Two stats that make you wonder about the Kelvin Benjamin trade - The Buffalo News

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Two stats that make you wonder about the Kelvin Benjamin trade

Adding any legitimate NFL receiver – let alone one as big and talented as Kelvin Benjamin – to the roster should help the Bills' offense, which had been hurting for players who fit that description.

But one thing general manager Brandon Beane said about Benjamin Tuesday leaves just enough room to worry about how he'll fit with the offense.

"Size and experience," Beane said about what Benjamin offers, "and excellent hands. When he’s covered, he’s still open. If you watch a lot of his catches, he’s outsizing. He’s not a speed guy, but this guy is 6-[foot]-5-plus, 240 [pounds], so he’s bigger than most. Like I said, he’ll win the contested balls, and he’s a very strong player."

It's great to have a guy in the huddle you trust to simply go up and win the ball. But when you think about some of those quotes – when he's covered, he's still open ... he'll win the contested balls – do those sound like throws Tyrod Taylor likes to make?

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We know what Taylor's game is at this point, and it's certainly not trying to force the ball into someone who's covered or risking a throw that could get intercepted.

The NFL's Next Gen Stats back up things we see on TV. Taylor ranks 33rd out of 36 qualified quarterbacks in their "aggressiveness" stat, which tracks the percentage of throws made into tight coverage, defined as when a defender is within 1 yard or less of the receiver at the time of completion or incompletion. Benjamin ranks 126th out of 128 qualifying receivers and tight ends in average separation, which is the distance between the receiver and the nearest defender at the time of catch or incompletion. Both of their rankings were even lower in 2016.

These stats aren't inherently bad, and this definitely shouldn't be interpreted as saying Benjamin's addition won't help the offense. Taylor would probably explain his as, yeah, that's why I have so few interceptions, and Benjamin could say his number might be weighed down by Cam Newton forcing throws into him (or even, yeah, that's how much Cam trusts me). But it does make you wonder how long it'll take Benjamin to work with Taylor before he can be fully utilized.

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