McCloud, a rookie sixth-rounder out of Clemson, caught five of just six targets for 36 yards and no touchdowns over 10 games. He also returned one kickoff for 18 yards and four punts for 20 yards.
Given the Bills' wideout woes all season, McCloud had every chance to leap up the depth chart, but that never happened as he struggled with his first taste of the pro game, apparently frustrating the coaching staff along the way. By the end of the season, undrafted rookie Robert Foster and Broncos castaway Isaiah McKenzie passed him on the depth chart, while McCloud became an afterthought for much of the season. With the Bills eyeing up more wide receiver additions given their excessive cast space and array of draft picks, McCloud better get going in his second offseason or he'll be on the outside looking in for a roster spot.
McCloud has been a healthy scratch the last two games, but with Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes getting the heave-ho during the week, the team has decided to give younger players an uncluttered look the rest of the way. Considering McCloud flopped in his first few looks earlier in the season and was only a sixth-round draft choice, any action he sees -- he'll likely be a No. 4 or No. 5 receiver to go with some special-teams looks -- might be more of an audition to stick with the team than anything else.
McCloud could see action in the offense again following the departures of Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes this week, Kyle Silagyi of the Bills' official site reports. "It's an opportunity for me, an opportunity for the team," McCloud said. "Just help us grow the future and develop for future years just to see what we're all about."
McCloud hasn't played the last two games after a series of disappointments offensively and on special teams, but the Bills are using the last four games as an audition for next season, so it seems likely the sixth-round rookie will get some more looks before season's end. Zay Jones is the clear-cut No. 1, while Robert Foster and Isaiah McKenzie seem to be next in line, so we'll see if the Bills use McCloud or veteran Deonte Thompson more as the next man involved.
McCloud was one of the team's inactives for Sunday's win over the Jaguars.
McCloud had a chance to make his mark on a team that's struggled with its receiving corps all season, but he struggled as a returner earlier the season and failed to make any meaningful catches in limited offensive snaps. The Bills have signed Isaiah McKenzie and made him the team's main return man, while they also brought back Robert Foster and Deonte Thompson into the fold, leaving McCloud as the apparent No. 7 option among wide receivers. It looks like his rookie season will end up being kind of a dud, but he'll also probably have another chance to show some improvement in the coming offseason.
McCloud was unable to haul in his lone target during Sunday's 41-9 loss to Chicago.
The rookie has recorded multiple touches just once this season in a Buffalo offense which is hard to find value in. Nathan Peterman threw three more picks Sunday in the comedy of errors that Buffalo has started at quarterback. Derek Anderson (concussion) might be the guy in Week 10, but a trip to a Jets defense among the best in the league at generating turnovers likely makes McCloud a nonfactor.
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