Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
After trading down twice, the Browns finally settled on the 15th pick of the draft where they selected Corey Coleman, wide receiver from Baylor. Certainly, no one is going to argue that the Browns didn’t need wide receiver help and it still proved a bit surprising that the team took Coleman. That is, until the draft played out and it became clear that he was one of only a choice few viable options given the way the team is going.
In terms of production, it doesn’t get much better than Corey Coleman. In 12 games, Coleman caught 74 passes for 1,363 yards and an outstanding 20 touchdowns. Coleman won the Bieitnikoff Award for his efforts this season.
Corey Coleman doesn’t have a complete athletic profile because it’s not currently publicly available how he performed in the 3-cone or 20-yard shuttle.
Here’s what is public:
Date of Birth: July 2, 1994 (Age 21 at time of the Draft)
Arm Length: 30.25″
Hand Size: 9″
40-Yard Dash: 4.37
Vertical Jump: 40.5″
Broad Jump: 129″
Bench press: 17
According to James Cobern, Corey Coleman is in the 90+ percentile for explosiveness and speed.
Coleman’s film agrees with the testing that he’s physically remarkable. Although the key drills that measure a player’s agility are unavailable, he’s shown on any number of occasions that he is outstanding in that area.
Coleman is one of the most electric players in the country with the ball in his hands. Baylor did an incredible job with their scheme manufacturing space for him to operate and he was more than capable of taking advantage. The Browns may actually be planning to use some of these concepts in Hue Jackson’s offense, but more on that later.
As opposed to someone like Will Fuller (picked 21st by the Houston Texans) who can take off the top of a defense and may offer little else, Coleman can take the top off of a defense or catch a slant and potentially take it 80 yards. He’s that kind of special athlete and playmaker.
Basically, Coleman is so athletically superior to the competition he played that he didn’t have to be a polished player from a technical standpoint. This reinforces how athletic Coleman is, but also shows that Baylor has had a great history of winning under Head Coach Art Briles but has not been great in terms of developing players for the NFL game.
From Terrance Williams to Kendall Wright, Baylor has produced some talented physical prospects with a lot to learn from a technical standpoint. Coleman is the most physically gifted one yet.
Corey Coleman’s stats on routes that were NOT either screens, slants, hitches or go routes: 7 of 12 targets for 153 yards and 3 TDs.
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) March 14, 2016
From running an extremely limited route tree to how he catches the ball (10 drops to 74 catches) and any evidence of his ability to block, he has a great deal to learn. Coleman also played exclusively on the left side of the offense.
It doesn’t help that Coleman suffered a sports hernia and some of his offseason was spent recovering from the surgery and then much of the rest of it was spent training for his athletic testing. He really hasn’t had a ton of time to spend just working on the craft of being a wide receiver.
Fit, Usage and Projection with the Browns
As long as he’s healthy, Corey Coleman is going to get a ton of reps with the Browns. Obviously, his athleticism alone makes him as dangerous a player as the Browns have on the roster, so they are going to put him out there to make defenses counter him.
Because of the injury that limited his development, the Browns may not try to overload him on learning as a rookie. Rather, they may simply opt to have him really hammer down a few more things than he did at Baylor and try to create ways for him to make plays.
Then, after his rookie year, with a full offseason, he can really spend that time trying to take the next step as a technician as a wide receiver and hopefully become an elite threat.
The Coleman picks makes far more sense with the Browns draft completed and a much better idea of what Hue Jackson wants to do offensively. Initially, Taylor Decker who went 16th to the Detroit Lions or Laquon Treadwell, who 22nd to the Minnesota Vikings appeared to be the better, smarter picks. However, the Browns seem to really be embracing a full on spread concept.
They drafted a ton of receivers and have drafted and signed tight ends that are designed to play in space as opposed to play inline and block opponents. Both Robert Griffin III and Coleman obviously have experience in this type of offense and Hue Jackson suggested the team will employ some of those concepts in Cleveland. This should enable the Browns to get Coleman the ball in space and let him run wild.
It remains to be seen if this idea can be successful, but given it’s the path they’ve chosen, it’s difficult to imagine a better pick to utilize that type of offensive scheme. That makes it a great pick and it will be exciting to see just how Coleman develops. If he is willing to put in the work and can become a complete wide receiver in a year or few, the sky is the limit on where he can go. It’s a good pick in the short term and could be a better one long term.