Skip to main content


Editor/Consulting Writer

If the Buffalo Bills had sent a plane to the St. Landry Parish Airport Friday night, Keon Coleman would have probably stepped aboard.

The former Opelousas Catholic standout officially launched his NFL career just moments after the second-round start of the annual NFL draft as the Bills made him their first pick by drafting him No. 33.

During a video call with Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott, Coleman indicated that he was ready as soon as feasible to meet with team officials and Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen.

“You can come get me right now,” Coleman told Beane during the introductory phone call after the Bills decided to make Coleman their top pick in 2024.

Coleman told Beane that he felt “blessed” to be venturing into the NFL culture, while Beane added that the Bills’ coaches were anxious to introduce Coleman to Allen, a perennial All-Pro choice.

The draft party for Coleman was a local affair, as Coleman told Beane that he was celebrating at his house with family members, whom he identified as his support system.

Beane ended the brief conversation with Coleman by telling Coleman he won’t regret being selected by Buffalo, which moved down and passed on two other coveted receivers before making the selection Friday night.

The draft scenario for Coleman was scripted similar to what nearly all analysts predicted in their pre-draft talent evaluations.

Most experts had Coleman, who is 6-foot-3 and 213 pounds, being chosen in either the late first round or early second round. Some had Coleman being drafted as high as No. 21, while others had him falling to 39th.

During an interview with the Buffalo News Friday night, Beane said the Bills’ scouts were intrigued with Coleman’s size and the way Coleman “plays above the rim,” as he did while playing basketball for Opelousas Catholic.

“For a big guy, (Coleman) drops his weight at the top of the route and gets separation. He uses his body position and wing span to make the contested catches,” said Beane.

Coleman said during a KATC-TV interview following his selection that becoming a professional football player is “a dream come through. It means a lot. I’m humbled and I am ready to go to work,” Coleman said.

Working with Allen is a situation that Coleman indicated is somewhat overwhelming.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more. This (experience) is something which is hard to put into words,” Coleman added.

Coleman became the fifth Opelousas athlete to be drafted by an NFL team since 1964, when former Opelousas High offensive lineman Remi Prudhomme was selected by the Bills as the 37th overall pick.

Prudhomme, who died in 1990 at 48, won two championship rings one with the Bills and one with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Other Opelousas players drafted by NFL teams included Karl Dunbar, Rusty Guilbeau and Devery Henderson.

Like Prudhomme, Henderson earned a Super Bowl ring after being drafted in the second round by the New Orleans Saints. 

Dunbar, who starred at Plaisance High, was selected in 1990. Dunbar played for the Steelers, Cardinals and Saints. He now coaches the defensive line for the Steelers.

Guilbeau, who was a Sunset High standout, was the New York Jets’ 73rd pick in Round three..