Following the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft, Bills head coach Doug Marrone spoke of his desire to add playmakers.
"When I look at offense, I try to look at playmakers; people that can make plays, people that can be productive," explained Marrone. "The whole thing in this league is how are you going to score?"
Speed and athleticism constitute a playmaker in a fast-paced offense, and with the 78th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft the Bills chose University of Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who might just be the fastest and most athletic prospect out there.
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GM Buddy Nix described Goodwin as a "world class athlete," and that description is fitting. Goodwin was a standout track athlete at Texas, and he placed 10th in the long jump in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
In addition to his experience at the pinnacle of athletic competitions, Goodwin's speed might be better than advertised. Goodwin was clocked at 4.27 in the 40-yard dash at the 2013 NFL Combine, but he revealed a jaw-dropping number when asked what his fastest recorded time was.
"I was told that I was clocked (hand timed) at 4.17 and 4.19," said Goodwin.
This amazing speed and athleticism make Goodwin a remarkable prospect with what Marrone believes is a higher ceiling than most.
"Well I think it is interesting that the first thing that comes to mind is speed," Marrone said of Goodwin's skill set. "And that is the one thing, and you hear this a lot from coaches, but it is the one thing you cannot coach. You are either fast or you are not fast."
As a two-sport athlete, Goodwin spent his spring season with the track team, and Marrone explained what this meant for the speedster's development.
"The one thing about Marquise was he played during the season and he was on the track team in the spring," said Marrone. "That area of development for him was not there and it was probably there for most of the players in this draft.
"What is interesting is when you look at upside and things that you can do, I think there is a higher ceiling because that level of development that most of the players in this draft have, he was not a part of because of what he did with track."
While Goodwin is most likely a developmental receiver for the Bills, the wideout believes he is more polished than he is given credit for.
"Yes sir, I do [think I'm polished]," said Goodwin. "With my coach, he came in and implemented lots of drills, thing to help me get better day in and day out. I feel like I'm really polished."
Although he is known for his speed and only stands at 5'9", one surprising aspect of Goodwin's game stood out to the Bills brass.
"Actually one of the things in the report that jumps out at you, a guy his size, he's a tenacious blocker," said GM Buddy Nix.
Goodwin general athleticism has led some to call him a track guy playing football, but Goodwin does not believe that is the case.
"I'm a football guy that just happens to run track because I got drafted by the Buffalo Bills," said Goodwin. "I don't think if I was strictly a track guy trying to play football that I would've been drafted, especially in this round with the numbers that I have. Obviously somebody thought to invest in me because they saw me as a football player."
Somebody did, and that somebody was Buddy Nix.
"He's a tough guy," Nix said of Goodwin. "He's a football player first. He's had all that success in track but I think when you see him play I think you'll realize he's a football player, just needs reps and touches."
Goodwin will join 2nd round draft pick Robert Woods in what has quickly become one of the youngest, most explosive, and more intriguing receiving corps in the league.