Turnover is certainly not a new concept in the NFL, but what the Buffalo Bills have done at the wide receiver position since Doug Marrone became head coach is astounding. A unit that had collectively underachieved for previous regimes—sometimes at no fault of their own—has been completely reshuffled, with only two guys remaining from the pre-Marrone era at the position.
A year after spending early picks on Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, the Bills completed their overhaul this offseason with two draft-related trades. The much-debated decision to give up multiple picks for Clemson superstar Sammy Watkins will be under a microscope for the next few seasons, and an April trade sent a sixth-rounder to Tampa Bay for near 1,000-yard wideout Mike Williams.
The Bills have made it clear that they want a dynamic combination of height and speed in the receiving corps. With former mainstays like Stevie Johnson and David Nelson no longer fits in the development of a fast-tempo offense, the Bills have replaced them with speed on the outside and low-key signings like Ramses Barden to become the tallest unit in the NFL.
The hope is that big investment in the wide receiver position will pay dividends with the development of second-year quarterback EJ Manuel. Improving the overall talent will help the process, but the Bills will only be able to avoid another underwhelming season if Manuel can take on the full load of mastering the offensive playbook.
Buffalo currently has 12 receivers on the 90-man roster entering mandatory minicamps, and with the team's history of injuries, it has to figure to keep at least six. Who needs to have a great camp to have a chance at a roster spot, and who could be a surprising cut at the end of August?
Let's take a look at what the Bills' receiver depth chart looks like entering the dog days of summer.