The Buffalo Bills had a very good draft in the eyes of many experts. However, many fans believe that the Bills missed out on filling a need at the wide receiver position. After the draft, the Bills used a roster spot on undrafted free agent receiver David Sills V. Sills’ stats speak for themselves; 132 career receptions, 2,097 career receiving yards, and 35 career touchdown receptions. Due to Sills’ high production and the lack of receivers the Bills added to their roster, a fan following for Sills has started. Although Sills may not be your typical undrafted free agent and has produced at a high level in the Big 12, let’s remember to pump the breaks on this guy. He went undrafted for a reason.
Why did David Sills go undrafted? Despite being one of the best wide receivers in the country the past two seasons at West Virginia, scouts have their concerns on whether or not Sills’ game can translate to the NFL. To start, Sills doesn’t have the greatest speed. At the combine this year, Sills ran just a 4.57 in the 40-yard dash. Sills is still learning how to be a receiver, as he was recruited to be a quarterback. He’s raw and came from an air raid system at West Virginia, which hasn’t produced many pro receivers. He hasn’t had to run the most exact routes in that offensive scheme. Sills may not be ready to play and might need some time to continue learning how to be a receiver.
I’m not saying Sills has no chance at making this roster. His production in the red zone was impressive. Wide receiver red zone success has been missing in Buffalo’s offense. He’ll have his opportunities throughout the summer to prove if he’s good enough to be on the 53-man roster. A big question that won’t be answered until training camp will be: can Sills play special teams? It’s easy for fans to forget, but these fringe players that are going be competing for a roster spot in the summer usually are designated to play special teams.
Receivers like Donald Jones and Walter Powell had to be able to contribute on special teams in order to make the roster. The Bills aren’t going to use one of their final roster spots on a guy that can’t play special teams. If Stills isn’t someone who can contribute on special teams than he’ll almost have no shot at making it on the 53-man roster.
The last thing to consider is this. How many times have we as Bills fans fallen in love with UDFAs whom we hope to make the team? Brandon Reilly, Eric Stricker, James Wilder Jr, Bryson Albright… What do these players have in common? None made the team. I think we Bills fans forget how much of a long shot it is for UDFAs to make it through the summer and onto the roster.
We can be excited about the potential of David Sills and the player he could become in the red zone. However, we need to slow down with the hype for this guy. Yes, he produced big time at West Virginia, has good size, and a really cool back story. However, we have to understand that there is a good chance that Sills won’t be ready to play yet. He will likely end up on the practice squad at the end of training camp. It may be some time before Sills is a contributor for the Bills offense. Although it’s important to have realistic expectations for him in his rookie season, Bills fans can hope that “Josh Allen to David Sills for six” will be something we hear for seasons to come.
Mitch Broder in a contributor for The Buffalo Fanatics. To contact him, email him at email@example.com tweet him @mitchell_broder