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Is Gabriel Davis A Secondary WR Bills Can Build Around?

  • The Draft Network
  • December 21, 2021
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The Buffalo Bills continue to own one of the league's most feared and efficient passing attacks. Quarterback Josh Allen threw another three touchdowns on Sunday during a routine and straightforward 31-14 victory over the hapless Carolina Panthers. The Bills currently possess the seventh-ranked passing offense at 257 yards per contest, but the eye test suggests they are much better than that. Allen currently ranks sixth in passing yards (3,734) and fourth in touchdown passes (31). As per usual, Buffalo's lofty postseason hopes hinge on Allen's dual-threat effectiveness and the overall success of their passing game.

Wide receiver Gabriel Davis has recently emerged as one of Allen's top targets. The former UCF standout is capturing his best form at the opportune moment as the Bills try to secure a playoff spot in the ever-competitive AFC. Davis was electric in Sunday's win over Carolina, securing five-of-seven targets for 85 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. It served as the continuation of a recent hot streak that has seen Davis compile four touchdowns in his latest three appearances.

A fourth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, Davis has found himself in a larger role of late due to an injury to the always-reliable Emmanuel Sanders. Davis is more than making the most of his opportunities and has potentially convinced general manager Brandon Beane that he's worthy of serving as Buffalo's No. 2 receiver going forward. The aging Sanders (34 years old) is on an expiring contract, and Cole Beasley (32 years old) could be released ahead of the 2022 campaign. Neither player will be in Buffalo forever, prompting many to identify the receiver position as one that needs addressing this coming offseason. Davis' recent form may pump the brakes on that discussion.

Davis' late-season surge has served as a fun development. At UCF, Davis was a big-play receiver that possessed the gear necessary to stack opposing cornerbacks while gaining vertical separation. He often did his best work on go routes where his ability to generate vertical push and track the football over his shoulder led to splash plays. It's a skill set that has thus far come together beautifully in 2021 and meshes perfectly with Allen's penchant for pushing the ball downfield on an extremely consistent basis. The chemistry shown between Allen and Davis leads to a larger discussion regarding Beane's ability to identify a receiver that so flawlessly fits into Buffalo's offense with a day-three draft selection in 2020.

Buffalo's offense is a top-five scoring unit at 28.1 points per contest. A Sunday date with the division-leading New England Patriots looms large in Week 16. The Bills are a good bet for the postseason regardless of the outcome of that contest. Their offense strikes fear in the hearts of opposing defenses and will make for a difficult matchup in January, and potentially February, if all goes well. Davis' late-season surge is a big part of their current success. 

Buffalo will likely have to address the receiver position this offseason in some capacity, but Davis' exciting development should have a positive impact on how Beane goes about making that move. If Davis' current form is any indication, Beane will happily avoid having to make a considerable splash at the receiver position this offseason.

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