The Buffalo Bills replaced Cole Beasley this offseason with a younger, cheaper, and quicker slot receiver in Jamison Crowder, who signed a one-year, $4 million deal back in March. Crowder had three very productive seasons with the New York Jets, totaling 1,979 yards and 14 TDs on 188 receptions; all with very mediocre quarterback play. Crowder spent his first four seasons with the Washington Commanders, recording 2,628 yards and 14 TDs on 221 receptions. Josh Allen will be the best quarterback that Crowder has played with in his seven-year career, so could we see an increase in production from the 28-year old?
Crowder will likely take most of the slot receiver snaps, with Isaiah McKenzie’s role increasing somewhat as well. Crowder and McKenzie mixed in the slot should help make up for the loss of Beasley, and they may even exceed his production. With Crowder, McKenzie, and fifth-round rookie Khalil Shakir, the Bills have gotten younger and faster at the WR position. Assuming Stefon Diggs and third-year WR Gabriel Davis will be handling the downfield passes, Crowder should be able to see plenty of targets in short yardage situations.
How much production should we expect from Crowder?
Crowder hasn’t surpassed 850 yards in a season yet in his career. (Although he came close to doing so in 2016 when he had 847 yards.) With McKenzie and Shakir battling for reps in the slot, Crowder will have to fight for his snaps. If he can get most of the slot receiver targets, we could see Beasley-type production from him.
Between Diggs, Davis, Crowder, and the others, defenders will have a tough time facing this Buffalo Bills offense. This new-look Bills offense will be a nightmare for opposing defenses. They could be the number one offense in the league by the end of the season.
Allen traditionally targets the slot receiver more than the WR2, and that should remain the case this year, with Jamison Crowder in the mix.