We’re getting a clearer picture everyday of which direction the Buffalo Bills will be going in position-wise with their priority selections during the NFL Draft at the end of April. The first two weeks of free agency are nearly wrapped up and the Bills’ strategy has been clear — looking for improvement through low-budget avenues.
So far, the Bills have signed two new wide receivers off the street while letting go of lovable success story Isaiah McKenzie in recent days. Deonte Harty and Trent Sherfield are depth receiving options and very nice values for special teams purposes. Harty and Sherfield are coming to the team as players who bring juice and competitiveness/strong hands at the catch point, respectively. Both players will be welcomed in low-volume roles. The 5’6” 170-pound Harty likely isn’t a full-time player due to size and Sherfield has accumulated less than 900 yards in five years in the NFL. But Sherfield is coming off his best season as a pure receiver in 2022. I’m not sold that Harty or Sherfield are long-term options in the slot for the future. That leads us to some interesting options in the upcoming draft.
The offensive line’s weak spots has been addressed at guard this offseason and the Bills were able to sign safety Jordan Poyer back to a two-year deal. One glaring hole is at linebacker without a true replacement in sight for linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who’s now with the Chicago Bears. The other two debatable holes on the roster are at wide receiver (specifically in the slot) and at right tackle where second-year Spencer Brown has struggled off the field with injuries and on the field with his play.
Let’s consider an end-of-the-first-round receiver option who has the versatility to play inside and out at the next level. The uber-productive Jordan Addison is next up on our scouting spotlight series.
I dove into the All-22 for Addison from his 2022 tape. Check out the scouting report below for a succinct breakdown of his game and how it projects to the NFL level.
Jordan Addison Scouting Report
Jordan Addison is a 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner at Pitt where he amassed nearly 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns before transferring to USC for his junior season. He was banged up some throughout the season and missed games in the heart of conference play. Addison isn’t a physical specimen by any means, but he has sweet feet to win on the next level with short-area quicks. There is a level of disappointment with Addison’s 2022 season coming off his hyped 2021 year. Strength questions are likely going to plague Addison in the pre-draft process. Any failure in the NFL won’t be for a lack of natural talent, but for the inability to play with strength on the football field.
Combine testing: 5’11” 173-pounds; 4.49 40-yard dash; 34” vertical jump; 10’2” broad jump
- Has an easy gear-down to get through his route stem and not lose speed
- Flashes ability to catch off his frame when he generates space
- He’s a slippery asset with the ball in his hands
- Explodes out of breaks in deep concepts that catches opposing corners off guard
- Understands the concept of eating up grass and getting in the blind spots of defenders attempting to match him in coverage
- Dynamic route tree for a college player
- Size, length, and physicality can eliminate him from games if consistently aligned on the line of scrimmage
- Struggles to shed press at the line may lead to slot-only role in the NFL
- Deep speed is good, but not great enough to consistently threaten in true man-to-man
- Catch radius is minuscule due to size
- Feels like you search for him to win with more than just footwork, but you never get that on 2022 film
- Bench pressed way too easily; needs to learn how to clear hands at the line and dodge punches
Why Jordan Addison fits the Bills
I’m not as high on Addison as others may be in this draft cycle. I’m of the opinion that his biggest flaw shows more than any other receiver projected to be a first-round pick in this class. His strength getting off of press scares me and he’s not a true burner to separate deep to keep himself away from press. Addison’s best role at the next level will be in the slot where he can run a diverse route tree at all levels of the field. NFL teams will need to figure out how to protect him against contact down the field because his size deficiency really shows itself way more often than you’d like for a first-round type of receiver. But he fits the team for his ability to run a huge route tree and develop in the slot role for the Bills.
I’m not totally in on him in the first round for Buffalo because I think he has a potentially fatal flaw moving on to the next level where almost every defensive back has length and physicality in their arsenal. Addison floats and slithers. I think he needs more protection than many receivers in this class. But the upside is there for him to be a dynamic route-running slot receiver in the NFL, capable of winning at three levels.