The Buffalo Bills were rarely known for a high-octane passing offense during their playoff drought, but they still had a great collection of receivers peppered throughout the time span. Which receiver deserves to be named the best of the era?
Moulds is one of the greatest receivers in Bills history, ranking second in career yards, touchdowns, and receptions. Though he joined the league in 1996, Moulds amassed most of those numbers after 1999, including a 100-catch, 1,292-yard, 10-touchdown season in 2002. He was named second-team All-Pro that year, and also went to the Pro Bowl in 2000.
Price was the second wing in Buffalo’s deadly air attack in 2002, when he caught 94 passes for 1,252 yards and nine touchdowns. A second round pick in 1999, Price played three seasons for Buffalo during the drought, was traded to Atlanta, then returned for two more years in 2006 and 2007. He never made a Pro Bowl in his career, but caught 288 passes for 3,772 yards and 25 touchdowns. He ranks eighth in Bills’ history in career receiving touchdowns, and 10th in receiving yards.
Evans was a classic deep threat receiver, and he announced that to the league as a rookie in 2004. He caught 48 passes for 843 yards and nine touchdowns that year, a whopping 17.6 yards per catch and the most receiving touchdowns by a rookie in franchise history. Evans and his speed found a certain affinity with the strong-armed J.P. Losman, and over seven years he caught passes of 87, 85, 83, 83, 77, and 70 yards. He ranks third in franchise history with 5,934 receiving yards and 43 touchdowns, and his 377 receptions rank fourth.
Evans faded fast - in 2009 he shared the spotlight with Terrell Owens, in 2010 he became a supporting cast member, and after a trade to the Baltimore Ravens his production dropped off a cliff in 2011. The reason Evans became expendable was the emergence of Johnson, a former seventh-round pick in 2008. Johnson’s shifty basketball-movement style and unpredictable route running made him a great pairing with the impulses of Ryan Fitzpatrick, and he put together three consecutive seasons with 1,000 receiving yards, something that had never been accomplished in franchise history. Johnson ranks seventh in career receiving touchdowns, eighth in receptions, and ninth in receiving yardage. After six years in Buffalo, Johnson was traded during the 2014 NFL Draft.
It was always going to be a challenge to measure up to expectations when the Buffalo Bills traded two first round picks in exchange for the number 4 overall pick to draft Watkins. The talented prospect lived up to his billing as a rookie, setting the franchise rookie record for receptions and yards in a 65/982/6 season. He played even better in 2015, converting 96 targets into 60 receptions, 1,047 yards, and nine touchdowns. A foot injury derailed his career in Buffalo, leading to a poor 2016 season and an offseason trade to Los Angeles in 2017. While he doesn’t have the career production of a guy like Josh Reed, his peak was much better, which is why he earned a place on this list of candidates.
Make your choice for the top receiver of the drought. Next time, we’ll pick a starting tight end, before coming back for the other starting receiver for our team out of the remaining candidates.
Who was the best wide receiver of the Buffalo Bills playoff drought?
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