The Buffalo Bills enter the 2021 season with their least-experienced cornerback group in quite some time, at least as long as head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane have been with the team. Typically, Buffalo signs at least one veteran to compete for a starting job on the outside, and they’ve even added veterans in years past with inside-outside versatility. At present, that is not the case this season.
The oldest corner on Buffalo’s current roster is just 26 years old, and the player with the most NFL experience will be entering his fifth year. Those two, Levi Wallace and Tre’Davious White, respectively, are also expected to start and see the majority of the snaps on defense.
The Bills are relying on their young group to take a major step forward this season. In today’s installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we profile one of those young players who will battle for a spot on the opening-day roster.
Name: Rachad Wildgoose Jr.
Height/Weight: 5’10” 191 lbs
Age: 21 (22 on 6/20/2022...so happy day-late birthday, Rachad!)
Experience/Draft: R; selected by Buffalo in the sixth round (No. 213 overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft
Acquired: Sixth-round draft choice
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Wildgoose signed his four-year rookie contract, which is worth a total of $3,636,244. For the 2021 season, Wildgoose carries a cap hit of $699,061, and a dead-cap charge of $156,244 if he’s released.
2020 Recap: Wildgoose played and started in two games for the Badgers in his junior season, making six tackles and breaking up one pass before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. That injury was a rarity, as the scapular fracture he suffered accounts for only one percent of all fractures (per our Kyle Trimble).
Positional outlook: Wildgoose is one of nine corners on Buffalo’s roster. He’s able to play both inside and outside, so he’ll be competing directly with all eight of the other players for a spot on the final roster. Tre’Davious White, Levi Wallace, Taron Johnson, Dane Jackson, Cam Lewis, Siran Neal, Olaijah Griffin, and Nick McCloud make up the group.
2021 Offseason: Wildgoose is recovered from his injury and he participated in OTAs.
2021 Season outlook: Wildgoose’s draft status and inside-outside versatility make him an intriguing long-shot for the roster. Granted, a sixth-round pick doesn’t have much of a leg up over other people, but the McDermott-Beane grouping likes to keep their draft picks when possible. With White, Wallace, and Johnson locks for the roster, and Neal essentially a lock as a special teams contributor, Wildgoose is fighting for the fifth and/or sixth spot in the group. I’d wager that Dane Jackson is CB5, and Wildgoose’s top competition for the backup nickel/CB6 spot is probably Lewis, who started two games last year before he was injured. Wildgoose is going to be a player to watch this summer.