Coming off of an exceptional season passing the football, the Buffalo Bills improved their Wide Receiver room by adding depth. We already know how stacked the top end of the position is with Diggs, Beasley, and newly acquired Emmanuel Sanders.
There is also a good amount of youth to be excited about. Gabriel Davis had a surprisingly productive rookie season. Isaiah McKenzie excelled with limited opportunities in 2020. Recently drafted burner Marquez Stevenson is waiting to prove that he’s more than just a speed guy.
However, there’s a specific battle within the Wide Receiver room that’s beginning to form. That’s between Jake Kumerow and Isaiah Hodgins. Being one of Brandon Beane’s recent draft picks, many people assumed the Hodgins had the inside track to the roster.
Buffalo Bills 2nd-year WR: Isaiah Hodgins
Hodgins was an extremely productive Receiver coming out of Oregon State University. He had some production as a freshman but not a ton. He really got some opportunities as a sophomore. Hodgins recorded 876 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 59 receptions. His junior season was his true breakout year as he recorded 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns on 86 receptions.
Not only did Hodgins have production, but he also possesses the physical attributes needed to make it to the next level. Hodgins stands at about 6 feet, 3 inches tall while holding over 200 pounds on his frame. This size would lead you to believe that he’s a beast on the perimeter. However, Hodgins actually proved to be quite productive out of the slot. Despite his size, Hodgins is a very nimble route runner. He understands the nuances of getting open and creating separation.
His combination of size, natural hands, and route-running ability makes him a realistic option to make this team. Furthermore, he could be a real weapon that can operate on the perimeter or in the slot. However, a lot of us are still wondering if he has what it takes to win at the NFL level, not just in the PAC-12. After a shoulder injury last preseason, Hodgins was placed on season-ending injured reserve. Therefore, we as fans are left guessing as to how much Hodgins can actually contribute in 2021.
All offseason the talk has been around who will round out the back end of the Wide Receiver room. Assuming that Diggs, Beasley, Sanders, and Davis are locks, the instant thought was that McKenzie, Stevenson, and Hodgins would be battling for the last two spots. However, Jake Kumerow has entered the competition. I suppose he’s been a part of the competition this entire offseason, but Buffalo Bills fans are really starting to buy the hype.
After a solid week of training camp, and stellar performance at the open practice, fans seem to believe that he will make the team over Hodgins. I just want to pump the breaks and say that I definitely think Kumerow is legitimately fighting for a roster spot. With that being said, we haven’t even had a preseason game or a practice with pads yet. With a strong week of practice, Kumerow has made his case as to why he deserves to make this Buffalo Bills roster.
In my opinion, I think the Buffalo Bills will only keep six Wide Receivers. Therefore, only two of the final four (McKenzie, Stevenson, Kumerow, and Hodgins) will make the final roster. A large part of this decision will come down to special teams contributions. As for McKenzie and Stevenson, it will boil down to who is better in the return game. For Kumerow and Hodgins, I think it comes down to which one is better on kick and punt coverage. Although I think Kumerow is better on special teams, I’m currently going to give Hodgins the slight edge. This is because he’s a recent draft pick of this regime and provides more as a Receiver, in my opinion.
Air Raid Hour Recap
As the Buffalo Bills 2021 Training Camp continues, we at the Air Raid Hour continue to give our opinions on the news and updates. If you enjoyed my analysis on Hodgins vs. Kumerow, you can watch the replay to see what Judge and Tilt have to say about the topic.
Additionally, Judge and Tilt share their thoughts on the updates on the new and improve 2021 Buffalo Bills defensive line. Rookies Gregory Rousseau and Carlos Basham have already shown positive flashes. If you missed the Air Raid Hour live, you can catch the replay linked and embedded above.
As always, go Bills!