Top five Bills who must step up in 2024 — Offense

top five bills who must step up in 2024 — offense

Top five Bills who must step up in 2024 — Offense

It's the start of a new era of Buffalo Bills football. After pointing out the main changes on the defensive side of the ball and naming the players who must step up their games to help that unit succeed, it's time to flip sides and look at the team's offense.

Gone are two of the most decorated players on this Bills’ offense — Stefon Diggs, the team's best skill position player in the last four seasons, and Mitch Morse, the steady presence and leader of the offensive line. Those aren't easy roles to fill, but Buffalo has several names eager to take advantage of the new opportunities and become the new cornerstones of this offensive group. Here are my top five players who, if able to elevate their games to a new level, should help this new version of the Bills’ offense the most.

5 — Curtis Samuel, WR

The former Washington Commanders receiver has plenty of experience already, entering his eighth year in the league, now with the Bills. However, don't confuse Samuel's signing with one of those decadent veterans trying to join a strong team hunting for a Super Bowl ring — turning 28 in August, the speedy wide receiver may be at his prime right now, combining great athletic traits that made him a second-round pick in 2017, with the experience acquired over the years.

Add the facts that he'll, for the first time in his career, catch passes from a true franchise quarterback, and that his best year as a pro happened when playing for the offensive coordinator he just rejoined, and it's totally fair to expect Samuel to produce the best seasons of his career as a Bill. After John Brown, Cole Beasley, and Stefon Diggs all came to Buffalo and enjoyed an uptick in their production, Samuel might be the next in line. It'll be all about opportunities.

4 — Connor McGovern, C

Last year McGovern signed with the Bills to become a true starter, after spending the first years of his career as a depth piece within the Dallas Cowboys depth chart. After one successful season starting at left guard, the former third-round pick will need to make another transition, this time from guard to center, where his responsibilities will increase.

McGovern will need to replace a long-time veteran presence in Mitch Morse, a player who was a leader on the offensive side of the ball, and a dependable piece in the middle of this offensive line. I find it difficult to take for granted that Morse's good qualities will be replaced easily. With that said, I definitely trust Aaron Kromer as one of the best offensive line coaches in the NFL, and it seems this move has been prepared since last season when McGovern started to take some snaps at center in practice.

top five bills who must step up in 2024 — offense

Connor McGovern is excited to become “the tip of the spear” for Buffalo in 2024.

There are no guarantees that this move will work but, with the confidence of his coaches, McGovern seems very excited to be back at the position he enjoys playing the most. McGovern wants the responsibility and believes he's ready to take over the position and never look back. His relationship with his quarterback is trending in the right direction and, being younger and having better physical traits than his successor, he might even become an upgrade in the best-case scenario.

3 — Khalil Shakir, WR

Keon Coleman, Curtis Samuel, Marques Valdes-Scantling, Mack Hollins, Chase Claypool — the Bills have added several new candidates to become Josh Allen's go-to-guy at wide receiver in 2024. However, a returning player selected by the team in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL draft is my favorite in this battle.

top five bills who must step up in 2024 — offense

No WR on the roster has built a better connection with Josh Allen than Khalil Shakir.

Khalil Shakir has earned Allen’s trust by making the most of every opportunity he received last season. Dependable hands, yards-after-the-catch production, and versatility to win lining up inside and out made him one of Allen's favorite options week in and week out. He has the physical traits and the right mindset to succeed — plus, having Eric Moulds as his mentor and tutor certainly helps a lot. I can't wait to see him in his first full year as a starter, and it wouldn't surprise me if he becomes a 1,000-yard wide receiver in 2024.

2 — James Cook, RB

No skill position player has a better opportunity of becoming the second-biggest superstar in this Bills’ offense than James Cook and the reason is simple — unlike the pass catchers who will be able to shine during only one phase of the offensive production, the former second-round pick will get opportunities catching the ball, and rushing it. We know Joe Brady loves to take advantage of light boxes to pound the rock and establish a strong run game, and this trend should continue in 2024, giving Cook opportunities to touch the ball a lot.

It's not just the production on the ground, though. The former Georgia Bulldog has all the tools to also become a difference maker in the passing game. He struggled with some costly drops, leaving at least three touchdowns on the field last season. However, we've seen the kind of mismatch he can be for linebackers in coverage, and he's shown some great hands in other opportunities, which makes me believe his drops are more a concentration issue than possessing poor hands.

Another key area where Cook can benefit from some improvement is pass blocking. We saw plenty of Latavius Murray on the field during two-minute drills and obvious passing downs last season, mainly for being more reliable as a blocker. If Cook can improve there, he should find more playing time, subsequently producing more.

After becoming a Pro Bowl back in 2023, Cook might still have a higher ceiling. That's a guy who can become an All-Pro selection and a household name in the league, making the Bills’ offense better and taking some of the weight away from Josh Allen's shoulders.

1 — Dalton Kincaid, TE

No matter how much the Bills have become a run-heavy team, the passing game always will lead the way when the quarterback is Josh Allen — it's a passing league after all and Buffalo has the best quarterback in the league, in my opinion. That's why I have Dalton Kincaid over James Cook as the player who can have the biggest impact on this offense in 2024.

Don't be fooled by all the talk about Stefon Diggs drawing attention — number-one pass catchers always end up finding ways of contributing and leading their teams in the main receiving stats. It wasn't the case with Diggs playing under Joe Brady as Kincaid has been this guy since the recently promoted offensive coordinator took over as an interim. Midway through the 2023 season. Diggs was more of an “eye-candy” piece than the go-to guy in the new offense, and it worked just fine.

Without an established WR1 on the roster now, the first-round pick from a year ago should continue to be the centerpiece of the Bills’ passing attack going forward. He offers a great mix of size and athletic ability alongside great hands, while being a nightmarish matchup for opposing linebackers and safeties. Now entering his second year in the league and already having experience as the offense's main target, Kincaid should be able to continue his rise to NFL stardom.

Allen has often punished opposing defenses by throwing the ball downfield and outside the hash marks. Kincaid's growth into a feared mismatch inside should do wonders for the Bills’ new group of pass catchers outside, allowing them to face more one-on-one opportunities and making people pay for them. The continuity in his development and in the way he's featured in the offense should be the biggest X-factor for this unit in 2024.

Final Thoughts

Looking at the names that left the team and remembering their biggest highlights during the prime of their Bills' careers certainly makes most people worried about all the uncertainties at the top of the depth chart. With that said, old players’ regression is real, and I don't believe many people will disagree when I state that Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and Mitch Morse are leaving the team in a moment where they weren't producing at the elite level expected from them when you see those guys stepping on the field.

top five bills who must step up in 2024 — offense

Unfortunately, when the Bills needed him the most, the production wasn't there.

Call me a homer if you want to, but I honestly don't see any of the scenarios stated above as unrealistic — all those players have been trending in the right direction, aren't past their primes, have shown their potential on the field already, and have put up the work to improve. The Bills have focused on players with the right mindset, and it's difficult to bet against the players who are willing to work hard to earn their success.

Obviously, we can't expect every single one of them to fulfill their full potential or to have everything working smoothly in their favor all year long, but the Bills don't need it — two of those best scenarios accompanied by other players doing the bare minimum expected from NFL starters should be enough to give Josh Allen an offense that he can elevate. The Bills don't need 11 All-Pros in the lineup and all the players mentioned in this article have already established themselves as nice complementary pieces. Now it's time to step up and take over, becoming the new Bills’ household names around the league.

Catch up with all this and more within my latest edition of Leading The Charge!

OTHER NEWS

44 minutes ago

The 8 men to win Olympic Games tennis gold – ft. two-time champion Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal

44 minutes ago

Commission leadership positions within the French National Assembly: no far-right MPs elected

44 minutes ago

The Ryanair share price is too cheap for me to ignore

44 minutes ago

Police investigating Harehills disorder make 20 arrests and identify 40 suspects

45 minutes ago

Trump Wants To Be a Bull Moose

45 minutes ago

US rapper Snoop Dogg to carry torch ahead of Paris opening ceremony

45 minutes ago

27 Shoes So Comfortable They May Have You ~Running~ To Throw Out All Those Uncomfy Shoes In Your Closet

45 minutes ago

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway cuts its stake in EV giant BYD to under 5%, dropping below Hong Kong’s disclosure threshold

45 minutes ago

Labor minister tries to ‘hose down’ anti-nuclear scare campaign

45 minutes ago

Natalie Portman on the true story that inspired ‘Lady in the Lake

45 minutes ago

Athletes receive Olympic-themed condoms upon arrival at Paris Olympic Village

45 minutes ago

The Real Reason Josh Hartnett Disappeared From Hollywood Before His Comeback

45 minutes ago

Joker 2's New Trailer Teases An Unhinged Love Story With Joaquin Phoenix & Lady Gaga

45 minutes ago

Bernard Arnault has been dubbed the Olympics' godfather. Here's how he built LVMH's fortune

45 minutes ago

Eddie Howe gives update on Anthony Gordon’s Newcastle future amid Liverpool speculation

45 minutes ago

Councils spending half their budgets on homelessness as problem hits record high, damning report finds

45 minutes ago

BBC Strictly scandal – live: Tim Davie says ‘line should never be crossed’ as he gives update on show’s future

45 minutes ago

US congressional task force to investigate Trump shooting

49 minutes ago

B.C. legal tech firm Clio nets US$900M in historic funding round

52 minutes ago

PFF grades for all 32 NFL teams' centers (including Commanders)

52 minutes ago

Manchester City’s US tour: teenage stars and a chance for Jack Grealish to shine

52 minutes ago

Adidas apologises for 1972 Olympics ad as Bella Hadid consults lawyers

52 minutes ago

Qatar Airways unveils new version of its award-winning Qsuite business class, launching on the Boeing 777X. The verdict? The 'best just got better', with the option of window 'companion suites'

52 minutes ago

Harris' campaign faces potential legal challenges. And, a new dinosaur discovery

52 minutes ago

Spotify Stock Pops On Quarterly Numbers As Music Streamer Adds Premium Subscribers, Lowers Costs

52 minutes ago

U.S. favored to top medal table at Paris Games. China may challenge for most gold

52 minutes ago

Durant misses exhibition finale but will stay on Team USA

52 minutes ago

George Conway Describes Simple Strategy That He Thinks Will Lead To Trump's Defeat

52 minutes ago

Regional Australians have opened their hearts to refugees – we should open pathways to match

52 minutes ago

Dacia Sandero is Europe’s best-selling car in 2024… so far

52 minutes ago

"What we've learned with USA Basketball is that the gap has closed" - Steve Kerr admits the close win over South Sudan was a wake-up call

52 minutes ago

A new era for visa-free travel? The EU is about to stamp it out

52 minutes ago

Nintendo World Championship: NES Edition feels like Nintendo for the TikTok era

52 minutes ago

"You can't set a gold standard to bronze standards" - Austin Reaves blasts Bronny James critics

52 minutes ago

PGA Tour winner and announcer Mark Carnevale dies at 64 - one week after covering his final tournament

52 minutes ago

Video: Instant karma for road rage driver as he punches motorist through van window - but then gets a taste of his own medicine when his victim gets out to reveal himself as being much bigger before he knocks him to the floor

52 minutes ago

GTA 6 won’t be ‘wildly different’ from GTA 5 says ex-Rockstar developer

52 minutes ago

Brazilian art student swaps Civil War coin at British Museum in colonial artefacts protest

52 minutes ago

Porsche cuts sales outlook due to surprise alloy shortage, shares skid

52 minutes ago

Windrose plans truck assembly in U.S. in rare move by Chinese EV firm

ALONGWALKER VIETNAM: Kênh khám phá trải nghiệm của giới trẻ, thế giới du lịch ALONGWALKER INDONESIA: Saluran untuk mengeksplorasi pengalaman para pemuda global