Buffalo Bills

Thursday Thought: Cole Beasley Will Have a Career Year in 2019.

The veteran slot receiver is in the right place at the right time, and will have a career season in 2019.

Welcome back to another edition of The Thursday Thought, where last week I discussed why the Buffalo Bills should cut fullback Pat DiMarco. This week I have another thought that I think Bills fans are going to love. This week’s Thursday Thought is: Cole Beasley will have a career year in 2019.

When the Buffalo Bills signed eight-year veteran wide receiver Cole Beasley, they were hoping that they’d get a reliable slot receiver who brings a veteran presence to the receiver room. I’m here to tell you that they got far more than just that. In fact, the Bills might have signed their biggest weapon in the passing game this year. 

Let’s begin with who Cole Beasley is as a receiver and what he brings to the table. To start, Beasley is someone who brings a set of incredibly reliable hands. Last season, Beasley posted a catch rate of 75.6%, which according to PlayerProfiler, was the sixth best catch rate in the NFL in 2018. Simply put, Beasley does not drop the football. 

Another huge part of Beasley’s game is his superb route running abilities. According to Pro Football Focus, in 2018 Beasley had at least a step of separation on 72.5% of his targets (excluding screens), which ranked the best among 72 other qualifying receivers. Beasley can get open in a phone booth and is someone that quarterbacks look for frequently.   He played a huge part in the success of the Cowboys in 2014 and 2016, while also helping the development of Dak Prescott over the past three seasons. 

Cole Beasley posted a separation rate of 72.5% last year, the best in the NFL (Credit to Pro Football Focus)

Lastly, Beasley plays with an enormous chip on his shoulder. Beasley was an undersized and undrafted wide receiver who has battled the odds and has become one of the best slot receivers in the NFL. He plays with maximum effort and intensity every play. He’s exactly the type of guy that Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane love and he will fit into the Bills locker room very well.

So, why do I believe that Cole Beasley will have the best season of his career this year?  Cole Beasley has wound up in the perfect place for his skill set. Brian Daboll comes from a long list of coaches who are from the Bill Belichick coaching tree. Similar to what the Patriots have done on offense for the past two decades, Daboll uses multiple looks and formations, as the game plan changes week to week based on the opposing defense. A key component of the Patriots offense has always been the slot receiver. From Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, and Julian Edelman, the Patriots have always used the slot receiver as a focal point of the offense. I see Daboll successfully using Beasley in a similar manner.

Cole Beasley was the fourth highest graded receiver in the NFC East last season (Credit to Pro Football Focus)

Now I ask you this: what was the biggest thing Cole Beasley complained about during his time with the Cowboys? That he wasn’t utilized more in offense. Now he’s in an offense that requires and good slot receiver in order to run well. Not to mention, despite Beasley’s lack of use in Dallas, he was still a very productive player. Beasley has gone over 600 yards receiving in two of the past three seasons.

Daboll and Beasley are a match made in heaven and early signs at training camp seem to suggest this. When talking about his role in the offense on Good Morning Football, Beasley had this to say about why he came to Buffalo, “I wanted more opportunities, more options, a little more freedom in my routes…” and later mentioned that there are plays where he has FIVE different options to choose from on some option routes. Additionally, Josh Allen has clearly tried to create good chemistry with Beasley and has looked for him often throughout training camp. 

Cole Beasley highlights from the 2018 season (Credit to Lethal)

Now in the right offense, with a willing quarterback, and a big chip still  on his shoulder, Cole Beasley is primed for a huge season. So, get ready because the 5’8” guy with the long blonde hair, who wears the number 10, is about to have the best season of his career in 2019. Do you think Cole Beasley will have a career year this season? Agree or disagree? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below. 

Mitch Broder is a contributor for the Buffalo Fanatics. To contact him, email him at mitchell.broder@gmail.com or on Twitter @mitchell_broder

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