The Buffalo Bills don’t have enough talent at wide receiver. Sure, they have starters, but there are only five players who you can pencil in on the depth chart at the moment, and only three who are under contract past the end of this season.
This team needs more, both for the 2023 season and beyond. But it’s a problem that can be solved in the 2023 NFL Draft. Enter Boston College WR Zay Flowers.
Flowers is a phenomenal prospect for a number of reasons, but he has some physical limitations that may allow him to fall to the Bills at 27th overall. If not, he may be close enough that Buffalo doesn’t have to sell the farm to trade up and get him. Let’s take a look at his measurables to start.
Zay Flowers’ Measurements
Weight: 182 lbs
Arms: 29 1/4’’
Hands: 9 1/4’’
Let’s start with the biggest reason you should buy in on Zay Flowers. RAC. With the ball in his hands, there is no-one in this WR class who can move like Flowers can. His change of direction as a ball carrier is elite, and he would provide Josh Allen with that emergency outlet needed in short-yardage situations. This also adds to his potential to force a big play, with his combination of short-area speed and quick cuts leaving defenders grasping at air.
Before he gets the ball, however, he’s already at work. He stops and starts with expert timing to put defenders off balance and win his routes early. He executes the routes quickly and doesn’t lose momentum when turning. His ball-tracking has developed well over the last few years and that makes him a real deep threat. His complete and rounded skillset allows him to be a concern for the opposition at every level of the defense.
Flowers also ran a 4.42 second 40-yard dash, which had him T-9th at the position in this draft class. He’s not the fastest receiver out there, but his speed is still deadly. The game may have changed, but a time in the 4.4’s is still more than enough.
There are no perfect prospects but, if there were, the Buffalo Bills wouldn’t be getting them at 27th overall anyway. The biggest issue for Zay Flowers is the one that keeps him outside of the top of this draft class. He’s undersized, sitting a few inches too short, and slightly too lean for a prototypical NFL receiver. It means he will likely excel out of the slot, but it may limit him outside. Some teams may view this as significant enough to keep him out of the first round.
The second issue relates to the first. Flowers has some catching issues. They’re not technical issues, moreso due to his small frame and limited hand and arm size. They won’t stop him from contributing in a major way, but an offense may simply need to learn to live with some drops.
The last problem is one which is consistent for many receivers. Zay has blocking issues, both when playing a role in a running play and blocking for fellow receivers after a catch. The way the Bills offense runs, this won’t be a major issue, but it doesn’t help his value.
Why The Buffalo Bills Should Draft Zay Flowers
If he were three inches taller and 20 pounds heavier, Flowers would be the top wide receiver in this class. Getting him would be a pipedream for anyone selecting outside of the top 10. Fortunately for the Bills, things aren’t that cut-and-dry.
Buffalo is in desperate need of more WRs, both for now and in the future while this Super Bowl window is open. Getting that problem out of the way early means that their needs for the rest of the draft are less telegraphed.
Stefon Diggs entered the NFL only slightly larger than Flowers is now, without nearly the college credibility to back it up. Who better to work with a young receiver than an eight-year veteran and one of the league’s best?
Featured Image: Boston College Athletics