Why the Bills' new No.1 wide receiver is their second-round rookie

Everything is pointing towards fan-favorite Keon Coleman being the “No.1” wide receiver that fans have been clamoring for since the April trade of Stefon Diggs.
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills / James Gilbert/GettyImages

As the Buffalo Bills move on, and Stefon Diggs speaks to reporters for the first time about the trade, the Bills are now turning their attention to a new era of Buffalo football, and asking themselves who will be the new No.1 wide receiver. Between Keon Coleman and Curtis Samuel, the Bills feel like they have their starting boundary receivers locked up. However, who will take the role as the top target? This will be the first year since 2019 they haven’t had a clear-cut No.1 receiver, which means the Bills are in uncharted waters right now. 

The Bills feel like their wide receiver room is set or they would have kept adding to it with more than just Chase Claypool, but could their top wide receiver be a rookie? Everything is pointing towards fan-favorite Keon Coleman being the “No.1” wide receiver that fans have been clamoring for since the April trade of Stefon Diggs. That begs the question, why should it be Keon Coleman over guys like the aforementioned Curtis Samuel or Khalil Shakir?

Khalil Shakir will be given a chance, but Keon Coleman will run away with the role.

For starters, Khalil Shakir won’t get enough reps to earn the job, as much as that hurts to say. We’ve all seen what Shakir can become if given the opportunity, but the Bills don’t seem willing to give him the chance. He may get an opportunity to play meaningful snaps in the first month of the season, but it will go to Keon Coleman. Dalton Kincaid played a good amount in the slot last season, and Curtis Samuel can play both areas of the field. That leaves Keon getting the majority of the targets out of the group of wide receivers, and Curtis Samuel presumably being the runner-up in this scenario. 

Coleman’s connection with Josh will benefit the offense this fall.

Coleman is a favorite of Josh and the coaching staff early on. And with his big 6'3 frame, he will be a factor in this offense as they move away from deep ball weapons and more towards tall, jump ball receivers. The Bills may feel like they finally have a jump ball target they can trust, and Josh Allen will go to Keon often in those situations. Keon will get a long look from the team this summer through training camp, and he will make the most of those opportunities. Coleman will be battling every day against some great corners like Rasul Douglas and Christian Benford and refining his game before seeing any real game action. 

What are the Buffalo Bills looking for from Keon?

The Bills don’t need him to take over all 107 receptions that Stefon Diggs left behind, but they are hoping he and Josh can build that trust early on. If they do, it will be a fun connection to witness. Buffalo seems to be working with Keon early through these spring practices, as Matt Parrino reported this week that he and third-year cornerback Ja’Marcus Ingram were getting in some reps during Wednesday's practice. Coleman has been putting in the work away from the team before mini-camp opened this week with Dallas Cowboys star CeeDee Lamb. Working with arguably a top-three receiver in the NFL will help him grow as we move closer to training camp, and continue to mature heading into his rookie season. 


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