Cole Beasley had a career-best season, and now the Buffalo Bills slot receiver is taking home a somewhat unlikely honor.
Finishing just short of registering his first career 1,000 yard season, Beasley became one of the league’s best slot receivers and was named as the second-team All-Pro. Now, one analytics outlet is identifying Beasley as one of the most overlooked players on the Bills.
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Beasley One of Most Underrated
After the best season of his career, Beasley now has a new honor. Sam Monson of the analysis outlet Pro Football Focus named him as the “most underrated” player on the Bills. In a snippet on why Beasley deserved the honor, Monson praised his ability to snag contested balls.
Beasley is one of the most underrated players in the game; he is a phenomenal receiver and a great example of why you should focus on what a player can do rather than his limitations. Already one of the league’s best route-runners, Beasley also caught nine of the 11 contested targets sent his way in 2020, the best rate in the NFL.
As Nick Wojton of USA Today’s Bills Wire noted, the honor seemed a bit out of place given that Beasley has gotten plenty of attention for his career-best season. Beasley was already bestowed with what many saw as an unlikely second-team All-Pro honor thanks to a single vote that came from Peter King of NBC Sports. The longtime NFL insider explained that he was voting strictly by position, and believed that slot receiver deserved its own separate honor.
— TheBillsWire (@TheBillsWire) May 21, 2021
“Cole Beasley is the slot receiver on my All-Pro team this year,” King explained to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. “This year the Associated Press asked voters to vote for three wide receivers. They didn’t put any limit, any restrictions on how you vote for them and look I probably would have voted as my third receiver for somebody like Tyreek Hill, but I like to put my votes for players as if I was going to play a game and so I want a slot receiver on my team. And Cole Beasley led all NFL slot receivers in yardage this year and he was the most effective, efficient receiver in that ping-pong ball type area.”
New Perspective on Season
Beasley played hobbled through the Bills run to the AFC Championship game, nursing the effects of a Week 16 injury against the New England Patriots. While it was known at the time that Beasley was dealing with a sore leg, it was revealed after the season that he had actually suffered a fractured fibula and played the entire postseason with the broken leg.
In speaking to reporters after the season came to an end, Beasley said he was able to play through the pain after missing the season finale against the Miami Dolphins — which left him just 33 yards short of his first-ever 1,000-yard season.
Most 15+ yard RECs from the slot since 2018:
🔹Tyler Boyd – 51
🔹Cole Beasley – 49
🔹Travis Kelce – 46
🔹Tyreek Hill – 44 pic.twitter.com/LS5uvpFNtG
— PFF (@PFF) May 18, 2021
“No, I mean, I knew the next game was probably out of the question,” Beasley said, via Bills Wire. “There was no way I was going to miss the playoff game.”
As the report noted, Beasley didn’t suffer a full break so was able to avoid offseason surgery.
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