9. Damiere Byrd
NFL career stats: 3 starts,12 receptions, 129 yards, 2 touchdowns, 60% catch rate
Despite starting three games in as many seasons, Damiere Byrd is a promising receiver with prior success as a special teamer. The wide-out played 17 games with the Carolina Panthers and was used primarily as a kick-return specialist. In ten return attempts, Byrd tallied 294 yards and a touchdown.
Byrd’s ability to play on kick-offs give him the edge over the more one-dimensional Williams, and so does his significantly more efficient receiving stat-line. Standing at 5-foot-9 with 180-pounds on his frame, Byrd is undersized, but he makes up for it with effort and speed. At his South Carolina pro day, the receiver ran a 4.28 second 40-yard-dash.
As a Panther, Byrd saw time in both the slot and outside and was used on gadget plays (sweeps, screens, tosses). His route-tree looks to be mostly horizontal as his short area burst and speed are best utilized with blockers in front of him. However, he takes clean breaks and has developed the nuances of route-running and separation creating.
But Byrd falls down this list because he’s A; developing, B; not going to win contested catches and C; somewhat undersized. He’s a speedster that will best be utilized on slants, screens, crosses, and quick-outs. With that being said, his skills are redundant with more promising talent on the roster, but he has the chance to make the roster in a reserve/special teams role.