Let's set the stage for the 2016 Buffalo Bills offseason, as far as the wide receivers go.
The Bills were without Sammy Watkins throughout all the workouts as he was rehabbing from foot surgery, and after Robert Woods, nothing has been settled with that position in particular. Over the past several weeks, the Bills have given opportunities to just about everyone in the receiver group with the first-team.
Greg Little, Leonard Hankerson, Jarrett Boykin, Dez Lewis, Greg Salas, Walt Powell, and even undrafted rookie Gary Chambers have taken turns lining up at wide receiver at one point or another with Tyrod Taylor. The offseason workouts, all 11 of them, gave this group a big chance to earn the trust of the coaching staff, and to potentially put them ahead when training camp begins in late July.
So of the entire group, which player caught the eye of head coach Rex Ryan?
"For my money I think Dez Lewis, consistently, has done a great job," the Bills head coach said.
It's been a battle for Lewis, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound seventh-round pick of the team last year, who was released ahead of the 2015 regular season. He hooked on with the practice squad, and slowly built his way back up -- and even was added to the active roster late in the season.
"You saw him. As the year went on, he kept getting better and better, but I think he’s made strides even from that point to now," Ryan said. "Here’s a guy, a young man that came in from a small college, but man, has he really taken off. And you can talk to any of our guys in the weight room and all that. He’s done a phenomenal job there, getting stronger, faster, and then, [the offense is] not Chinese to him anymore. Last year, I think there was a little of that."
With the third wide receiver job wide open for the taking this summer, Lewis has certainly made his mark and put himself in great position when the Bills start training camp on July 30.