The Buffalo Bills have to be thinking that Josh Allen’s completion percentage and LeSean McCoy’s yards-per-carry average both got better Tuesday.
Beasley has the kind of quick separation position that should make for a bunch of easy underneath completions for Allen. Brown has 4.34 speed in the 40-yard dash. Put him on the field with speedster Robert Foster, who has 4.41 speed, and defenses better be protecting deep.
That should mean more room to run for Shady, who averaged a fall-off-the-cliff, career-worst 3.2 yards a carry last season.
Beasley is an upper-tier NFL slot receiver.
He ranked fifth in the league in catches from the slot in 2018, even though his role in the Dallas offense diminished after the Cowboys acquired Amari Cooper. Beasley had 65 receptions overall, and 54 of them came from the slot, for 613 yards, according to Pro Football Focus.
That was more catches from the slot than all of the Bills’ wide receivers combined last season. Zay Jones caught a team-best 25 catches for the slot, and the Bills’ wideouts produced 47 total slot catches.
Beasley produced 30 of his 36 catches from the slot in 2017. In 2016, he ranked tied for seventh in slot catches, with 56 for 640 yards. That was his best season. He had 75 catches for 833 yards overall.
He was Dak Prescott’s security blanket in the QB’s rookie year. Prescott that year declared of Beasley: “He’s unguardable.”
Furthermore, Beasley is perfect for the scheme of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
Beasley has a doctorate in running option routes underneath, the kind that Wes Welker and Julian Edelman have run in New England for about 1,000 catches (and that’s only a slight exaggeration).
Few in the NFL run the “whip” or “pivot” route better than Beasley. That’s where the receiver goes on a slant for 3 yards and then pivots either to the inside or outside, depending on the leverage of the defender guarding him.
Allen should be able to hit a ton of those. Jones is not in Beasley’s class in terms of immediate separation, which is gold for a quarterback.
And Beasley thrives running routes out of stack releases, which helps him get open and which Daboll loves.
Brown’s signing looks like a good fit for obvious reasons.
When your quarterback has what might be the strongest arm on the planet, you want to give him as much chance as possible to unleash it.
Brown had decent production last year – 42 catches for a 17-yard average – considering he was working in the 22nd-rated passing offense in the league.
In 2015, when Brown was on the No. 2 pass offense in the NFL in Arizona, he had 65 catches for 1,003 yards and seven TDs.
Teams better be playing some Cover 2 if the Bills trot out Brown and Foster on first and 10.
As long as Allen progresses – and that’s the key to everything – defenses will not be able to disrespect the pass like they did last season.
I don’t think the Bills necessarily need Brown to start. He played 64 percent of Baltimore’s snaps last year. I think he’s a 50 percent of the snaps guy. Let him, Jones and Foster fight it out for playing time and may the best men win. Jones played 88 percent of the snaps last season.
And if the Bills get a perfect opportunity to draft a wideout after the first round, the more the merrier.
But these two signings take the heat off the desperate need for a wideout. Forget about Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf at No. 9.
Story topics: Bills free agency 2019