As you can see in the video above, Brandon Coleman has officially announced he’s going to enter the 2014 NFL draft.
“I feel like I’m ready to go.”
I’m sure this wasn’t the way he intended to turn pro. Here’s Coleman’s statistical difference between 2012 and 2013:
Eleven less catches. 245 less yards. Seven fewer touchdowns.
I still think he made the right decision today.
Sometimes you have to play the hand your dealt. Rutgers haven’t had a good year. Quarterback Gary Nova didn’t make any noticeable improvement. Off-season knee surgery took away a lot of Coleman’s pre-season work.
Staying at Rutgers for another season only offered the opportunity to add further disappointment to his CV. With the greatest respect to the Scarlet Knights, are they going to come storming back to prominence in 2014? Are they going to put up big yardage in the passing game?
I’d guess not.
And let’s remember, twelve months ago Coleman was debating whether to enter the 2013 draft. Going back for another season this year hasn’t done anything for his stock.
So while Coleman isn’t heading into the NFL with any momentum, he’s doing what he almost has to do. And he won’t be the first player going into the league with something to prove.
First things first — teams will want to check out that knee to make sure it won’t be an issue. Assuming he gets the all clear there — and ignoring the stats for a moment — we’re talking about a player with major upside value.
He could be the next Josh Gordon. Seriously.
Big, tall, fast. He’s a playmaker waiting to happen. And while technically he has some way to go — it’s nothing that can’t be solved with good coaching.
I’ll be really interested to see how fast he runs at the combine. It’s been a while since a guy with his size ran away from defensive backs in college. That’s what he did last year. He left them for dead, breaking huge gains and putting up big YAC.
This is what he’s capable of…
Right now Josh Gordon is the flavour of the month and for good reason. Despite the horrendous quarterback situation in Cleveland, Gordon is making 150-200 yards every week. You can’t stop him. And people are starting to suggest he might be the best receiver in the NFL right now.
(For what it’s worth, that honour stays with Calvin Johnson in my opinion — but Gordon’s in the top five without question)
Go back a year, after the Browns took him in the supplemental draft. He was inconsistent as a rookie — making some plays but also struggling as you’d expect. Now he’s reached a level of comfort (he has a very good offensive coordinator in Norv Turner, and an underrated Head Coach in Rob Chudzinski) we’re seeing how good he can be.
But it took him a little time to get there.
This will be the same situation with Coleman. He needs to learn to high point the ball better. He needs to go up and win jump balls — max out his size and become a difference maker. He needs to run sharper routes and stay focused — avoiding the mistakes and occasional lousy drops.
With a bit of a polish he could be whatever he wants to be.
Of course, for every Josh Gordon there’s a Stephen Hill. Drafted in round two by the New York Jets in 2012 — Hill had everything. Ideal size, speed, potential. And it’s never clicked.
Part of that might be the embarrassing offense the Jets have fielded for the last two years (under two different coordinators). But it’s worth highlighting that while Gordon is now an emphatic success in Cleveland — there’s always another side to the story.
People are cautiously estimating a mid-round grade for Coleman based on his disappointing season. I think it’s too early to tell.
If he trains well, gets clearance on the knee and also runs well at the combine — he could be an early pick. Late first, early second. Stranger things have happened.
How many 4.4/4.5 runners are there at 6-6 and 220lbs?
Remember, teams will buy into potential. Coleman has a ton of it. And Gary Nova won’t be throwing him passes in the NFL.
Don’t sleep on this guy as an early option for the Seahawks. They love to draft players with difference making athletic skills. Pete Carroll is on the record for admiring bigger receivers. And it’s something he doesn’t have in Seattle right now.
Coleman will be one of the more intriguing players to follow in this class. And it wouldn’t be a major upset if he ended up in that first or second round range with a solid off-season.
And who knows? He could very easily end up in Seattle.