May 19, 2024

Any analysts spotted a warning flag when wide receiver Keon Coleman failed in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, but Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane saw an opportunity.

The Bills took Coleman with the first pick in the second round, trading back twice in the first round to accumulate picks before selecting the Florida State wide receiver. This happened after what CBS Sports analyst Jared Dubin described as a “disappointing” performance in the 40-yard dash, when Coleman’s time of 4.61 seconds ranked him among the bottom of wide receiver possibilities.

A newly released behind-the-scenes video from the NFL Combine revealed that Beane was pleased Coleman fell short of expectations.

“I’m glad he ran that,” Beane told assistant general manager Brian Gaine and director of player personnel Terrance Gray, adding that the sluggish time would allow Coleman to fall to the Bills at the end of the first round.

Bills GM Got His Wish

This isn’t the first time Beane has lobbied for a desired draft prospect to go under the radar at the NFL Combine. Back in 2020, a video from the combine showed him pulling for wide receiver Gabe Davis to run a 40-yard dash time that would not set him apart.

“It’s amazing how many good receivers there are in this thing,” Beane told then-assistant general manager Joe Schein and head coach Sean McDermott in a video clip shown on Bills: Embedded 2020. “I like Davis.” I hope he doesn’t run too fast, because he plays faster, you know? “Just be 4.58 or something, and he’ll be fine.”

Davis finished in 4.54 seconds, and Beane selected him in the fourth round that year. Davis spent four seasons with the Bills, totaling 163 receptions for 2,730 yards and 27 touchdowns before departing in free agency this offseason.

Keon Coleman Learning His Role

Coleman saw his first taste of genuine NFL football this week, participating in the team’s rookie minicamp, which began on May 10. The former Florida State wide receiver claimed he has been working closely with wide receivers coach Adam Henry to learn the team’s playbook and ideas.

“Coach Henry has been very helpful to me,” Coleman told the Niagara Gazette’s Nick Sabato. “We’ve been Zooming for the past week or so, breaking it down into parts, understanding the vocabulary and, within each play, what they’re supposed to do with the read. That makes it incredibly straightforward because there are so many concepts to run.”

Coleman said that he’s learning about what the Bills look for in wide receivers, which is a thorough understanding of the game.

“The Bills require you to have a higher IQ,” Coleman added. “… The defense determines what you truly want to accomplish. So being able to check things at the line and understand different positions is the baseline of baselines. But when you get into the complex side of football with routes, movements, motions, and targeting specific defenses with leverages and whatnot, I believe that’s the greatest adjustment, and it’s a lot.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *