The Buffalo Bills bolstered their wide receiving core with the addition of Zay Jones.
Not only will this move benefit QB Tyrod Taylor, but also WR Sammy Watkins. With that being said, how much of an impact will Jones have on the Bills?
The 37th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, Jones wasn’t going to slip by the Bills. They moved up in the 2nd round to acquire the East Carolina product.
With Jones, Watkins now has a running mate on the opposite side of the field. This gives the Buffalo Bills a very formidable 1-2 punch.
Taking out his 2016 injury season, Watkins has caught 60 or more passes in his first two years. He’s a big play WR, evident by his career 16.1 yards per reception. That’s not going to be the role Jones will play on the Bills.
The FBS all-time leader in receptions, Jones will be a nice compliment to the big play ability of Watkins. The biggest strength of Jones is his hands. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if he catches 70 passes at some point during his first 3 seasons, possibly even his rookie year.
You could compare Jones to Jarvis Landry. Even though Jones (6’2) has three inches on Landry(5’11), it’s about as fair of a comp you’ll get. Landry recorded 84 receptions his first year in the NFL. And while Zay Jones likely won’t reach that, in large part because of Watkins presence, he’s a lock for 65+ receptions year one if he stays healthy.
A 65+ reception season from Jones
could be just enough to vault the Bills into the upper echelon of NFL offenses.
Last season, Robert Woods, the Bills second WR on the depth chart at the time, recorded only 51 receptions.
While 65 receptions might not seem like a major step up from Woods 51, we must remember the pedigree of Jones. As mentioned before, he’s the all-time FBS all-time leader in receptions. In fact, the talent will show itself quickly. Jones is a different maker and will be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
Zay Jones is going to get the catches and rack up the yardage. Watkins will benefit from not being the only playmaker on the field. Tyrod Taylor will finally have a legitimate number 2 option. Most of all, the Buffalo Bills might be a playoff contending team.
Follow Daniel James Gentile on twitter @dgentleman9288