My initial reaction to the Bills taking Zay Jones with the 37th pick of the draft? Based on recent history, the best they can hope for is that Jones will be a serviceable second receiver by his fourth season in the league.
The Bills' record on second-round wideouts has not been stellar in this millennium. The previous picks were Josh Reed, who went 36th overall in 2002; Roscoe Parrish, the 55th overall selection in 2005; James Hardy, who went 41st in 2008; and Robert Woods, who also went 41st five years after Hardy.
So history shows they're not likely to find a legitimate No. 1 wideout that late in the draft, at least for this scouting department. Jones certainly has impressive numbers. He set an FBS record with 158 catches for East Carolina last season and 399 receptions for his career. But he didn't do it against the best competition and he scored only eight TDs last season.
Vic Carucci broke the news this evening that the Bills aren't going to pick up the fifth year of Sammy Watkins' deal, leading people to believe that was the reason for the Jones pick. But they weren't looking to fill the No. 1 job, but seeking a legitimate N0. 2 after losing Woods to free agency. This remains a team without a proven No. 2 wideout, a scary prospect when you consider Sammy's injury history.
The Bills believe in Jones. They swapped a third-round pick in this draft for a fifth-rounder to switch spots with the Rams, moving up from 44 to 37. That's not as high a price as they paid to get Reggie Ragland last season, but it's a lot to move just seven spots.