The Buffalo Bills Might Have Gotten The Steal of the NFL Draft
The Buffalo Bills have one preseason game left, which will be played this Friday night against the Carolina Panthers. The game will be their one and only road game in the preseason.
Fans should not expect to see many starters out there, including Josh Allen. Head coach Sean McDermott normally only plays Allen and most starters in one preseason game, which was this past Saturday against Denver, plus the Bills have three less days to prepare and rest before their week 1 game on Thursday Night Football.
There have been quite a few storylines over the past two weeks but one of the biggest has to be the play of the rookies.
James Cook, Kaiir Elam, Christian Benford, Matt Araiza and Baylon Spector have all looked good to varying degrees, but the most impressive rookie has been 5th round draft pick Khalil Shakir.
Shakir has caught 8 passes for 151 yards in his first two preseason games, and it's not just the stats, it's how smooth and confident he looks while doing so.
Shakir found the hole in the zone defense and immediately maneuvered around the defender for extra yardage.
Shakir has looked so good, some fans think he should move up to the third or fourth receiver, but chances are he starts behind Jamison Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie to start the season, plus he can get touches with punt returns, which he's done as well in the preseason.
Shakir is only 5'10'' and 190 lbs. His size and lack of explosiveness is why he fell to the 5th round, but as we have seen in training camp and preseason, he has excellent hands and is extremely smart.
He's also elusive. He changes direction fast, even without high-end speed. The way Shakir plays, he does not need that high-end speed.
I'm expecting Shakir to be the Bills' main slot receiver in 2023 or 2024 and he could be the steal of the entire draft as we look back a few years from now...he's been that impressive and a perfect fit for the Bills and Ken Dorsey's offense.
Another fun fact is looking at where the Bills' receiving core was drafted. Every single one of them was drafted round 4 and beyond...
Three of them are Bills' draft picks but goes to show how you can find talent later in the draft.
Shakir looks to be a diamond for the Bills front office.