Monday, July 21, 2014
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Brandon Coleman 2014 NFL Draft preseason scouting report


Brandon Coleman | 6'6, 220 pounds | Wide receiver | Rutgers
2012 stats: 43 receptions, 718 yards, 10 touchdowns

In the NFL Draft, there is a commodity on talented wide receivers with size. That's partly due to a guaranteed ability. At the very least, a big wide receiver should be able to create size mismatches, win jump ball situations and give the quarterback a larger throwing window. At Rutgers, Coleman shows flashes of all those things, and just enough speed and quickness to develop into much more as a junior this season.

What he does well:

Coleman is bigger than any defensive back he'll face and can use that to his advantage. That doesn't necessarily mean his height, either. Coleman has a big frame and knows how to use it to shield defenders. In particular, when Coleman is asked to run quick come back routes, he can make himself wide on the turn, giving the quarterback an easy target.

Deceptive speed is such a boring, terrible term. But it's the best way to describe Coleman. He's probablynot going to be a 4.4 40-yard dash player, but he has some speed. Combine that with the strength to break tackles and his size, Coleman projects out as a No. 1 receiver if he continues progressing. At Rutgers, he's most often played outside by himself. On occasion he'll line up in the slot or in a three-receiver bunch set.

For a lanky wide receiver, Coleman gets off the line with ease. In press coverage, he's strong enough to not get held up by defensive backs. When corners play off, he can close the gap quickly and force them to flip their hips and run. Coleman likes to use a hesitation move to create separation when running vertical routes.

Where he needs to improve:

While Coleman isn't totally an unmolded chunk of clay, he's unquestionably unrefined. In the Rutgers offense, he's not asked to run a wide variety of routes. He mostly runs vertical routes where he fakes to the outside and works slightly inside. He also gets utilized a fair amount on come backs and an occasional crossing route. He doesn't pick apart zone coverage. Will have to tighten up his footwork and cut quicker on his breaks. Doesn't always plant and drive.

Perhaps the biggest concern about Coleman is his hand consistency. He'll often reach out and grab the ball, which is good. He's not always allowing it into his frame. But too often the ball bounces off his hands or he doesn't get them up fast enough.

Bottom line:

To this point, Coleman is still a lot more of a projection than a certainty. He only topped five catches in a game twice last season, and had more than 100 yards the same amount. While Rutgers is not known for its quarterback play, and Coleman is mostly a vertical receiver, it would be nice to see him flat-out dominate a game. It's true, Coleman had six receptions for 223 yards and two touchdowns against Connecticut in 2011. But a lot of those yards – including a 92-yard score – came in garbage time.

There is a chance that Coleman comes along and becomes a first-round pick next April, if he chooses to come out. Teams will be enticed by his size and athleticism. But while he's not a Stephen Hill kind of prospect, he's far from a finished product.

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This article originally appeared on SBNation.

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