The Buffalo Bills seem to know that they have some issues at the wide receiver position. While they have two players who can safely be penciled in as starters, and another who seems likely to be the main slot receiver when the team goes three-wide in 2018, the team is trying very hard to find out who will make up the remaining spots on the depth chart.
In our latest installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we look at a young player who could make the most of some early opportunities in training camp.
Name: Malachi Dupre
Height/Weight: 6’2” 196 lbs.
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Dupre’s contract is a three-year, $1.665 million deal. His salary cap hit for 2018 will be $480,000.
2017 Recap: After he was drafted by the Packers, Dupre caught 3 passes for 19 yards in 2 preseason games. In a preseason matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, Dupre was knocked unconscious and carted off the field. He entered concussion protocol and rejoined the team, but was waived when the Packers cut down to 53 players on September 2. Buffalo signed him to the practice squad on September 12, and he was promoted to the active roster on December 26. He did not appear in any games for the Bills.
Positional outlook: After Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones, and Jeremy Kerley, the depth chart becomes quite muddled at wide receiver. Veterans Andre Holmes and Rod Streater have the most career receptions among them, and Holmes was a mainstay on Buffalo’s special teams unit last season. Kaelin Clay provides speed, although he has little in-game experience. The rest of the depth chart is filled with unproven players in a similar spot as Dupre—Brandon Reilly, Quan Bray, Ray-Ray McCloud, Austin Proehl, Cam Phillips, and Robert Foster are all first-or-second-year players with a lot to prove.
2018 Offseason: Dupre has taken some reps with the first team this offseason. With Jones sidelined by offseason knee surgery, the team has rotated players in and out of the second receiver spot alongside Benjamin. Dupre lined up with Benjamin and Holmes as the first-team wideouts during week 2 of OTAs, with Chris Brown noting that he made 3 catches in two team period of practice. Dupre is currently nursing a hamstring injury, as he sat out of the first day of the team’s mandatory minicamp on June 12.
2018 season outlook: With Jones rehabbing an injury, there is an incredible opportunity for someone to step up and impress the coaching staff in his absence. Dupre has already done some positive things this offseason, but he will need to have a strong preseason and training camp in order to prove that he belongs on the final roster. It’s a crowded group of unknown receivers fighting for anywhere from 3-5 spots on the final roster, so this group will be one of the most interesting to watch this summer.