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Didn't We All Just Need a Day to Process "The Process"?

Because I cannot avoid it, and my name is stamped on the last two podcasts and blog post, I'm not going to backpedal and say that I wanted The Buffalo Bills to select Keon Coleman with their first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. I did not. He would not have been my pick. I put together two podcasts and a heavily researched, wide receiver-focused blog post about the top separators, most explosive, and lowest drop-rate WR talent in the draft.


Coleman didn't make the cut on the metrics I focused on, and if you haven't guessed by now, I love metrics. So, going off Coleman's less-than-stellar straight-line speed, fair-to-middling catch rate, and what Beane had SAID about separation, explosiveness, and catching the ball, I honestly did not think Coleman was a serious consideration for The Buffalo Bills.


Given our pick at No. 33, I honestly needed last night and most of today to process the pick, in order to continue trusting "The Process." I needed to find the metrics that would re-establish my hope that Beane didn't just fall asleep at the wheel; I needed to fight the near-irresistible urge to spiral into the doom-and-gloom of the message board meltdowns sprouting faster than this year's too-early lilac blooms in Western New York.


With a seeming majority of the Mafia yeeting expletives into the internet void faster than Patriot fair-weather fans burned their bandwagon badges over the past couple of seasons, I think we can all admit to ourselves: We needed a day or two to process "The Process".


So I went back to the numbers; I needed to find some semblance of sense to hang Buffalo's hopes upon. To hang MY hopes on! I tried looking through the past wide receivers with 40 times in Keon Coleman's range and slower, and it looks like--despite what the message board trolls will try and tell you--we haven't necessarily just failed Allen and the franchise.


Wouldn't it be an absolute disaster if Keon Coleman had the career of ANY of the following wide receivers (40 times following the respective athletes, descending from slowest to fastest):


Keenan Allen 4.71 (Pro Day)

Anquan Boldin 4.71

Jerry Rice 4.71

Steve Largent 4.70

Devin Funchess 4.70

Terrell Owens 4.63

Larry Fitzgerald 4.63

Cooper Kupp 4.62

Keon Coleman 4.61

Allen Robinson 4.60

Tee Higgins 4.59

Plaxico Burress 4.59

Puka Nacua 4.57

DeAndre Hopkins 4.57

Michael Thomas 4.57


So, my dear message board trolls, would you say that taking Cooper Kupp at 33 would end the Bills? Would hall-of-famer Jerry Rice be a disastrous waste of draft capital? If we took a player like Larry Fitzgerald, would the Chiefs win the Super Bowl for the next five years? Would T.O. 2.0 send McBeane to the proverbial chopping block?


Speaking of T.O., here's a fun number game, you armchair GM wrinkly-brainers: Please tell me which numbers belong to Terrell Owens, and which belong to Keon Coleman:


Height Weight 40 yd 10 yd split Vertical Broad

6’3 213 lbs 4.61 10.54 38 in 10 foot, 7 inch  

6’3 213 lbs 4.63 10.58 30 in 10ft, 0 inch


You have a 50/50 shot... Tell me which numbers belong to Terrell Owens, and which belong to Keon Coleman? Easy as building an NFL Draft board after watching five YouTube highlight reels. You do it all the time... If you read to the end of the article, you'll get the answer. Even if you're not the smartest troll in the troll-pile, you should still get the gist: Coleman and T.O. had nearly identical testing numbers.


So, my dear Armchair Meltdown GM's, do you think picking Terrell Owens in his prime, while ALSO taking away a 3rd round pick from your arch-nemesis in K.C. will tank The Buffalo Bills for a decade?


But... but... but... How can this be? Look at Tyreek Hill. Look what the bad man did to The Bills (and what he did to multiple partners... Oh... I mean, that's fine... Ignore that... he's fast and good... We can ignore horrific crimes if they win a Super Bowl...)... You must be fudging the numbers, you Bills Homer, you!

Sure... Sure thing. I fudged the living daylights out this ESPN article (Published PRIOR TO THIS DRAFT: March 3, 2024):



Read me the title of that article, Armchair GM's: "Is the 40-yard dash becoming obsolete at the NFL combine?"


What in tarnation do they MEAN? hOw CaN tHe FaStEsT pLaYeR nOt Be ThE bEsT pLaYeR?


You know what's crazy? Do you know what our GM--who, according to many in Western New York, should be tarred, feathered, burned at the stake and given a Viking Funeral for passing on Xavier Worthy--was actually quoted as saying in that article from MARCH THIRD, 2024 (a full fifty-three days prior to night one of the 2024 NFL Draft)?


Probably not... Reading is hard...


This is what Beane was quoted saying in that article:


"It's play speed, more for us. What am I watching when I'm at a game live?" Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said. "Do you feel that guy's speed jump off when you're on the field? You can see it on tape, the guys that have it. I've seen guys that are 4.4, but they don't play 4.4, they play 4.5 because they're thinking too much or they just don't have a good feel for the game.


"And then I've seen guys play much faster than they run [in the drill]. They didn't train for it very well, but they play fast, they process and they're really good players. So again, I'm looking more at what do they look like in their pads playing the game, understanding all the concepts more than just, what is that true 40-yard time."


Well, what on earth is our soon-to-be-fired GM blathering about. What could ever be more important than sheer, straight-line speed?


I don't know... Don't listen to me. NextGen Stats may have some ideas, though. Here's a little insight:




Oh, that's weird... Coleman runs routes quickly... He plays actual, North American football, VERY quickly.



bUt CoLeMaNs fOrTy TiMe WaS sLoW...


Okay, how about this metric from the very same NFL combine that you trolls have selected a single, antiquated stat to beat your drums to:




And you know what's odd? There's this weird little thing called GPS tracking, which has been turning the heads of actual scouts and actual GM's. Again, don't take my word for it; Puka Nacua's 20.06 last year, and subsequent dominance as a rookie, has made an impact on the NFL:



TL:DR, at least Process the following section:



Boy, wouldn't it be terrible if the Bills had Puka Nacua on the team? Wouldn't that be cause to give Beane the axe if we got similar production from Coleman this year?


Don't you get it? There is MORE to football than running fast in a straight line.


Watch Josh Allen's memorable 4.76 forty yard dash:



Do you honestly think for a split-second that Josh Allen play that slowly?


Do you?


Do you honestly thing the Miami Dolphins' secondary thinks Josh Allen runs like a 4.76 forty runner?


Really?


Do you really think Keon Coleman will be playing that slowly? Really?

Do you?


If you answered yes to any of the aforementioned questions, there's a decrepit wooden wagon with a broken axel and a faded, poorly hand-painted Pat the Patriot on the side, out back. Go jump in it, and have a blast fixing the axle. History said they're good. Go jump on that bandwagon, along with the 40 yard dash...


The Bills are moving forward with a player who plays faster than his 40 time. Sorry it wasn't your pick... Sorry that Beane broke your mock draft...


After processing "The Process," I, too, am moving forward, continuing to trust that Beane is looking to more than an antiquated metric, digging deeper than the fandom of a Tom Brady lover, rooting for Coleman and this entire draft class, and still shouting "Go Bills".


-Tim Avery - 4/29/24


P.S. If you made it this far, those metrics from earlier belonged to:


Height Weight 40 yd 10 yd split Vertical Broad

Keon Coleman 6’3 213 lbs 4.61 10.54 38 in 10 foot, 7 inch  

Terrell Owens 6’3 213 lbs 4.63 10.58 30 in 10ft, 0 inch


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