Observations: Keon Coleman has busy day with catches, signing new contract


Staff member

It was an eventful day on and off the field for Buffalo Bills rookie Keon Coleman.

The receiver from Florida State went toe-to-toe with veteran cornerback Rasul Douglas and acquitted himself well in the Bills’ second minicamp practice in Orchard Park.

Then the Bills announced the signing of Coleman to a four-year contract. The deal is worth in excess of $10 million in total value.

Coleman was picked No. 33 overall as the first selection in the second round. The 32nd overall pick was South Carolina receiver Xavier Legette, taken by the Carolina Panthers. Legette signed for $12.3 million with a signing bonus of $5.8 million. Receiver Ladd McConkey, taken 34th overall by the Los Angeles Chargers, has not signed his contract as of Wednesday, while Atlanta defensive lineman Ruke Orhorhoro, the 35th pick, signed for $9.9 million.

Buffalo Bills receiver Keon Coleman makes a catch during a mandatory NFL football mini camp on Wednesday. Harry Scull Jr., Buffalo News

On the field, Coleman has been a consistent target of quarterback Josh Allen in spring workouts. Coleman caught the first pass of 11-on-11 team work, a quick slant on Wednesday.

Later, Coleman made a nice, leaping grab over Douglas along the sideline from Allen. Three plays later, Coleman and Allen were off target on an in-breaking route, and Kaiir Elam anticipated the throw for an interception. It looked like there either was a miscommunication on the play or Coleman didn’t finish the route. It was the second interception in two days for Elam.

In 7-on-7 work, Douglas had a quick close on the ball and a breakup of a hitch route for Coleman. But then Allen hit Coleman on a quick out pattern.

The signing of Coleman means all of the Bills’ 10 draft picks are under contract.

Bass inconsistent​

Tyler Bass had an uncharacteristic string of misses. He was short on a 45-yarder on a situational kick in which the field goal unit had to hurry out on the field, simulating an end-of-game play. He missed left from roughly 35, 41 and 52 yards. He made two kicks from just beyond the 50-yard line.

At the end of two-minute drills by the offense, Bass boomed a field goal from 56 yards. It would have been good from 66, as well. Then at the end of another series, Bass was wide right from 58 yards.

Culture process​

Tight end Dawson Knox said getting to know new players and fitting them into the fold has been one of the biggest accomplishments of spring practice.

“I think first and foremost our chemistry because we’ve got so many new guys in the building,” Knox said. “There’s lots of guys we will be missing. But there’s been some awesome new guys stepping in and stepping up, taking on the challenge. Kind of getting to know those new faces, not just as football players but as men and just building those relationships I think has been huge. Football-wise learning the playbook is big. But the most well-knit teams I think win championships.”

Sideline views​

There were a couple of big pass plays. Slot receiver Khalil Shakir watched from the sidelines due to a minor injury suffered when he was shaken up in Tuesday’s practice. That allowed veteran backup, K.J. Hamler, the free-agent signee from Denver, to get a few prime practice repetitions. Allen took advantage of Hamler’s blazing speed to hit him with a 60-yard bomb down the left sideline. Backup quarterback Shane Buechele fired a 70-yard bomb to receiver Bryan Thompson, who beat cornerback Kendall Williamson on a go route.

Running back James Cook had a drop on an on-target short pass from Allen. Cornerback Cam Lewis had good coverage and a near interception covering Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a throw from Mitch Trubisky. Douglas was around the ball a lot, as usual. He had a break up against Quintin Morris and locked up Chase Claypool a little later.

Claypool, however, continued to make catches. He reached back for a slant from Trubisky and then caught a deep ball from Trubisky on a busted coverage by the secondary. Valdez-Scantling helped out an official by throwing a penalty flag farther onto the field on a pass interference, just before Bass’ long successful field goal.

Extra points​

New Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was a spectator for the full practice, watching along with owner Terry Pegula and Pegula’s daughter, Laura.