Gunnar Watson

Gunnar Watson


Gunnar Watson throws a pass in a Troy game.

The Buffalo Bills added skill to their offense at last week’s NFL Draft and now invited a quarterback to round out their upcoming minicamp.

The Bills gave a rookie minicamp invite to Troy quarterback Gunnar Watson, the team confirmed on April 27. Watson earned buzz in his final collegiate season but did not hear his name called during the draft.

As’s Creg Stephenson noted, Watson had a strong conclusion to his collegiate career.

“Watson (6-3, 214) had a breakout season for the Trojans in 2023, passing for 3,569 yards and 27 touchdowns with just six interceptions,” Stephenson wrote.

Troy Quarterback Earns Shot After NFL Draft

Though Watson was not picked in the NFL Draft, the minicamp invite could give him the chance to show off his skills in the hopes of earning a free-agent contract. The 6-foot-3 signal-caller spent six seasons at Troy, passing for 10,275 total yards with 65 touchdowns and 29 interceptions.

Watson showed off his skills for scouts at Troy’s NFL Pro Day in March, saying he was excited to take the next step after a strong college career.

“It’s crazy. You know, I’ve been here for six years,” Watson told WDHN. “Had some good times, 2 championships on this field. But it was awesome coming back out here one more time with the guys that I left out of here with. Our motto just the past couple of days have been just go out there and have fun. So I think we did that and I think everybody showcased what they could do.”

Watson will have a familiar face at Bills minicamp as the team added Troy defensive end Javon Solomon with a fifth-round pick. Solomon led the nation in sacks with 16 in 2023, the Bills noted.

It could be a challenge for Watson to earn a spot on the depth chart in Buffalo, with Josh Allen returning as starter and Mitch Trubisky returning as the No. 2. The team also signed practice squad quarterback Shane Buechele to a futures contract in January.

Bills Add Talent in Draft, Free Agency

The Bills added a number of skill players in the draft, including Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman with their first pick. Many analysts expected the Bills to address their wide receiver room after the trade that shipped Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans and No. 2 receiver Gabe Davis left in free agency.

The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia called Coleman his favorite selection of the draft, noting that it addressed one of the biggest areas of need for the Bills.

“The Bills’ top pick joins a depth chart in desperate need of someone with his talent level, one that Josh Allen told general manager Brandon Beane he was a fan of ahead of the draft,” Buscaglia wrote.

The Bills also added talent to their backfield, taking Kentucky running back Ray Davis in the fourth round. Davis is seen as a good complement to top back James Cook.

“With his quick reads and lateral agility, Davis will juke defenders out of their cleats using dynamic plant-and-go cuts (his performance against Florida in 2023 might be the best running back tape in this class),” The Atheltic’s Dane Brugler wrote.

Nathan Dougherty is a sports reporter covering the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions for Previously he wrote for the Rochester Business Journal and served as the assistant editor of athletic trade magazines Coaching Management, Athletic Management and Training & Conditioning. He is based out of Rochester, New York, and loves everything football. More about Nathan Dougherty

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