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Camp Countdown

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Camp Countdown 2020 | 5 offensive playmakers to follow during training camp


Camp Countdown, presented by Connors & Ferris, will examine some of the more pressing questions facing the team on the field, and players who could make a difference as the team makes its final preparations for the 2020 regular season. We also focus on a few different areas that impact the team off the field. We'll examine these issues one at a time until training camp begins. Here now is the latest daily installment as we carefully seek some of the answers the Buffalo Bills have to come up with between the start of camp and the opener on Sept. 13th.

1. WR Stefon Diggs

We all know the addition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs was the biggest trade of Buffalo's offseason. His previous success in Minnesota is one of many reasons why he will be fun to watch during camp. Diggs is coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons where he scored a total of 15 touchdowns. The wide receiver ranked fourth in the NFL last season averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per reception. Around the NFL writer Nick Shook ranked him as the third-best pass catcher from 2019. Per Next Gen Stats, Diggs' catch rate was 67% while his expected catch rate was 56.3%.

The wide out is known for his ability to separate in coverage, run exceptional routes and make tough contested catches look easy. Per Next Gen Stats, Diggs led the league in 2019 with five touchdowns from passes that traveled more than 20 air yards. He also was first in yards per target with 24 and had a 57.7% catch rate on deep targets.

These stats prove why Diggs is a vital addition to the Bills this season. Buffalo needs to score more points in 2020 and Diggs is a proven point scorer. Allen and Diggs have already linked up once in Florida, but it will be interesting to see where their chemistry is at come July. The two will take plenty of reps together during camp to get comfortable come Week 1.

2. RB Zack Moss

The Bills welcomed another third-round running back to their roster this year with the addition of Zack Moss. Put on his tape and it's easy to see Moss is a powerful runner. His style along with the departure of Frank Gore is why he is one playmaker to watch in camp. General manager Brandon Beane has said he envisions Moss playing a role similar to Gore from last year. Moss will also be a great complement to second year running back Devin Singletary.

The rookie brings a different dimension than Singletary's elusiveness and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. While Moss can also be used in the receiving game, he is better known for the physicality he brings by getting tough, contact yards. Like Diggs, Moss also addresses the issue of Buffalo needing to score more points. The Utah RB totaled 4,067 rushing yards for 38 touchdowns on 712 attempts. In his senior season, Moss scored 15 touchdowns and averaged more than 100 rushing yards a game. This offense found success in the run game last season, Singletary won't be able to do it all on his own in 2020.

3. RB Devin Singletary

Devin Singletary showed a lot of promise during his rookie season, proving the running back has a high ceiling in the NFL. Singletary was an influential part of the offense last season and Allen will lean on him even more this year. The RB showcased his pass-catching ability in his first year, catching 29 receptions for 194 receiving yards and scoring two touchdowns.

He is a playmaker to watch in camp because it will be intriguing to see the strides he takes in year two. Singletary will build on the chemistry he has with Allen and the offensive line. The RB also missed time last year due to a hamstring injury, so health will be important for Singletary moving forward. He averaged the most yards per attempt for an NFL rookie running back with 5.1 yards per attempt in 2019 and totaled 775 rushing yards on 151 attempts. A step forward in 2020 and health on his side should make his second year in the NFL one filled with lots of potential.

Maybe not as important to Singletary's growth, but it's worth noting he will play a part in bringing along rookie running back Zack Moss. Singletary learned from veteran Frank Gore last year and sung his praises in how thankful he was to train next to one of the best. It's now Singletary's job to take what he gained from Gore into helping Moss develop during camp.

4. TE Dawson Knox

Like Devin Singletary, tight end Dawson Knox proved his potential in his first NFL season. What's different than Singletary is Knox's background. Knox played quarterback in high school, walked on at Ole miss and caught a total of 39 passes in his three years at Ole Miss. Knox took a leap in year one going from 39 receptions over three years in college to 28 receptions for 388 receiving yards and two touchdowns in an NFL season. Knox also ranked third in the NFL for a tight end in yards per reception with 13.9. In year two, Knox is capable of taking another leap forward.

We all know Knox had some great game-changing receptions last season, but he also had some ill-timed drops. The tight end said working on catching the ball was at the top of his list heading into the offseason. This is one reason why it will be interesting to watch him in camp. If Knox can eliminate the drops and enter the season with a better understanding of the offense, he can be an even bigger threat to opposing teams. Add in a better connection with Josh Allen, plus an improvement in route running—yeah, Knox can be a playmaker in 2020.

5. WR Gabriel Davis

Wide receiver Gabriel Davis was drafted by the Bills in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Davis made a huge impact at UCF and brings something to Buffalo the Bills don't have at the WR position. The UCF product caught 152 passes for 2,447 yards, averaging 16.1 yards per reception and scored 23 touchdowns in his three years with the team. Davis brings height to the wide receiver room standing tall at 6-2. He was known for his success in red zone at UCF. Couple that with his route running ability, Davis could be a plug-and-play weapon for the Bills this season.

It will exciting to watch Davis during camp and see if the traits that made him a standout receiver in college will translates to the NFL. Davis has already spent time training with his new teammates in Florida, so it will be interesting to see how quickly he picks up the offense.

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