It seems a lot of people in Bills Mafia want the Buffalo Bills to draft a big receiver. They want a bigger guy who for sure has the chops to play on the outside. Someone who can make things happen out of an imperfect situation.
While alpha dog Stefon Diggs isn’t the biggest wide receiver to ever suit up, he sure plays like one of the biggest almost every snap. But the concern for size isn’t unwarranted, and the 2023 NFL Draft may be the perfect place to find the type of receiver many say is needed.
Enter Cedric Tillman, the 6’3”, 216-pound receiver out of Tennessee who had a very productive 2021 collegiate season with 64 catches for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 2022 season was a forgettable one for Tillman, who was sidelined by injuries — most notably having “tightrope” ankle surgery in-season to repair a high ankle sprain. He played just six games this past season and, as a result, his draft stock has fallen. This past weekend at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, Tillman put up decent-to-great numbers across the board, which you can read in his Relative Athletic Score here — a score which ranked Tillman among the best at his position in this year’s combine. His 40-yard dash time of 4.54 is impressive given Tillman’s size, but his vertical of 37” and broad-jump of 10’8” really showcased his explosive potential.
Let’s see what the tape says about Cedric Tillman, and consider if he fits the Bill.
Tillman fights off press coverage
One of the biggest strengths Tillman brings to the table is his physicality. When the play starts, Tillman is pressed at the line. The receiver fights through the press and then catches the ball.
Tillman has big-play ability
Here we get to see Tillman’s outside/down-the-field ability. When the ball is snapped, Tillman shows off his speed running by the Pitt defender. Tillman is able to create quite a bit of separation against his man. Once Tillman catches the ball the defender recovers, which leads to Tillman dragging him for extra yards down to the goal line.
Tillman as red zone x-factor
A big addition Tillman would bring to the Bills’ offense is his ability to catch touchdowns in the red zone (something Buffalo struggled with last year). At the snap you see Tillman covered with no space. The Tennessee receiver jumps in the air and high-points the contested football, which he brings down for the touchdown.
While our review is brief, the tape of Cedric Tillman shows a receiver fully capable of playing big during important moments of a football game. But would Tillman be the extra weapon the Bills need? If not Tillman, who do you think best profiles as Buffalo’s most-productive option outside Round 1 in April?