Many fans and analysts expected the Buffalo Bills to address their overall lack of talent at wide receiver in the offseason. While the team did address the need, they did not do so by investing too many resources into the position. They instead used late-round draft picks and a free agent signing at the veteran’s minimum to add to the receiver room.
In today’s installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we look at one of the players Buffalo selected towards the end of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Name: Ray-Ray McCloud
Height/Weight: 5’9” 190 lbs.
Draft: Selected in the sixth round (187th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.
Financial situation (per Spotrac): McCloud’s rookie contract is a four-year deal that totals $2,619,824. In 2018, he carries a $519,956 cap hit. His contract includes $159,824 in guarantees.
2017 Recap: McCloud had a good, not great, junior season for the Tigers. He caught 49 passes, tying his career-high set the year prior, totaling 503 yards and a touchdown. The yardage total was his collegiate best. He also rushed six times for 30 yards. As Clemson’s primary punt returner, he returned 25 kicks for 303 yards and a touchdown.
Positional outlook: McCloud’s experience as a punt returner certainly helps him here, as does his natural agility. The team needs an agile slot receiver to complement the bigger-bodied players they have on the outside. McCloud’s most direct competition is veteran Jeremy Kerley, whom the Bills signed in the offseason. The team has a total of 13 wide receivers on the camp roster, including Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones, Brandon Reilly, Andre Holmes, Rod Streater, Quan Bray, Malachi Dupre, Austin Proehl, Robert Foster, Cam Phillips, and Kaelin Clay.
2018 Offseason: McCloud had a strong minicamp, earning plenty of plaudits on the final day of mandatory work. He established a solid rapport with fellow rookie Josh Allen early, as he caught a touchdown pass from him during OTAs, as well. In a wide-open receiver competition, McCloud has done some good things to establish himself early.
2018 season outlook: While McCloud may have been drafted late, a combination of need and early success has given him a leg up on his competition. His ability to return kicks is definitely a plus. McCloud might be one of the better bets among the “long shots” to make the roster at receiver this season, as he adds a dimension that the Bills just don’t have right now.