Tonawanda News


August 8, 2013

Bills relying on speedy young receivers


Tonawanda News — The Bills’ rookie draft class reflects Marrone’s philosophy.

Buffalo used a second-round pick to draft Robert Woods out of Southern California, and followed by selecting Goodwin, a Texas speedster and Olympic-caliber long-jumper, in the third round.

They join Graham, a second-year player, who was both a receiver and track star at North Carolina State. And the group is rounded out by returning starter Stevie Johnson, who will miss about two weeks after pulling his hamstring on Friday.

Johnson’s injury turns the focus to the Bills’ young receivers heading into the team’s preseason opener at Indianapolis on Sunday.

That’s fine with Goodwin.

“It’s an opportunity to show what we’re capable of,” Goodwin said. “(The Bills) know what we’re capable of, or else they wouldn’t have hired us for the job. It’s all about just proving it to everybody else out here.”

Aside from speed, the youngsters have also shown signs of having good hands and being versatile.

Woods is capable of playing both the slot and wideout spots alongside Johnson.

Quarterback Kevin Kolb has been particularly impressed with Woods.

“Stud. Legitimately a stud,” Kolb said last week, before he hurt his left knee. “Not just talent, the kid can run better than I think anyone gives him credit for.”

Goodwin has proven to be a better receiver than the Bills initially expected. On Monday, he made two acrobatic catches on deep passes, both times coming down with the ball.

“I think you’re always excited about a guy like that,” Hackett said of Goodwin. “I think what he’s done out here up to this point, I don’t think really anybody expected. ... I’m really excited to see how he’s going to be able to help us out.”

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