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Friday, April 12, 2024

Justin Shorter becomes second Gator drafted by Bills in 2023 NFL Draft

Shorter was 150th overall pick

Florida receiver Justin Shorter catches a 51-yard touchdown in the Gators' 45-35 loss to the Louisiana State Tigers Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.
Florida receiver Justin Shorter catches a 51-yard touchdown in the Gators' 45-35 loss to the Louisiana State Tigers Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022.

Former Florida receiver Justin Shorter will join the Buffalo Bills and catch passes from another big-bodied, athletic quarterback. 

Shorter played with Anthony Richardson — who was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts with the fourth overall pick — and now heads to Buffalo to reel in throws from star quarterback Josh Allen.

The Bills selected Shorter with the 15th pick of the fifth round — the 150th overall pick — of the 2023 National Football League Draft Saturday. He joins former UF offensive guard O’Cyrus Torrence — who was taken in the second round — as the second Gator drafted by the Bills in this year’s draft.

Shorter made his name as a receiver that can go up and compete for contested catches. What he lacks in speed and explosiveness, he makes up for with his strength. 

The 6-foot-4-inch, 229-pound pass catcher ran a 4.55 40-yard dash and tied for the worst 10-yard split among receivers with a 1.59-second time. However, his 18 bench reps were the sixth-best count among receivers.

Shorter etched out a role for himself as one of the Gators’ go-to big-play threats. He played at UF for three seasons before he entered his name into the pool of 2023 draft prospects.

Prior to his time in Gainesville, he was a member of the Penn State Nittany Lions; he transferred following his second year. Shorter started his career at Florida in 2020 and caught 25 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns.

He followed his first year as a Gator with 41 catches for 550 yards and three touchdowns in 2021. Last season, Shorter reeled in 29 passes for 577 yards and two touchdowns.

His yards per catch increased every season at UF. He went from 10.7 yards per catch in 2020 to 19.9 yards per catch in 2022.

Now, he will wear blue, red and white in Buffalo. He’ll catch passes from Allen and compete with Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Khalil Shakir, Trent Sherfield and more for time on the field.

Contact Kyle Bumpers at kbumpers@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @BumpersKyle.

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Kyle Bumpers

Kyle Bumpers is a fourth-year journalism major and the sports editor of The Alligator. In his free time, he cries about Russell Wilson and writes an outrageous amount of movie reviews on Letterboxd.


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