Alright, so let’s address the elephant in the room: the Buffalo Bills have 87 players on their official roster (88 when considering Christian Wade, for whom the team still has a roster exemption). This series is called “91 players in 91 days.” On Tuesday, Tom Pelissero reported that the NFL was expected to cap camp rosters at 80 players.
What does that mean for this series? First off, if you’re reading this, thank you for joining us for installment number 74. Second, it means that the series almost certainly won’t live up to its name—which isn’t uncommon—but for the first time, we will probably feature fewer players than the advertised number.
Given the names of the players remaining on my list, I imagine I’m going to have to write up all of the remaining players. We still have some pretty substantial contributors to discuss. All it means is that some of our early entries are going to be released before we ever truly had a chance to know them.
On to today’s edition of “91 players in 91 days,” where we’ll discuss one of Buffalo’s rookie wide receivers who offers something that most of his positional group cannot.
Name: Gabriel Davis
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 210 lbs.
Age: 21 (22 on 3/1/2021)
Experience/Draft: R; selected by Buffalo in the fourth round (No. 128 overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft
Acquired: Fourth-round draft choice
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Davis signed his four-year rookie contract in May. That contract is worth a total of $3,994,380 overall, of which $699,380 is guaranteed in the form of a signing bonus. For the 2020 season, he carries a cap hit of $784,845.
2019 Recap: After a breakout sophomore year where Davis averaged 15.4 yards per reception, he came back as a junior and was even better. Davis led the Knights in all receiving categories, making 72 catches for 1,241 yards and 12 touchdowns en route to a First-Team All-Conference selection. He started in all 12 of UCF’s regular season games before sitting out the team’s bowl game. He was an Honorable Mention on Phil Steele’s All-America team, and he ranked eighth nationally in receiving yards per game and 12th in touchdowns. His receiving yardage total was a single-season record for UCF.
Positional outlook: Davis joins a deep, talented receiving group that general manager Brandon Beane has completely reshaped over the last two years. Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley top the depth chart, with Andre Roberts, Duke Williams, Isaiah McKenzie, Isaiah Hodgins, Robert Foster, Ray-Ray McCloud III, and Nick Easley vying for position alongside Davis.
2020 Offseason: Nothing new to report.
2020 Season outlook: Davis slots in as the expected No. 4 wideout in his rookie year. Much of that expectation is based on his draft position, but his productivity in college, his size, and his athletic measurables can’t be ignored. Davis is one of Buffalo’s biggest receivers, and like my friend and basketball coaching mentor (who is, of course, a die-hard Bills fan) would say, “you can’t teach tall.” Add to his large frame a 35” vertical and 124” broad jump, and we’re talking about a dynamic athlete with a great catch radius. At worst, Davis should contribute in the red zone in “go up and get it” situations. There are some concerns that he may struggle to adapt to the NFL level given that UCF wasn’t part of a major college conference, but the great part about Buffalo’s roster is that the team doesn’t have to rush Davis into action. Buffalo can allow him to play only in situations where he’s comfortable so long as that three-headed monster of Diggs, Brown, and Beasley stays healthy. Look for Davis to see limited snaps in high-leverage scoring situations, giving Josh Allen a reliable, big target that he lacked in those situations last year.