‘Risky’ Projected 1st-Round WR Sends Message to Bills QB Josh Allen

Keon Coleman

Getty Former Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman at Bank of America Stadium on December 2, 2023.

The Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane assessed multiple prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine. However, their meeting with former Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman turned some heads.

With their No. 28 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, selecting Coleman is a possibility. Ahead of the Combine, Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson surmised, “Ultimately, Coleman is going to be a risky prospect — it’s not a flawless, clean profile — but the positives are obvious from his tape.”

The 20-year-old receiver can make spectacular catches, but there are consistency and separations issues. “There are several red flags in his evaluation that are going to leave draft analysts, and NFL teams, all over the map on him,” Monson surmised.

Speaking to reporters in Indianapolis, “We had a great interview,” Coleman said of meeting with the Bills. After earning All-ACC First-Team honors last season, Coleman is confident he could elevate Bills quarterback Josh Allen‘s game. He believes Allen “needs” him.

“(Allen) probably (has) the strongest arm in the league,” Coleman said. “He needs a guy to test that arm so he can throw it as far as he can and I can go out there and get it.”

In a separate interview, Coleman was asked which quarterback he’d love to catch touchdowns from. While he called Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes “the greatest in the game right now,” he mentioned Allen’s name unprompted. “Josh Allen for sure. He can throw the ball. Whew!”

Last season, Coleman tallied 50 receptions for 658 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Keon Coleman Said It Would ‘Be Great’ to Learn From Bills WR Stefon Diggs

With Gabe Davis expected to walk in free agency, the Bills are in the market for a new receiver. But even if the Bills drafted Coleman, in the best-case scenario, he would be second on the depth chart to Stefon Diggs. The 6-foot-4, 213-pounder has no issues with that.

“(The Bills) were asking me, ‘How would you handle not coming in and just handling the wheel? You’re going to have guys like Stefon Diggs there.’ I was like that would be great for me,” Coleman said. “I get to learn from a guy of that stature that’s been in the league for a while, doing it consistently.”

“So I’m just coming in as a sponge and I’m not mad if I don’t have to take the wheel right away. That’s a learning experience for me to get to learn from him and when I do get the wheel it’s going to be something crazy.”

For McDermott, a player’s fit and demeanor are of utmost importance. “We need our young players to come in and be ready to play and able to play,” McDermott told reporters last week. “And so I think that’s an important piece of it for us here that these interviews, we really get to the bottom of who these players are not just as players but who they are as people in their DNA.”

Keon Coleman Delivered an Uneven Performance at the NFL Combine

Monson wrote ahead of the Combine, “If he can run well in the 40, or his tracking data shows he has high-end game speed in place of that, he will do a lot to make a team take a chance that they can get a high-end player out of him.”

While Coleman recorded “the slowest forty time (4.61s),” according to Next Gen Stats, he “reached the fastest speed of group 8 during the gauntlet drill (20.36 mph).”

The Buffalo News’ Mark Gaughan was conflicted over the prospect’s performance. “Only three wide receivers drafted in the first four rounds in the last 20 years who weighed 213 or less ran no better than 4.64, according to NFL analyst Warren Sharp,” Gaughan pointed out. “(The most prominent of those was former Dolphin Jarvis Landry.)

“Coleman did show off his explosiveness in the vertical jump (38 inches) and broad jump (10 feet, 7 inches). And he looked good in on-field drills. He’s a contested catch monster.”