Buffalo Bills’ WR Tabbed As Breakout Candidate For 2024

Buffalo Bills
NFL Analysis Network

The Buffalo Bills subtracted their top two wide receivers this offseason, trading Stefon Diggs and allowing Gabe Davis to walk via free agency.

It definitely has not been a comfortable last couple of months for the Bills, who have had to scramble to find targets for quarterback Josh Allen.

Buffalo did manage to sign Curtis Samuel, and it selected Florida State wide out Keon Coleman in the second round of the NFL Draft.

However, who will actually emerge as the Bills’ No. 1 receiver remains unknown. Buffalo became accustomed to Diggs filling that role since 2020, and Davis was right behind him as the No. 2.

But Bradley Locker of Pro Football Focus views a potential breakout candidate for the Bills at the wide receiver position: Khalil Shakir.

Shakir flew under the radar in 2023, but he had a solid year, hauling in 39 receptions for 611 yards and a couple of touchdowns as Buffalo’s third receiver.

The 24-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Boise State, was selected by the Bills in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

He had a very limited role during his rookie campaign, logging just 10 catches for 161 yards and a score. Obviously, his role increased last season, and it should continue to escalate in 2024.

Locker notes that Shakir had an impressive 76.9 receiving grade this past season and only had a two percent drop rate, so he should be a sure-handed target for Allen come September.

He adds that Shakir also showed promise in what he did after the catch in 2023.

Allen may end up favoring Shakir over both Samuel and Coleman next season, as he already has familiarity with the speedy receiver.

Does Shakir have what it takes to be a legitimate No. 1 guy? He definitely displayed the ability in college, catching 77 passes for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns during his final season at Boise State.

Of course, whether or not that will translate on to the professional level remains to be seen, but there is no question that Shakir demonstrated some potential in 2023.

Buffalo has won four straight AFC East division titles and has made five consecutive trips to the playoffs. Clearly, with the mass exodus of players that left the Bills due to financial constraints this offseason, that postseason streak is in jeopardy.

But if the Bills can get significant production out of Shakir, it will certainly increase their chances.

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