The Buffalo Bills traded down to select Tre’Davious White at cornerback, then traded up to grab wide receiver Zay Jones. Both were on their short list at the end of the first round and will be linked during their time on the team. We asked Football Outsiders which rookie will have the biggest impact.
“White is a talented guy, just remember that even highly-drafted, very talented cornerbacks sometimes take two, three, even four years to fully develop,” wrote Aaron Schatz about the top pick.
When discussing Jones, it was easier for Schatz to rely on projections from college to the pros.
“Our Playmaker Score system for projecting college wideouts doesn’t like Jones at all,” shared Schatz. “He averaged only 10.7 yards per reception in college, and that’s just dismal for a guy who’s expecting to be an NFL starter. Usually, a guy with possession receiver numbers like that is only going to be successful in the NFL if he’s a gadget player, a Percy Harvin type. Jones also did not find the end zone much for a top wide receiver prospect. He caught only eight touchdowns as a senior even though his team attempted an above-average 554 passes. And as folks who’ve read FO a lot know, most of the top wide receiver prospects come out of college as juniors; players who come out as seniors are generally less successful in the NFL.”
So while most Bills fans are counting on big things from the two rookies right away, it sounds like the transition is going to be much rockier than we hope.
The Football Outsiders Almanac is available now with a Bills paragraph written by Greg Bedard.