The odds are stacked against Sean Riley. He is entering multiple position battles where there are bigger, stronger, and more experienced players looking to secure a job for themselves. At wide receiver he will be battling with Damiere Byrd, Jeff Thomas, Marqise Lee (and about six others) for playing time. He made a name for himself in the kicking game in college, but so did Kyle Dugger and Jeff Thomas. Everywhere you look there is a “better” option available for the New England Patriots’ coaching staff to choose from.
Fortunately for a Riley, 5’8” football players get used to these set of odds. He will just have to do what he’s done many times before, out play and over perform.
Riley entered Syracuse as an undersized (165lbs) running back out of Narbonne high school in Los Angeles. He quickly found a way to contribute as a freshman, becoming the nation’s second kickoff return yards leader. He slowly earned time on offense, eventually leading the team in receptions (63) and receiving yards (756) as a junior. His play fell off a bit as did the entire offense under a new quarterback. Throughout his career he posted solid return numbers and made a name for himself in the kicking game.
Here he is catching a screen and pinballinv his way to a 20 yard game. He may be short but he’s solid. Bounces right off of tacklers. pic.twitter.com/8TDY5agsR4— keagan (@KeaganStiefel) July 8, 2020
pin balling* I should probably start proofreading my tweets, but where’s the fun in that?
Riley has what may be my favorite tool in a returner. The ability to pick a lane and take it. He doesn’t hop around if he doesn’t need to. He takes the opportunities when they’re available. pic.twitter.com/ewww3xFGo1— keagan (@KeaganStiefel) July 8, 2020
Ultimately, Riley’s roster chances come as an all purpose guy/returner — maybe like a smaller version of Cordarrelle Patterson. He doesn’t have the prototypical size of an NFL receiver nor does he have the pedigree. His roster chances are slim and he’s facing a tall task of trying to knock off one of the other guys fighting for a roster spot but I think he is game. I expect Riley to stick around until the end of camp. I do have him on the no chance list but I strongly believe he has the ability to prove me wrong. Let’s see how it works out.