David Sills didn’t hear his name called in the 2019 NFL Draft. This allowed the Buffalo Bills to immediately sign him to an undrafted free agent deal. Him not being drafted and falling right into the laps of the Bills could turn into a huge steal. With Zay Jones, Robert Foster, John Brown, and Cole Beasley locks for the roster in 2019, here’s why wide receiver David Sills should make the team this season.
Sills Has the Production, the Traits, and the Versatility
Sills hasn’t even reached his potential yet as he has only been a wide receiver for about two seasons. In those two years at West Virginia, he had 980 yards each season with 18 and 15 touchdowns respectively. His 18 were the most in college football that season and his 15 the next season were second most. In 2017 he was a finalist for the Fred Biletnikoff Award. This is an award given to the best wide receiver in college football. In his two seasons, he has two First Team All-Big 12 Awards. He also was named an Associated Press Second Team All American and a Third Team All American. If he is scoring 15-18 touchdowns a season at a Power Five Conference school and he just started playing the position, one can only imagine what he can do when he gets NFL training at the position.
Sills was a mega-producer in college, but he also has the traits to be successful in the NFL. If Bills fans are looking for a bigger receiver who can win at the catch point, Sills is the guy. He’s 6-foot-3 211 pounds. He showed above-average scores at the NFL Combine. He isn’t a super athlete, but he shows solid athleticism for a 6’3 200+ pounder. His 37.5-inch vertical leap and 117-inch broad jump are numbers that back up his ability to catch jump balls. His 4.28 20 yard shuttle and sub-seven second 3-cone drill are upper percentiles among receivers of his size.
None of the four receivers listed in the opening paragraph are large in size by any means. The Bills are looking for a red zone machine who can be put in to score touchdowns. David Sills will give the Bills another element to the offense. He can be the “big slot” archetype that is becoming popular in the NFL as well. Also, he can be a contributor on special teams early in his career. Lastly, he’s only 23 and the Bills can keep him cheap and develop him on an undrafted free agent contract.
Sills v.s Duke Williams
Realistically, newly signed Duke Williams will battle Sills or some darkhorse for the last wide receiver spot on the roster. Williams only played two seasons in college as well. He attended Auburn University. He had fewer yards in two seasons than Sills had in one of his seasons and only 6 total touchdowns. So Sills is 1089 yards and 27 touchdowns better than Williams when comparing their two best college seasons. Williams never made it in college football, never made it to the NFL and only has one season of true production in the Canadian Football League. His one productive season in the CFL is his only leverage for him making the roster.
At 27 years old, Duke Williams has to produce right now. Large, jump ball receivers have a tendency to fall off quickly in the NFL. So, Williams doesn’t have any time at all to develop. He needs to be an instant producer to have any value at all. Sills can produce now and get even better over the years with his young age. However, Williams being larger than Sills could make a huge difference in the running game if he can be a quality blocker. His large size in the blocking game could help him make the roster.
Sills is more athletic in every single category. Williams has dreadful athletic scores and his athletic profile does not compare in the slightest bit to Sills’s. The former CFL receiver ran over a 4.7-second 40-yard dash and only had a 30 inch vertical. Williams has a worse vertical leap and is shorter than Sills. His 3 cone drill was almost a 7.5 second which is astonishingly slow.
David Sills is cheaper, younger, taller, more versatile, more athletic, and more productive at a younger age. Williams has to produce now, he can’t be a project at 27 years old. It would be an amazing story if he panned out, but in the long term future of the Bills, David Sills is the best option to make the roster as a jump ball/big slot receiver.
Stats and athletic metrics received from: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/david-sills-1.html