Commentary, Draft

Beane Brilliance Baffles Bills Backers

Featured Photo Credit: © Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA TODAY NETWORK via, LLC.

As I See it.

Long before the 2024 NFL Draft we assumed all the Mock Drafts would be about as accurate as NCAA hoops March Madness brackets, and we were not disappointed.

This is especially true for the Bills and GM Brandon Beane, who faked left and pivoted right in this year’s approach. Beane, in previous drafts, has shown a willingness to give up picks to move up to secure a targeted player. That’s why the Bills have Josh Allen.

But because they have Allen, now heading into his 7th pro season and turning 28 next month (May 21 if you want to send a card), Beane is fighting a fight with one hand tied behind his back. Allen’s contract understandably affects everything the Bills do – or don’t do – from this point forward. No Von Miller or Stefon Diggs trades are possible, even though many Bills fans love circulating rumors of a big deal pending. Beane even admitted after this draft there never were any “big” deals in the works, and there are none coming. The salary cap, which can be manipulated to a degree, must be respected in terms of balancing the current roster without hindering what’s left of the Allen “window”.

So how did Beane handle this delicate balancing act?

First, a thank you to my sponsors: Atwal Eye Care, the Bills official eye care specialist. They did a fantastic job doing cataract surgery on both my eyes just a few months ago. Life changing even.

And BluTusk Tech of Orchard Park. They specialize in giving used computers new life at reasonable rates. Great people too.

I’ll be first to admit I had some thoughts about how the Bills would handle picking 28th in the first round, with the obvious need for a talented WR with Diggs and Gabe Davis gone. The additions of Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins were important, but not the X receiver that could at least replace the big hole. Lots of speculation about moving up for one of the “big three”, but that was never even considered by Beane. Giving up what that would take, tempting as it might be, would surely reach into the 2025 draft and that #1 pick and more.

However, there would still be plenty of options. I really liked Xavier Legette of South Carolina. Saw him play and like it all. Size, speed, hands, etc. He’d be great. Loved Ladd McConkey of Georgia. Also saw him play. Thought the frenzy over Xavier Worthy for his 4.21 40 was way overblown. Much too small to be main part of the offense. He also has small hands and has a lot of drops. For the Chiefs? Great pick, and don’t castigate the Bills for working with KC on the deal. The Chiefs were gonna get him one way or another, and the Bills basically gained a 3rd round pick for a 4th round pick. Still, knowing the history of the Bills allowing the hated Chiefs to nab Patrick Mahomes a few years ago, this one may pick the scab off the wound.

When the Bills moved down again by trading with Carolina for the final pick of the first round, I scratched my head. Legette or McConkey were THERE. I had mixed emotions about Keon Coleman. Great size and hands, but a 4.61 40?

Clearly, the Bills liked him ahead of anybody else still on the board. His 40 time, according to Beane and others, is misleading, but wouldn’t we expect him to say that? His split time (10 yards) of 1.54 was as fast or faster than several WR’s who clocked 4.4 40’s. He’s just shy of 6-4, 213 lbs, a powerful run after catch guy who possesses elite ball skills. Makes circus catches. Ironic really, because had Coleman put up a 4.4 40, he would have been gone long before #28.

There was a financial side to this, as Coleman, as a 2nd round pick, will save the Bills $3-4M on his rookie deal. I don’t think that was the primary reason, but it is understandable.

Then we get to meet Coleman, wearing a huge yellow Alaska down coat on a reasonably warm April day in Buffalo. The Florida State product sparred with the media about that right away, and was an immediate hit. Great sense of humor. Beane says there’s a lot of “dog” in him, but Coleman will have every opportunity to play a lot right now. Allen told Beane Coleman was the guy he wanted, and Coleman was already on record saying he hoped to play with Allen. BTW, Allen says he’s planning some off season workouts with Coleman and other receivers, and love hearing that.

The Bills 2nd, 2nd round pick (60) was a knockout from everything I’ve read and seen. Utah safety Cole Bishop, a former teammate of Bills TE Dalton Kincaid, could be a starting safety at some point this season. He’s got good size (6-2, 206) and 4.45 40 speed and plays with a physical edge. He’s a sure tackler and a good pass rusher. Also known as a team leader and captain.

Photo by © Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports via, LLC.

The Bills then addressed another need in Round 3 taking DT DeWayne Carter, a DT from Duke who was a team captain there for three years. The Bills love his leadership qualities. He’ll backup Ed Oliver and probably play quite a bit in the Bills rotating system.

I really like the Bills 4th round pick, RB Ray Davis from Kentucky. I’ve seen him play, and watched an interview that was most impressive. He’s 5-8, 211 but fast and tough with excellent receiving skills. He grew up in San Francisco with parents in and out of prison, often living in homeless shelters and foster care with 14 siblings. He’ll spell James Cook and should get plenty of playing time right away. He’s gonna be a fan favorite. Guarantee it.

With C Mitch Morse gone, the 5th round pick (141) of Georgia C Sedrick Van Pran-Granger makes sense. He allowed only one sack his entire collegiate career and has a good chance to be a starter by next season or even sooner.

Then at 160 in the 5th round, LB Edefuan Ulogoshio of Washington fills need, and he’ll have an immediate impact on special teams with Tyrel Dodson gone.

Then at 168 in the 5th round, and Edge guy finally. Javon Solomon from Troy led the FBS with 16 sacks last season, and he’ll also contribute to ST’s as he develops.

In the 6th round Tylan Grable is an OT from UCF, who is huge (6-7, 290) and is an athlete.

At 219 in the 6th round, DaeQuan Hardy from Penn St is a CB who is also an explosive punt returner. He’ll be on the field right away.

In the 7th round, the Bills threw something at the wall to see if it would stick. Travis Clayton probably doesn’t know a football from a hockey puck, but his physical attributes are off the charts. He’s from England, a former boxer who is 6-7, 303 pounds, and runs a 4.79 40. Folks, that freakish. That’s a faster time than ANY offensive lineman at the NFL combine in 10 years. He’ll get a little time as a part of the International Player Pathway program, but stranger things have happened.

Overall, the more I read and see, the more impressed I am with what GM Brandon Beane is doing, despite criticism from a lot of fans who obviously know more than he does. 2024, with all the departing veterans, is not a “rebuilding” year, but more of a reset. Beane has worked minor miracles despite a huge salary cap mountain to keep this team on track for a reload in 2025. Beane is making sure Allen is well supported through his prime years, as AFC East rivals continue to challenge.

Obviously, we’re not gonna know how this draft compares to others in recent years for awhile, but there’s genuine reason for optimism. Beane is well aware not all NFL players are choir boys, but his search for leaders continues. Four of this year’s draft picks were captains of their teams in college: Bishop at Utah, Pan-Granger at Georgia, Carter at Duke, Ulofoshio at Washington,

With 10 draft picks, OT Grable (6th round) and OG Clayton in the 7th round are the only players who probably won’t play at all this season as developmental guys. But the other eight will have various roles, including two or three potential starters.

Can’t ask for much more than that!

Thanks again to Atwal Eye Care and BluTusk Tech.

Editor’s babble: What a draft haul! Many thanks to Ed Kilgore for his contributions to our blog. You can also find Ed on Xwitter @Kilgore2Ed. is sponsored by 26 Shirts

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2 thoughts on “Beane Brilliance Baffles Bills Backers”

  1. Ed you haven’t missed a beat … Great review of the Bills Draft…
    I always look forward to your views!

  2. A tip of the writing cap to you Eddie on your headline. It screams of Eyewitness News! Well done sir.

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