Buffalo Bills wide receiver Walt Powell has earned himself a roster spot with his play this preseason
The Buffalo Bills came into training camp with 12 wide receivers. So far they have only thinned the herd by two with Leonard Hankerson being cut after several drops against the Colts. The other player who was cut is Greg Little who was released yesterday when the roster was trimmed to 75 players.
Marcus Easley will start off the year on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List and Kolby Listenbee will start on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List. This leaves eight players competing for five to seven roster spots for wide receiver with five or six being the most likely number.
The top receivers for the Bills right now are Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, and Greg Salas. After that, it is anyone's guess who will end up on the roster. There is no one who deserves the next spot more than Walt Powell though.
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Walt Powell played college football at Murray State. He was drafted into the NFL in 2014 by the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round. He has spent most of his time so far in the NFL trying to secure a roster spot.
Powell has done everything that could be asked of him so far this preseason in order to make the Bills roster. In their first preseason game against the Colts, he led the team in both receptions (4) and yards (88).
In their second preseason game versus the Giants, Powell was tied for the second-most receptions on the team (3) and he had the third most yards (46). Charles Clay had more yards than him but all 59 of his came on one catch and LeSean McCoy was the other player who finished with more yards leaving Powell as the top performing wide receiver.
Against Washington, in the Bills third preseason game, he led the team in both receptions (5) and yards (55) once again. In total for the preseason, Powell has 50 percent more catches than the next receiver with 12 compared to 8. He also has 189 total yards which is 110 more than Greg Little who was cut yesterday despite being the second leading receiver in the preseason.
Powell has been far and away the best receiver this preseason and he has been consistent in his performance from week to week. He has been a reliable target and is showing chemistry with all of the quarterbacks.
On top of his receiving skills, he can also be another option in the return game if something were to happen to Reggie Bush or if the Bills wanted to mix it up. So far he has been the superior punt returner with eight returns for an 11.8 yard average compared to Bush who has five returns for a 3.4 yard average. Powell has returned four kickoffs for a 19.5 yard average while Bush has only one kickoff return which he took for 22 yards.
Powell has demonstrated throughout the preseason that he can be productive in the passing game. He could also be their starting or backup returner on special teams which gives him added value on the roster.
Walt Powell has done everything that's been asked of him and he's done it well. That is why he deserves a spot on the Buffalo Bills 53 man roster when the deadline hits at 4pm this Saturday.