position on the Bills’ depth chart right now, with twelve players competing for no more than seven spots. With Walt Powell suspended for four games, Shorts is likely competing for the same spot as players like fellow UDFA Brandon Reilly and lightly-used veterans Dez Lewis and Jeremy Butler.
2017 Offseason: Shorts signed with the Bills during the inital post-draft signing flurry, and joined the team for their mini-camp sessions prior to the real deal later this month.
2017 Season Outlook: It would be fairly surprising to see more than one of the four players I listed earlier make the roster. It helps that Shorts has a clearly defined strength (slot play) that the coaching staff can focus on without having to line him up all over the field, but at the end of the day he’s an undrafted rookie. It’s not a death sentence, but it doesn’t offer any advantages. The practice squad is a very likely possibility.