Written by Greg Boucher
Rec TDs: 22
KR Yards: 889
KR TDs: 3
Marquez Stevenson is an absolute burner who can take the top off of any defense, he is a quick accelerator in the open field who has shown the ability to hit a second gear, he is able to get on top of defenders in a hurry passing them before they can turn and chase. He is a wildly explosive playmaker who has hauled in TDs from 90,80,70 and 60 yards out over his career. He has great after the catch vision, able to set up blocks and find seems while on the move to maximize every touch. While he is best suited for the slot, he has shown the formational versatility to play the boundary, he has been motioned on jet sweeps as well as being utilized on quick screens out on the perimeter. As a receiver Stevenson has decent hands, he’s not a body catcher and possesses good arm length for his size, he catches the catchable balls with the occasional great grab. Aside from being a vertical weapon he is a dangerous kick returner who has taken 3 returns back to the house over his career and could compete for the open job left behind by Andre Roberts. While he is a 24-year-old rookie Stevenson still has some upside and development that can better his talents.
Stevenson is a pure speed WR but lacks the suddenness in his release and the shiftiness to uncover quickly from the slot. What must be addresses is his route running, his routes are round and lack sharpness at the break which prevents him from maximizing separation. There is a lot of wasted motions in his routes, he takes too many steps setting up his break. While he sets up blocks well in the open field, finding seems to run through he does not have the silkiness of other slot WRs after the catch, to make people miss in space, he is more of a straight line fast. Stevenson has a smallish build and with it he lacks physicality, he is easily tackled once contact is made and will rarely run through tackles. There are question marks surrounding his ability to play over the middle beating press and bumps and withstand hits from LBs. He also struggles to win 50/50 jump balls, he can get out-muscled easily and separated from the catch. Another issue with Stevenson has been his durability, having missed several games over his 4-year career and will need to be available if he intends on making this team.
Stevenson finds himself in a great position, joining an explosive offense with three very talented veterans in Diggs, Beasley and Sanders that he can learn from while he works to refine the issues with his game. The Bills lost their vertical threat when they released John Brown and could add some relief in that area with the addition of Stevenson but unless he cleans up his route running and ability to uncover from the slot his touches are going to have to be manufactured, much like Isaiah McKenzie. Stevenson’s real value to this team on the onset may be his ability to return kicks