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Buffalo Bills Mailbag: big moves at wide receiver, encouragement from loss to Miami Dolphins

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Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills have moved on to the 2019 offseason, or at least that’s how I read it with the release of wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes. In this week’s podcast we tackle the move as well as replacement options, the penalties plaguing Buffalo, and a whole host of other topics you don’t want to miss.

Question I’m Getting A Lot

The first segment is the “Question I’ve Been Getting A Lot”. In my daily conversations in real life or on Twitter, this is what most folks are asking me about. This week, it centers on the game against the Miami Dolphins: “Are you encouraged by the effort against Miami or disappointed in the loss?”

I was definitely encouraged. The defense gave up 175 yards, the offense gained a bunch of yards and had long, sustained scoring drives. The biggest problems were on special teams and mostly correctable. The other big problem - penalties - is something that’s going to be addressed this offseason as the talent level rises on the team.

The way rookie quarterback Josh Allen is progressing, I’m very happy. He slid when he ran this week and he had some absolutely great “Big Boy” throws as I call them. It seems like anything can happen when he’s on the field. Hail Mary passes, 3rd and long, 4th downs, guy in his face... everything is possible on every play. That’s exciting to watch for the present and the future.

If Charles Clay, their 9-million-dollar tight end, catches a pass that hits him in the hands, most Bills fans are stumbling over themselves to say how great this team is playing. I’m not letting one drop plus 4 points off the board from missed kicks and a gifted touchdown on a muffed punt take away how the rest of the team played on Sunday.

We spend a great deal of time discussing Kelvin Benjamin on the podcast this week. Benjamin was released on Tuesday so we went in and recorded an entire segment on potential replacements in the 2019 NFL Draft for you with some help from Grif.

Here are the players Grif is looking at on Days 2 and 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft:

Hakeem Butler, Iowa State - Dominant at the catch point, jump ball specialist, major speed/separation questions

Marquise Brown, Oklahoma - Deep speed threat, surprisingly good running routes, injury and hands concerns

Deebo Samuel, South Carolina - Small, versatile, quicker-than-fast, great hands, major injury red flags

Preston Williams, Colorado State - Hugely productive, ideal height/weight/speed, easily separates, above-average hands, off-field red flags (harassment/restraining order)

DK Metcalf, Ole Miss - Great size and speed, flashes ability at the catch point, raw and underdeveloped route tree, out with a neck injury and won’t be participating in offseason events as a result.

The class as a whole lacks top-flight, sure-things at the top of the draft, but there will be a vast middle-class of players available the last two days.

We’ve got two questions from Great Britain on the show, as well. One is about Robert Foster and Isaiah McKenzie, the other is about the number of penalties on the roster. So it’s a jam-packed episode for you to listen to, Bills fans.

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