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Buffalo Bills third receiver battle: Sanjay Lal discusses offseason work

Read comments from Bills wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal on the work put in by the candidates for the third spot behind Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins.

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Buffalo Bills wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal recently appeared on The John Murphy Show. With Sammy Watkins entrenched and no one yet close to taking Robert Woods' role as second receiver, Lal shared insights into each of the receivers fighting for the third wideout slot vacated by Percy Harvin and Chris Hogan. Lal went man-by-man to give his take and we put them in order of career receptions:

Greg Little
No recorded stats in 2015
161 receptions, 1890 yards, 8 touchdowns in 54 career NFL games

"Greg is a former second-round pick by Cleveland. He’s a big, physical, tough specimen. He’s done a nice job separating from man to man in this camp."

Leonard Hankerson
26 receptions, 327 yards, 3 touchdowns for Falcons in 2015
107 receptions, 1408 yards, 9 touchdowns in 41 career NFL games

"He was Atlanta’s third receiver for the first part of last year," said Lal of Hankerson, who was released from Injured Reserve in December. "Leonard is really smooth. He’s one of our best route runners. He’s so smooth you enjoy watching him run routes. He has sneaky speed and is a 4.4 guy so I’m intrigued by him too."

Jarrett Boykin
No recorded stats in 2015

57 receptions, 732 yards, 3 touchdowns in 39 career NFL games

"He had 49 catches in Green Bay (in 2013). I watched the film and he did some really nice stuff. Then he kind of got caught up in the numbers game there. I think we’re lucky to have him. He’s a big, physical target. He has 10-and-a-half inch hands so he catches really well and a good route runner. He’s picking everything up really well."

Greg Salas
3 receptions, 41 yards in 2 games for Bills in 2015
46 receptions, 615 yards, 0 touchdowns in 27 career NFL games

"He is a smart, savvy, excellent route runner," said Lal. "I don’t think we win the Jets game (in Week 17) without what he did on third down for us. So we’re really counting on him to come through and take another step and really be the guy that when all else fails Greg is going to be able to get open."

Walt Powell
No receiving stats in 2015
No receiving stats in five career NFL games

"Walt’s biggest trait that you don’t see right now is his run after catch ability. His catch-run transition is one of the best on the team. If we can get the ball in his hands he can show his punt return skills on the field on offense."

Dezmin Lewis
No receiving stats for in one game for Bills in 2015
No receiving stats in one career NFL game

"His learning curve was steep because he came from a small school and a spread offense," Lal said of the seventh-round pick. "He’s done a great job of transforming his running style. He’s running lower to the ground now, which is hard for him because he’s 6-4. He’s staying in drive phase longer and of all the guys I know how much work he put in on his own this offseason and it’s really showing."

Kolby Listenbee
Sixth-round pick of the Bills in 2016

"Today we did a change of direction drill that defeats 22-man and you can see how explosive he is. Even though we can’t let him run full speed yet [due to injury], his half speed looks explosive, much like Marquise Goodwin’s did."

It should be noted that Marquise Goodwin has been absent from OTAs as he is training for the Olympics and competing in track and field events. UDFA wideouts Gary Chambers and Davonte Allen apparently haven't done enough to be worth a mention.