Gary Wiepert/Associated Press
There are plenty of young players ready to take the next step for the Bills. Nickell Robey, Marquise Goodwin and Kiko Alonso all had impressive first seasons and should have even bigger roles this year.
There's also second-year quarterback EJ Manuel, but it would be hard to not improve on a season in which he missed significant time with knee injuries.
But the player poised to make the biggest jump is wide receiver Robert Woods. Now that Stevie Johnson is with the 49ers, Woods can take over as the team's primary pass-catcher in the slot. Woods is a pinpoint route-runner, which should help him get open consistently.
In his rookie year, Woods snatched 40 passes for 587 yards and three touchdowns, and that was with a revolving door under center. If he is able to develop a rhythm with Manuel, Woods' numbers should spike.
Woods is ready for his role in the slot, too. Head coach Doug Marrone told Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News that "we felt very comfortable with [Woods] being able to play the slot and be very successful there." Woods told Skurski that "I’m confident in my game, what I can do. It’s a great thing that the organization thinks highly of me from that standpoint, but I’m just here to play my game."
Woods also should be able to work in and out of his breaks more easily now that his ankle is healthy. Skurski said Woods had offseason surgery to remove scar tissue from an injury he suffered in college. Woods said now he "actually feels healthy, feels better."
With all of that in mind, there's no doubt Woods will be one of the most improved Bills players this season.