Brandon Coleman underwhelming in week one

September 3rd, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

I’m a big fan of Brandon Coleman. Not many 6-6 receivers run with his fluidity and he’s flashed a playmaking quality to break off big runs after the catch.

Having said that, his nine catch, 94 yard and two touchdown performance against Fresno State might be one of the least impressive nine catch, 94 yard and two touchdown performances I’ve seen in a while.

Coleman will be blighted by bad quarterback play at Rutgers. With the greatest respect, Gary Nova is incredibly limited as a passer. Yet there are also instances where Coleman lets down his quarterback. And it’s those instances that’ll hold back his draft stock, no matter how much upside he has.

A good example of Nova’s limitations come at 1:05 in the video above. Coleman pulls off a superb double move on the cornerback, creating separation down the far sideline and opening up a potential big play. Nova throws the ball out of bounds. It was an easy 30-40 yard gain wasted.

On a simple underneath route at 2:06, Nova throws a pass I could’ve completed at the knees of Coleman. You could argue that maybe he should still make this catch and complete an easy first down. But look at the pass. It’s simple. Nova turned a routine completion into a chore. He followed it up with a rotten fade attempt, again to Coleman.

Then at 2:38 it’s almost like the frustrated receiver decides to have some revenge. Nova, for once, throws pretty much on the money downfield on a play action. Coleman has separation. You think it’s going to be a huge gain — possibly a touchdown. And the ball goes straight through his hands. At no point does Coleman locate the ball in the air. It’s ugly. He’s waving his arms around, he knows it’s coming. And before he sees the football it’s bouncing off the turf. You have to make that catch. You just have to.

There’s perhaps an uglier play at 5:27. He’s wide open. It’s in his basket. And he drops it. In fact this play is worse than the jugglers arms earlier. A key first down wasted after good work from the quarterback to keep the play alive. Coleman has to make that catch if he wants to be a first round pick.

He makes up for it at 3:42 with his first touchdown — Coleman does well to get open here and Nova hits him for a simple score. His second touchdown at the end of the game shows good positioning and body control to shield the corner away from the football.

There are other positive highlights — his first reception of the night, the play at 1:27 coming back to the receiver and the difficult grab at 5:13.

But the game ends with a pretty tepid attempt to catch a winning two point conversion. It’s not a great throw from Nova, but it’s catchable. He’s under a lot of pressure, he could get drilled. Yet the game is on the line here. Make the difficult grab, be the hero and have everyone talking about you this week. Instead he fails and it’s a bad defeat for Rutgers at Fresno State in week one.

Coleman is still a tremendous talent with limitless upside but despite the stat line this isn’t a great start. We’ve seen with Stephen Williams this pre-season what a big bodied receiver can do. Make tough downfield grabs, use height to your advantage and snatch the ball away. You can throw it up there and feel confident your guy wins the 50-50. Coleman isn’t doing that and he is making basic errors. Time is on his side, but he needs to improve as the season progresses to max out his potential.

20 Responses to “Brandon Coleman underwhelming in week one”

  1. Brendan Scolari says:

    Unrelated: Terrelle Pryor beat out Matt Flynn for the starting job in Oakland. Ha!

    Keep up the great work Rob. I respectfully disagree with your notion in the previous post that you don’t have more insight than the average college football fan. I’m not even a Seahawks fan and I really enjoy this site. :)

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Why so happy that Flynn lost out to Pryor? He may not be a starting caliber QB, but he’s not a bad guy. Also, 1 of the 2 picks SEA received in exchange for him (2015) is conditional – the better he does, the higher our pick.

      • Turp says:

        I wonder if Flynn will get his shot when Oakland discovers that Pryor can’t pass against first string defenses.

      • MJ says:

        Pretty simple, Seattle media kept telling us how he was the next Joe Montana, then subsequently treated him like a victim who got screwed, when Russell took the job.

        Add in his comments about Pete Carroll and the Philosophy of the team, and you won’t find much sympathy from me, for a guy with millions of dollars who outwardly pouts on the sidelines.

        • Miles says:

          On the one hand, it’s kind of a relief because the move proves that we got adequate compensation for the guy we thought was going to be our starting quarterback. If he somehow leads the Raiders to a Superbowl this year, hypothetically, I would feel like we got jipped for only a 5th round draft pick. His poor favor in Oakland confirms what we kind of already knew and acted upon, that Matt Flynn is not the future of any franchise.

          On the other hand, I would be very interested to see him actually start a few games, because I, like many other people, am interested to see what kind of quarterback he actually is. I’m still sure he’ll start at least a handful of games this year; Pryor is not a good quarterback.

          And then there is the case of the draft pick for 2014. I have no idea what the stipulations of that conditional pick are exactly, but I’m sure the pick can be no better than a 5th.

          • Michael says:

            I too would like to see what kind of QB Flynn is so as to confirm or deny my suspicions that he is mediocre at best. Unfortunately, even if he does get a chance to start in Oakland, evaluation will be difficult due to the extreme lack of talent around him.

      • Brendan Scolari says:

        I suppose that was confusing. I’m not happy though, I just thought it was funny and surprising because Pryor is not particularly good. As a non-Seahawks/Packers/Raiders fan, I have no skin in the game.

  2. Beanhawk says:

    Part of me likes seeing Coleman struggle a little bit so that he might drop to the end of the first round. He has so much upside that if he has a great year and refines his technique, I have a hard time seeing him making it past the top 20.

  3. Kenny Sloth says:

    The more I watch of Jordan Matthews, the more I fall inlove with his prospects as a pro.

    He is a great interview, calls reporters ‘sir’. Seems diligent, respectful, and appears to relish in being a leader.

    On the field he runs great crisp, clever routes and consistently gets open in the SEC.

    #1 WR prospect in my book.

    • Rob Staton says:

      He’s a talented player. The type I can see Andrew Luck getting a real connection with in Indy. That’s a good fit IMO.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        I agree. That could be a connection for the decade.

        I could see him as a Sidney Rice type catch radius player in Seattle, but I don’t see him as a natural fit here.

        He’s got a deceptive second gear.

  4. Kip Earlywine says:

    I like Coleman quite a bit. I don’t think I’ve watched a game of his yet where he didn’t have a handful of frustrating or even mildly alarming moments. That said, even with those struggles, Coleman’s final product is a very good one- he’s one of the most productive WRs in college football per target.

    In a way, I think Coleman’s mistakes are good news for Seahawks fans. If he was mistake free, we’d have to trade our entire draft to get him. But put a little doubt in the minds of GMs and suddenly he’s available in the late first to early second, just like Cordarrelle Patterson, Torrey Smith, or Sidney Rice were in years past.

    Seattle is not afraid to draft raw players who suffer from sloppy play. The Chris Harper pick is the epitome of that. Cutting Sidney Rice right now would save almost $6 million in future cap space, and would take Seattle off the hook for his $2.4 million dead money number next offseason. So basically, $8 million in savings compared to cutting him next year. And they wouldn’t even dream of it, despite the fact that Stephen Williams led all preseason receivers in yardage.

    I’m not saying Coleman to Seattle is a lock, but there is a lot of extra motivation to seek a WR of his skillset, and the regime loves to draft players who’s best football is still ahead of them. I do think that if Coleman reaches us, he’ll be on the short-short list.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Agree completely Kip.

      • Miles says:

        Kip are you saying that if it were up to you, you’d cut Sidney Rice right now..?

        • Colin says:

          I could understand cutting Rice. He’s owed a bunch of money, he’s constantly banged up, and he isn’t a dynamic playmaker. He’s great at catching what’s near him and phenomenal at sideline catches, but saving some necessary cash would be nice.

          I’m happy he’ll be here this year, but I won’t be sad to see him go.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Rice becomes much more expendable IMO if Harvin gets healthy and proves to be an elite #1 wide out, plus a reliable consistent target for Russell Wilson. But even then if you cut Rice it’d be nice to have a taller possession type compliment to Harvin.

            • Attyla the Hawk says:

              This could be a draft to do that. With Evans, Coleman, Matthews, Abbrederis and Moncrief all at 6’2″ or better, the draft looks like it could be littered with quality tall options to succeed Rice. If you’re talking about reliable possession receivers that Wilson trusts, I’d keep a close eye on Abbrederis. He is a guy who should be earmarked this coming season.

              Despite the sizable dead money hit for Rice, his base salary is still immense. His base salary alone would be sufficient to extend Thomas with dollars to spare.

              It’s not inconceivable that Seattle goes for one of those five if they remain on the board in round 2. Given the turnstile churn at DT and the fact that Bennett will be UFA next year, I’d have to think if it comes down to Sutton or a WR, it’ll probably be Sutton. As far as interior pass rush, I don’t see another candidate that compares well with him. Aaron Donald could be a day 2/3 alternative as well. And of course a prospect could burst onto the scene this year too. In many years, a kid parlays a strong senior season into a top 50 overall selection.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      “Seattle is not afraid to draft raw players who suffer from sloppy play.”

      This seems more definitely true. Seattle doesn’t necessarily seem to value production nearly as much as most outsiders do either. Michael, Ware and Willson are evidence of that.

      Coleman is a unique WR and we know Seattle likes those kinds of prospects. It looks like the WR position is going to be pretty stacked with excellent prospects this year. Much more than the past couple of years. I’d think that Seattle wouldn’t care at all if his production dips this year due to QB issues. Coleman has been closely regarded here and I can see good reason why. The depth and quality of the eligible WRs this year is extremely tantalizing.

  5. Kenny Sloth says:

    Rob, what do you think of Khalil Mack out of Buffalo?

    I see a hyper athletic DE/OLB tweener. I could see him as a Leo here.
    He’s got really active hands and a surprising bull rush, reminiscent of Bruce Irvin.
    I hate his instincts. He seems to waste a lot of time after the snap digesting everything in front of him.
    Could be a steal in the 3rd.