The Buffalo Bills have made some changes to their offense during free agency. Some late-season musical chairs at wide receiver and other factors during the 2022 NFL season led to some question marks at the position. Enter Trent Sherfield, the somewhat-speedy receiver whose most recent stop was with the Miami Dolphins. What does Sherfield bring to the table? Let’s take a look.
Play 1 — Start off with a bang
Whenever the Bills sign a new player THIS is what we want to see. First off, shout out to B.J. Monacelli for doing a bit of scouting on Sherfield and offering suggestions like this play to pull up. If you’re looking for player ceilings, this play shows one high enough to fly kites in. That sounds weird. I’m saying he has a high ceiling. Sherfield caught the ball (always a good start) and made a nice cut to his left to avoid the incoming hit. He had enough speed to pull away and took a great angle. From there it was a foot race where the field was mostly trying to smash into him, but to no avail.
Play 2 — Obligatory clip of blocking
B.J. recommended finding some blocking work, and as Bills fans we’ve come to love wide receiver blocking over the years. I went with this clip because Sherfield maintained the block and was tenacious with it. The All-22 cut off right as things were getting chippy. I didn’t see any film that suggested Sherfield is shy about getting physical and this applies to route running too.
Play 3 — Like Butta’
Check out the Next Gen Stats chart I have below, but a major thing you want to see with a receiver is the ability to run routes. This one wasn’t anything special, but there were some little things I really liked. Note the lack of hesitation running by the first defender who put a hand out. Next was the general smoothness of the route. Sherfield made this look fluid. Finally, I like that Sherfield snapped his head back to look for a pass as he turned his hips AND didn’t lose momentum or change his path.
Play 4 — Kickoff Tackle
B.J. reminded me that Trent Sherfield spent plenty of time on special teams, and even claimed to have found a tackle on a kickoff he liked. For the record, this isn’t the one B.J. brought up. I grabbed this one as I liked that Sherfield showed some ability to shed a block. What I liked even more was that he knew the returner could cut left or right and had the patience to see the play develop before committing.
Play 5 — Kickoff tackle; Part 2
I’m pretty sure that this one is indeed the one that B.J. Monacelli was looking at. I can see why this one got his attention. You see that same discipline in allowing the play to develop. Sherfield committed and made a great shoestring tackle.
Play 6 — Hot Rods Need Brakes
There are plenty of athletes who can run fast. A one-trick pony is hard to find a role for consistently. Play 1 showed off some speed, but the better a player can decelerate the more versatile they become. This isn’t some mystical ability I’m showing you here with Sherfield, but it’s good. He hit the softest part of the zone on time. Since we’re a Bills blog, I want you to imagine this type of play with Josh Allen’s ability to zing this to his target.
Play 7 — Body Control
One more thing I try to find examples of for a receiver is body control. This is another area where I don’t see superhuman traits with Trent Sherfield, but then again that’s pretty rare isn’t it? Sherfield may not be heroic with his traits, but he’s across the board solid-to-very-good — and versatility is never a bad thing.
Trent Sherfield Next Gen Stats and more
I promised you a chart on routes and here it is. This is sadly the only 2022 one, but luckily it shows plenty within a scant five routes. With only five opportunities for data, you can see Sherfield split out wide, in the slot, and running a sweep behind the line of scrimmage. All five routes are significantly different too. The one on the right is fun because it shows Sherfield catching the ball and making a major change in direction.
For the stats part, Sherfield has some good and some bad. His catch rate last year kind of stunk. But it’s been really good at other stops. Speaking of other stops, the Bills will be his fourth team in a six-year career. It’s hard to imagine a flat-out dominant player having that on his resume. Yards per target have also been up and down. With all that out of the way, here’s a quick...
Overall, I really like this addition for Buffalo. The biggest takeaway from the stats side of things is that Trent Sherfield’s success is directly tied to his quarterback/team. Now that’s true for all wide receivers to some extent but the Stefon Diggs types can help elevate and mitigate some of the statistical fluctuation. Other players never thrive no matter where they land. Sherfield has thrived and I have nothing but confidence in Josh Allen.