The Buffalo Bills have a deep group at wide receiver, one that has plenty of veterans and a nice mix of young players, as well. While that may be great for the team and quarterback Josh Allen, it does make it difficult for some of the “fringe” players at the position. There won’t be many opportunities to stand out in such a crowded field.
That’s not to say that it can’t happen—there’s always at least one training camp darling who captivates fans throughout the summer—but with a roster as good as Buffalo’s, that camp darling is more likely to be a priority practice squad add than he is a legitimate contender for a spot on the 53-man roster.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile one of the “back-end” wideouts trying to make an impression.
Name: Neil Pau’u
Height/Weight: 6’4” 215 lbs.
Age: 23; 24 on 9/11/2022
Experience/Draft: R; signed as UDFA with Buffalo on 5/13/2022
Acquired: Signed as UDFA
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Pau’u signed a three-year contract worth $2.56 million overall. For the 2022 season, he carries a cap hit of $705,000 if he makes the roster. There is no guaranteed money on his contract.
2021 Recap: Pau’u was a fifth-year senior for the Cougars, and he had a solid year for a 10-win BYU team. He led his squad in receptions (46) and receiving touchdowns (6, tied with Puka Nacua for the team lead). Pau’u also rushed five times for 46 yards, and he threw four passes on the year, too. He completed all four of those passes for a total of 26 yards.
Positional outlook: Pau’u joins a stacked receiver room led by Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Jamison Crowder, and Isaiah McKenzie. Fifth-round draft choice Khalil Shakir joins Pau’u and fellow undrafted rookie Malik Williams as the young guns in the group. Jake Kumerow, Tanner Gentry, Marquez Stevenson, and Isaiah Hodgins return this year.
2022 Offseason: Pau’u participated in rookie minicamp and is ready to roll for training camp.
2022 Season outlook: As a big-bodied possession type, Pau’u does give the Bills something that they don’t have much of, which is size at the receiver position. Under departed offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, the Bills prioritized shifty space-creators over those big-bodied types, but with Ken Dorsey calling the plays, the jury is still out on what type of wideouts Buffalo will prefer. I can’t see them changing much, and even if they do, Pau’u has next to no chance at making the final roster given all the talent ahead of him. He’ll try to make enough of an impression to catch on somewhere else or stick with Buffalo on the practice squad.