Entering Bills training camp, tight end Scott Chandler was an afterthought. Sitting behind Shawn Nelson and David Martin on the depth chart, Chandler didn't seem to have a chance to make the team. Since being drafted in the fourth round by the San Diego Chargers in 2007, under Buddy Nix's regime, Chandler has bounced around the league, making stints for the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys.
Nix still realized the potential of the 6'7" tight end that runs a 4.68 40-yard dash and brought him to the Bills to compete for a starting role. Chandler was a standout as a member of the Iowa Hawkeyes, catching 117 passes for 1,467 yards, scoring 10 touchdowns in three seasons, but he was never able to translate his ability to the National Football League.
At 26 years old, Chandler has a high ceiling for growth, and Bills head coach Chan Gailey has utilized his giant target, especially in redzone situations. In the first start of his career, Chandler caught five passes for 63 yards and scored two touchdowns. He also managed to score touchdowns in the following weeks against the Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots. The last time a Bills tight end caught four or more touchdowns in s season was Jay Riemersma in 2000 (He had 5). On the year, Chandler has caught nine passes for 89 yards and four touchdowns, which is tied for highest among all tight ends in the league.
Chandler seems to be the answer at tight end, a position the Bills have struggled to fill since Pete Metzelaars departed, who had a team record for receptions for a tight end with 68 in 1992. If you are curious, Chandler is on pace to catch a shade under 50 passes. Of course, his catches have gone down, but his impact is definitely being felt.
His sheer size and speed creates difficult mismatches against defenders, and he has surprising speed. While overshadowed by wide receivers Stevie Johnson, David Nelson and Donald Jones, Chandler is definitely a player to keep an eye on as the season progresses.