3. Fred Jackson, RB
I cannot keep “Freddie” off of this list. While he has been bitten by the injury bug in each of the last two seasons, Jackson still represents one of Buffalo’s top five offensive talents.
Taking Hackett’s comments into consideration, I recall the second half of the Bills’ 2011 game versus the Oakland Raiders.
The Bills put Spiller and Jackson on the field together as running backs in a pro set. The result? The Bills scored touchdowns on all five of their second-half drives, and the Bills came back from a 21-3 halftime deficit to win 38-35.
The Bills did not punt for the remainder of the game. The one-two punch that Spiller and Jackson unleashed on the Raiders was a thing of beauty.
I would like to see that again in Buffalo. Jackson has heart, determination, talent and resiliency. If fully healthy, Jackson is one of the top players on the Bills’ offense. While he does not have Spiller’s speed, he is a workhorse between the tackles and has a knack for getting extra yards.
4. Robert Woods, WR
I have some degree of difficulty including Robert Woods on this list. He has not played one down of Sunday football. He is a rookie and is unproven in the NFL.
However, I cannot stop thinking that history will show that Robert Woods will be our best draft choice of 2013. Of all of the Bills rookies in 2013, I think Woods will make the biggest impact.
Woods’ role as a starter could begin immediately, and as a second-round draft pick, he will have an immediate advantage to earn playing time over the Bills’ other rookie receivers. He is an ideal No. 2 receiver with polished route-running, so he should make an immediate and significant impact in 2013.
5. EJ Manuel/Kevin Kolb, QB
I had to round out the list with the quarterback position. Regardless of who the quarterback is in September, the improvement at the position will have a significant impact on the Bills’ offensive production.
If EJ Manuel starts, his ability to make plays with his feet can make his impact even greater. Kevin Kolb is able to throw a deep pass with both consistency and velocity, something that was in short supply last year.
T.J. Graham — According to Brown, Graham was impressive in OTAs, making a “host of plays in the passing game through the course of OTA practices.” He could be poised to make a nice impact in 2013. Considering he was drafted ahead of Russell Wilson in the third round of the 2012 draft, he will be expected to do something noteworthy in 2013. But because of his inability to wrap his head around the playbook last season, a poor route that cost the Bills a chance to beat the Patriots and lackluster statistics in 2012, he did not crack the top five.
Scott Chandler – Chandler has had respectable numbers in his last two seasons as a Bills tight end. In short (which Chandler is not), there is nothing to get overly excited about with Chandler. Personally, I am more intrigued by rookie seventh-round pick Chris Gragg out of Arkansas. That said, none of Buffalo’s tight ends are worthy of making this list.
Da’Rick Rogers – He and Robert Woods have played the same amount of Sunday football, but while I want Rogers to succeed as much as the next guy, he is likely to need a year to mature. Once matured, he could become the true No. 1 receiver that the Bills have lacked for so long.
Who would you make your list of the Buffalo Bills’ top five offensive players? Let us know in the comments thread below!