Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs has been absolute electricity since he arrived in Orchard Park, NY. His tape shows patience with moves, an amazing sense of space and leverage. Diggs has become the epitome of consistency in Buffalo. Many receivers—from prospects like 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison, to young stars like Justin Jefferson—have mentioned watching Diggs’s tape to emulate their game.
The Maryland native was a five-star prospect in 2012 with offers from all the major colleges. Instead of going to a big program, Diggs chose to stay in-state at the University of Maryland, which had only won two games the previous season. What should have been commended as an act of loyalty, slowly reduced his potential in the eyes of NFL scouts.
His freshman year, the Terrapins played four different quarterbacks that year, to include at one point—in an emergency—a linebacker. To further compound this problem, during his junior season, the team moved into the Big Ten conference. Maryland wasn’t a powerhouse before joining, so for that season they subjected themselves to more lopsided losses. With defenses keying in on Diggs, production wasn’t easy.
This led to him being drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. Some of the negative reviews of his tape included weaknesses like: doesn’t play to his size, fails to separate on deep routes, and struggles with health.
Then came March 16, 2020. Things only got better. Despite his stellar performances, tensions rose enough with the Minnesota Vikings for Diggs to request a trade.
Today, Stefon Diggs again has a linebacker again at the position, but not in the literal sense. The chemistry he and quarterback Josh Allen have allows him to thrive and his craft, to shine. You can see the loyalty and trust to stick with Maryland translate to his committment to the City of Buffalo. Diggs had the quietest receiver extension in the league this past year.
The culture built in Buffalo by general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott has been one of patience, consistency, and always with a plan in place. That kind of stability only further encourages confidence and growth for a team with ever-increasing expectations.
“You don’t climb that mountain in advance. You can’t.” said Diggs, “That’s when people talk about Super Bowl, and playoffs. Right now, you gotta try and win your first eight games.”*
This is the type of culture that brought about success. Win this week, then it’s on to the next game. Diggs has been humble through it all, even through his success. He refuses to put his name amongst the NFL’s elite receivers, even though I can’t find a list without his name on it.
“Me personally? I’m just out there hoopin,” Stefon Diggs modestly put it in trying to let his play do the talking for him. “I just try to keep it humble and give it everything I got,” Diggs continued.
Now seven years into his career, his growth from his weakest factors have only continued to evolve into strengths.
Plays Small? Second in receptions (20) and targets (33) inside the red zone in 2021. In 2022, Diggs is currently first and second in those categories through two games.
Can’t take the top off of a defense? This past week he was on the opposing ends of absolute bombs from Josh Allen where he walked into the endzone.
Struggle to stay healthy? Diggs has played in 91% of games in his NFL career. He hasn’t missed more than one game in a season since 2017.
Not bad for “hoopin” if you ask me.
I haven’t ever seen anyone as hungry as Stefon Diggs looked on Monday Night Football. When I’m that hungry, a certain candy bar usually hits the spot. For Diggs? He was something else. Consider this: Diggs had more receiving yards (148) than his former team had with their entire receiving core (132). Furthermore, his three touchdowns were more than the Titans and Vikings combined to score Monday night.
He has as many touchdowns in two games this season as he had his entire rookie year in 2015. Speaking of “not going anywhere for a while:” With 615 receptions for his career, DIggs currently ranks ninth in the NFL among active players. His 250 receptions in Buffalo, combined with a modest 73 more receptions, would move him up to fifth all time in receptions for the Buffalo Bills.
Find out who won “the trade,” Diggs’s stance on performing in primetime games, and more in his recent interview with Rob Guererra on The SB Nation NFL Show.
Just because the Bills aren’t focused on the Super Bowl yet, doesn’t mean you can’t do so yourself. Diggs appeared on the SB Nation NFL Show on behalf of Snickers and their Rookie Mistake of the Year program. To submit a rookie mistake and potentially win tickets to Super Bowl 57 in Arizona, click here and follow along on social using #SNICKERSROOKIEMISTAKE