One of the most compelling storylines entering the 2020 season was how Stefon Diggs would fare in a Josh Allen-led Bills offense. After two games, I think it’s safe to say that he fits like a glove. He posted solid numbers in his team debut week one (8 catches, 86 yards) and torched the Dolphins in week two (8 catches, 153 yards, and a touchdown). Diggs has provided the Bills with an intermediate dimension to the passing game, which is something that I have not seen in my lifetime. (I was too young to remember Eric Moulds.)
In this second installment of “Buffalo Bills 2020 Vision”, I will address a question that Bills Mafia will likely be asking every day for the foreseeable future: ss Stefon Diggs the next Andre Reed?
Note: The truck powering the crystal ball (YouTube) lost power, so I had to use the sacred homing pigeons (Twitter) and ancient scrolls (Pro Football Reference) in this week’s comparison.
The Ancient Scrolls (Stat Lines)
Stefon Diggs (6’0”, 191 lbs.) and Andre Reed (6’2”, 190 lbs.) share a similar physique. Receivers with this frame usually have the height to contend in 50-50 situations (i.e. end zone fade routes) and the speed to break big plays on short (up to 10 yards), intermediate (10-20 yards), and even deep passing (20+ yards) routes. Both Diggs and Reed fit this archetype well, averaging 13-14 yards per reception and over 55 yards per game throughout their careers. Additionally, they saw a decent amount of targets and receptions as #1 receivers, averaging around 60 receptions per year. At this point, Stefon Diggs is on track to have a greater target share (27.2%) this season than Andre Reed had in 1994, his 90-catch season (26.4%).
The Sacred Homing Pigeons (Twitter)
When the Bills acquired Diggs this past offseason, the media and Vikings fans made him out to be a “diva” who wanted the ball every single play, regardless of the consequences. After seeing him on the field and reading the sacred pigeon messages (sent by some of the most esteemed scribes in the realm), I can see that was untrue. He has been a grade-A professional both in the locker room and on the field. Andre Reed also faced similar criticism from the media throughout his playing career. While I do not know if those claims were accurate, it clearly had no effect on offensive production as Reed put up consistent numbers, even with a strong supporting cast.
The Bills have had many great receivers: Elbert Dubenion, Jerry Butler, Eric Moulds, Lee Evans, Stevie Johnson, etc. However, none of them is on the same level as the O.G. #83: Andre Reed. Stefon Diggs is a very talented receiver and has the potential to be the next Bills great, but is he the next Andre Reed? It may be too soon into his Buffalo tenure to make this determination. However, based on what I have seen in the scrolls and pigeon messages, I would say, yes. They have similar physical builds, playing styles, and statistical numbers. Furthermore, they have both been called “divas”, despite being hard-working, team players. I will leave you with the following vision from the crystal ball. (The truck regained power briefly.) I want you to watch these Andre Reed highlights and ask yourself: “Can #14 do this?”
* All player stats (including height and weight) provided by Pro Football Reference.
What do you think? Is Stefon Diggs the next Andre Reed? Let me know on Twitter (@zvaughn2712).