The tight end position is one of the few at which the Buffalo Bills seem to have strong depth heading into the 2018 NFL season. With a versatile, productive starter, a continually improving backup, and a hyper-athletic project who continues to develop into a strong number three, there doesn’t seem to be much room to crack the final roster.
In our latest installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile another athletic project at the tight end position looking to take advantage of an injury ahead of him.
Name: Jason Croom
Height/Weight: 6’5” 246 lbs.
Draft: Signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft
Financial situation (per Over the Cap): Croom signed a two-year deal worth $1,050,000 on January 8. If he makes the final roster, Croom will carry a $480,000 cap hit in 2018.
2017 Recap: Croom caught one pass during the preseason, a nine-yard grab in the Bills’ 17-10 preseason opening loss against the Minnesota Vikings. Ten days later, he was cut with an injury designation, and the team placed him on injured reserve. The injury was never disclosed. The Bills removed him from injured reserve on August 25 and released him outright, but the team added him to the practice squad on November 1. Croom remained on Buffalo’s practice squad for the rest of the season.
Positional outlook: The Bills have Charles Clay and Nick O’Leary atop the depth chart, with Logan Thomas under contract again as the presumed number three. However, Thomas has been injured in the early goings, and fellow second year player Keith Towbridge has drawn positive reviews in his stead. Khari Lee is the sixth tight end on the current roster.
2018 Offseason: Croom has participated in all offseason activities to date, including putting a WWE wrestler through a table for initiating a pro-New York Jets chant while at the Bills’ team facility.
2018 season outlook: There is a lot to like about Croom. As a former wide receiver at Tennessee, he has some natural ability as a pass-catcher that the other tight ends battling at the back end of the roster don’t have. However, he lacks Thomas’s athleticism, and both Towbridge and Lee are better blockers than he is. I liked Croom quite a bit last season, but given the time invested in Thomas and the solid one-two punch at the top of the depth chart, I can’t see this season being any different regarding Croom’s attempt to make the roster.