Brandon Coleman does his best in festering Rutgers offense

Brandon Coleman will surprise a few people this off season

The Rutgers offense has been pitiful all year. Even benching struggling Gary Nova hasn’t had much of an impact.

In the Pinstripe Bowl today, replacement Chas Dodd completed just ten passes and threw three interceptions. The Scarlet Knights were beaten 29-16 by Notre Dame.

As frustrating as Coleman can be — the occasional mental lapse, the inability to consistently high point the football — it’s hard to judge a receiver playing in this type of craptastic offense.

How do you improve? As much as you can work on the technical aspects of your game during the week — if the QB never gives you a chance, what can you do?

I’ve watched a fair few Rutgers games the last two years. Nova and now Dodd just do not give their receivers a shot to make big plays.

Today was more of the same.

Dodd didn’t find his best receiver until the teams third drive. He found him twice. The first a 51-yarder with Coleman beating his man and making a big play (click here to see it). He finished it off with a 14-yard touchdown grab (and you can click here for the TD).

And then… silence.

Dodd barely looked his way. The coaches made hardly any attempt to get him the football. And so he ended with two catches for 65 yards and a score.

I’m not here to make excuses, but what the hell happened?

It didn’t end well either, with Coleman landing awkwardly on a meaningless last play and hurting his shoulder. He said after the game he was fine and no serious injury had been incurred.

It would’ve been great to be able to judge him in a polished offense. Not one of these ‘Air Raid’ easy-yardage efforts. Just an offense that could move the ball, had a competent college passer and knew how to utilise the teams best weapon.

Teams will spend a lot of time trying to work him out over the next few months.

He’s huge (6-6/6-5) and clearly has athletic potential through the roof. He doesn’t play with the same biting determination you see from Mike Evans, but he’s nowhere near as irritating to watch as Kelvin Benjamin.

He’ll be a relatively early pick providing checks on his knee get the all clear. There just aren’t that many guys who can do what he does at that size. With the right guidance — and with a better quarterback — he can be a star.

Just look at the way Josh Gordon exploded this year. The light switched on. And because he is such a size/speed freak — we’re seeing the results. Again, not many guys can do what Gordon’s capable of.

Coleman might be one of the few that can.

Someone will take a chance on this guy — and earlier than people think. Watch out for the Patriots — Belichick loves Rutgers. But the Seahawks could easily have Coleman on their radar.


  1. Norm M

    I was disappointed in the game. I watched hoping to get a feel for Colmans talent level. He sure looks like a legit NFL receiver. With his pure athletic ability and size I would not be surprised if he is drafted in the 15-20 range.

  2. Justin M

    Love It. Great Right up. I am convinced Seahawks are looking very closely at him. He fits the bill and could conceivably be a guy they do not have to trade up for. Thanks for the post, happy new year!

  3. Jeremy

    Rob, I got an gift card for Christmas from a customer…because they love me. I remember you writing something about using your link to purchase from that website. Does it help you, or does it not really matter?? Just curious, I’m a big fan of the website, if I can help, I would love to. Thanks for the hard work.

    • Rob Staton

      Hi Jeremy… Click the link in the sidebar and a percentage of your sale goes to the site fund. I donated all the money I raised in 2013 to the current aid effort in the Phillippeans.

      • Norm M

        Good to know. Thanks

  4. j

    The combine/pro day will give his stock a big boost. Enough so I don’t think he’ll be there for our 2nd, imo.

  5. House


    I’m right there with you. I was very high on him last year and felt for him w/ all the struggles this year. In another post, I was touting Coleman on that TD drive. I didn’t have an opportunity to say anything else after that.

    My assumption is he will perform good/well @ the Combine and will probably be a Top 50 pick. Teams that don’t draft Evans, Lee or Watkins will probably try to swoop him up in the 2nd. Do we take him in the 1st? We’d have to…

  6. JW

    I wonder if the Mark Harrison draft result last year can tell us anything about Coleman’s prospects this year. Many of us were quite surprised Harrison went undrafted- especially by the Seahawks. I know there were different concerns with Harrison, but he is also a very unique size/speed guy who went through 7 rounds of teams with no takers. I can’t help but wonder if Coleman is in for some kind of a slide (though not as great), while reminding myself they’re different players and different situations, the similarities (size, speed, position, school, production concerns) forces the comparison, even though I know it’s a bit lazy.

    • Rob Staton

      I think Harrison’s personality was the main issue. He was involved in a bizarre incident at the combine from what I remember.

    • House

      Harrison is in a completely different class of person. Harrison missed interviews at the Combine and they were in the afternoon. lol

      One thing that stands out to me is how “quiet” Coleman is. Even at one point of the Pinstripe Bowl (after his TD catch), they were mentioned that he isn’t into social media (twitter/facebook) and that he is a great presence in the locker room. A lot of things to like about this kid as long as his knees check out

      • JW

        Right. There were different concerns with Harrison, but many of the same- speed, production, hands. It will be interesting to compare the two’s draft experience.

  7. CC

    Watching the Bengals this morning, boy, I sure wish we had someone like AJ Green – he makes Dalton look really good. We have to get a big time receiver next year!

  8. Norm M

    Seahawks needs for 2014 draft.

    1. Big bodied wide receiver to replace Rice.
    2. Interior d lineman who can pass rush. We’re going to lose at least one of them.
    3. Linebacker depth
    4. A real change of pace running back. Fast and can catch.
    5. Depth at safety. Prep for losing Cam or
    6. O line depth. Seems like we can never have enough.

    • House


      1. I’m hoping Brandon Coleman is our guy!!!
      2. While we have Greg Scruggs/Jordan Hill as depth, a game-changing blitz from the middle would be great!
      3. Smith is a must keep. Schofield and Morgan haven’t played too much. Young blood is always good.
      4. I’m interested to see Michael’s growth (he could leapfrog Turbin). I think Turbin sticks at least 1 more yr
      5. Kam just signed a 5-yr extension. Johnson is a good ST/ 3rd S. We’ll need an upgrade over Maragos IMO
      6. I think figuring our starting RT will be a HUGE need. Bowie or early draft pick

    • Seameat

      I agree. My order may be different after the WR position, but yeah those are the needs.

      I would put Big bodied WR first. Like Rob featured Evans earlier. I want Evans for this position. 6’5, 225lbs, 1322 yards and 12TD’s, owns two of the top five single game receiving yards efforts in SEC history, and had seven games over 100 yards this season (two games over 200).

      OL- not just for depth, but to challenge guard and RT position. An average line and some horrid games the Hawks need to run the ball. Pass pro have been ok.

      DL- To keep the defense playing well and go allow the the secondary to continue to plug and play on a high level pressure up front is necessary. I want to keep schofield and Bennett, but they will get nice raises. Hawks need interior help.

      TE- Willson is a nice pick up from last year, but TE position is shallow and a definite need.

      LB- Depth at LB is needed.

      CB/DB- Pete and JS always draft DB’s and this year won’t be different. Losing some players this is a position they need to continue to draft and develop.

      RB- For a team that must run the ball a RB should be drafted later in the hope to give Lynch a breather and develop along CM.

      • Norm M

        Evens would be awesome but I can not see them moving up to get him. Coleman may be an option. Totally agree on OL, if they draft one it the top four rounds they are looking for someone to compete for the starting job. I also agree on the TE. This seems like a position that they can find with a mid round pick. It might not be a guy who is not good at everything, but can be great at one thing. Willson and his speed are an example of a guy Pete can work into the program.

        I would really like Seattle to pick up a running back that can provide the explosive play. Lynch is a grinder, Turbin is just a guy, and CM….. I have the feeling he is in Pete’s doghouse. In his limited carries this year he showed explosiveness but he must have really pissed off the coaching staff to not even get a sniff in some of the late season blowouts. He’s the wildcard in my mind. I’m also curious about some of the other picks from this year’s draft who were out with injuries. Some of the guys may become really good starters down the line.

        • Seameat

          Evans is a pipe dream, and you are right that he probably will be drafted before Seattle picks. If it wasn’t foo pricey to move up they need to, or get a red zone threat TE that fits the bill.

          I keep reading CM just has not developed good blocking skills and the reason he sits. I don’t know how much truth there is to this though.

  9. Emperor_MA

    I would love to get Evans but that is a pipe dream. Even going one-and-out in the playoffs leaves us drafting too low to get him. Coleman should easily be there at the bottom of the first round, although I don’t personally believe he warrants so high a pick. The problem with that, though, is I doubt he’ll be there at the end of the second round.

    What I’d like to see the ‘Hawks get is a reliable outside receiver who:

    1. Is known for YAC, and gets those yards both by having a good initial burst and by breaking tackles (think Brandon Marshall).

    2. Is a proven red-zone receiver with excellent high-point skills (like Julio) and massive vertical leap.

    3. Has strong hands (like Boldin).

    4. Is bigger than most (if not all) the corners he will face (anything over about 6’1″ and 210 lbs should do).

    5. Will block downfield for RBs and for the other WRs on bubble screens and pick plays. (more three and four-receiver sets will help “unstack” the box so Lynch can get more room to work)

    6. Has posted big numbers for more than just one year and shown durability doing it.

    The guy doesn’t have to have blazing speed, but he needs to be able to stretch the field and have a good burst to get away from the first would-be tackler. I want a big, strong, high-pointing BEAST that will block, catch TD passes and be able to shake off defenders after the catch. Someone kind of like Dez Bryant or Vincent Jackson or Brandon Marshall. He doesn’t need to be 6’6″ or run a 4.4 for me, just be a big, strong, tough pass catcher with a bit of an attitude.

    Who is this guy? Perhaps Coleman? Someone else?

    • Rob Staton

      That guy is Mike Evans, unfortunately. And while I agree Seattle will be drafting too late for him — if he’s kicking around in the teens you make the move IMO. Otherwise I think you do consider Coleman in the first couple of rounds.

      • Seameat

        I love the prospect. A move up 15 picks costs, what maybe their 1st, ,2nd, 5th?

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