2016 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Baylor WR Corey Coleman

Corey Coleman

As you should know by now, our attention has now shifted to the 2016 NFL Draft as it relates to the prospects. From now until the draft takes place, we hope to profile as many draft prospects as we possibly can for you. Most of these player profiles will be centered around prospects the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have interest in.

A look at one of the top receivers in the draft. Baylor’s Corey Coleman.

#1 Corey Coleman, WR — Baylor, 5’11”, 190

The Good

-Homerun threat that can take the top off of defenses
-Demands safety help over the top regardless of what corner is covering him
-Dangerous weapon in space, very shifty/elusive when racking up YAC
-Packs some power as a runner after the catch despite small frame
-Knows how to find soft spot in zone defense to show QB his numbers
-Ridiculous first step in space, gets up to full speed quickly thanks to long strides
-Tracks the ball very well in the air, not afraid to go up and take what’s his during battles in the air
-Rarely has issues with drops
-Shows the ability to shake the press at the line with quick hands to knock punch away and fast feet to get around defender
-Quick, efficient feet in space and at top of routes to create separation
-Cuts down space between him and CB quickly when cushion is given
-Workhorse receiver who is accustomed to a high number of targets

The Bad

-Limited route tree in Baylor offense so he’ll take some time to learn full route tree
-Not a “true” WR, meaning he’s used mostly as a weapon in space, not asked to do many things like an NFL receiver in Baylor system
-Has a tendency to give up on routes early if play isn’t designed for his side of the field
-Effort varies when blocking on the boundary
-Can be knocked off his route by physical corners
-Largely rounds off routes, which makes it easy for corners to stick with him
-Struggles to gear down on curl/hitch routes after reaching top speed.
-Tends to lose focus across the middle of the field, appears to be more worried about hit coming instead of catching the ball

Other

-One of most prolific receivers in Baylor history
– Career record holder for most TD’s (33) and single-season (20)
-First player in school history to record two 1,000-yard receiving seasons
-Among five school records also include: first in career receiving yards/game (85.97), first in career kick return average (26.04), most single-game TD receptions (four)… Career ranks on Baylor receiving charts: fourth in yards (3,009) fifth in receptions (173), and sixth in yards/reception (17.39)
-Joined Kendall Wright, Terrance Williams and Tevin Reese on BU’s 3,000-yard receivers club
-Named “College Football’s Most Freakish Athlete” and “College Football’s Most Explosive Player” by NFL.com
-Timed at 4.38 in 40-yard dash; Vertical jump of 45.1, measured at 11 feet, 3 inches in broad jump; Three-cone drill timed at 6.62.
-National top 250 recruit from Pearce High School in Richardson, Texas, excelled as rusher, receiver and returner
-Will turn 22 years old in July
-Godfather is former Baylor and NFL star defensive back Ray Crockett, who played for the Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs from 1989 to 2002
-One of most prolific receivers in Baylor history
-Career record holder for most TD’s (33) and single-season (20)
-First player in school history to record two 1,000-yard receiving seasons
-Among five school records also include: first in career receiving yards/game (85.97), first in career kick return average (26.04), most single-game TD receptions (four)… Career ranks on Baylor receiving charts: fourth in yards (3,009) fifth in receptions (173), and sixth in yards/reception (17.39)
-Joined Kendall Wright, Terrance Williams and Tevin Reese on BU’s 3,000-yard receivers club

Tape Breakdown

So far, Corey Coleman takes the cake as the most electric player I’ve watched in my two years of analyzing NFL Draft prospects.

I’ve never come away from watching a player saying “WOW” over and over again. Although Coleman lacks an extensive route tree due to the system he played in under Art Briles at Baylor, Coleman is exactly what the NFL is transitioning towards in the NFL — a monster playmaker after the catch.

Coleman is a quick-twitch athlete who can go from zero to 100 really quickly.

Check out this clip against Rice. It’s a simple stop route to get the ball to Coleman quickly — this play was a staple in Baylor’s offense the last two years for Coleman.

As the junior receiver works back to the ball there is a subtle jab step with is right foot, allowing him to plant and turn the corner against the Rice cornerback. While the defender takes an awful route to Coleman, I’m confident in saying he’ll do this to anyone anywhere. His first step is ridiculously fast and he gets up to top speed quickly.

It won’t shock me if he runs the fastest 40-time at the combine later this month.

Not only is Coleman a burner on a straight line, but he’s so dynamic in a phone booth as well.

Don’t believe me? Watch this.

Seriously, have you ever seen a player do that? I thought about it for a long time and I’m struggling to find an athlete who’s done THAT to a defense.

Not only does he shake two defenders quickly along the sideline, but he has the vision to turn it inside to burst up the seam for additional yards.

Sure, you can knock him for his limited route tree, but when you can do that in space? Well…best of luck to defenders.

While most of his targets came on short to intermediate routes, Coleman is a serious homerun threat over the top that forces teams to roll a safety over the top towards him.

Even with extra help over the top, Coleman is so fast off the ball and flies past his defenders that’s it’s almost a moot point. Speed is a big part of his game, but he’s tough enough to make contested catches and has exceptional body control while tracking the football on deep throws.

Take a look at these next two clips.

In the first clip Coleman tracks the deep ball so well. Baylor quarterback Seth Russell throws this one outside of the hashes, which forces Coleman to track it while having to worry about the deep safety hovering over the top looking for the pick.

It doesn’t faze him one bit. He’s able to track the ball the whole way without losing speed.  Impressive.

In the second clip, Coleman is able to make the tough catch against West Virginia’s Darryl Worley, whom he blows by off the line. Worley has enough speed to make the recovery and gets his hand on Coleman’s right forearm looking to rip it away to prevent the catch.

However, Coleman is able to hang onto the football for a big catch early in the game to set up the Bears for a score.

While some will have concerns with his hands and his 10 drops last season, it’s more of a focus issue late in games with the Bears up big. I’m not concerned with the drops moving forward, especially when he can make the contested catches consistently.

That being said, Coleman will most certainly have to learn how to be an NFL receiver. He comes from an offense that has a limited route tree that doesn’t ask receivers to do much other than make plays in space.

Coleman will have to learn all of the nuances of the position to fulfill his vast potential, but with the fire he displays as a runner and a competitor, I’m confident he’ll fulfill that potential.

That being said, he could struggle right away as a receiver who is asked to block in the NFL.

This clip against Oklahoma in 2014 is one of the worst block attempts from a receiver I’ve ever seen at any level.

What in the world is this? Ugly.

Granted, this came in the game against the Sooners in which Coleman went off for 15-284-1. Sounds like an Antonio Brown line, right?

Overall, I think Corey Coleman is a lock for the first round.  It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s the first receiver taken, but I wouldn’t pull the trigger on that if I were the first GM looking for a receiver.

The issues with route running and the learning curve he’ll face as a receiver in the NFL leads me to believe he’s best suited for a team looking for a dynamic No. 2 option across from an experienced No. 1 option and an outstanding receivers coach.

Projection:  Mid-Late 1st Round

Games Watched:  at Oklahoma (’14), at Oklahoma State (’15), at Kansas (’15), vs. West Virginia (’15), vs. Rice (’15), vs. Texas Tech (’15)

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  • harding36

    As a Baylor alum, I’ve probably seen every game Coleman has played, and your review is spot on. Well done.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I choked when I saw that pathetic attempt at blocking. Made my day! Dri Archer could be great in space as well if you let him loose. They obvious let Coleman loose.

  • Spencer Krick

    A fun guy to watch on tape, that’s for sure. Just don’t ask him to block, lol.

  • PittsburghSports

    lol that double jump cut was crazy!

  • Jon Crissinger

    I still haven’t seen moves like Tavon Austin’s in space though that double jump cut was impressive

  • Michael James

    Great prospect.

  • Ask Questions Later

    Discount Antonio brown in terms of accel. and agility for sure. Speed is not too far behind either.

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    His stance bugs me haha

  • LucasY59

    I hope he is one of the guys picked before the Steelers make their pick, it should help make a player that can really help the Steelers be available.

    I agree this guy is a playmaker, but I would compare him more to Mike Wallace than Antonio Brown. Coleman does have some of ABs shiftiness and is less of a one trick pony, but is still mainly a big play threat, and cant do a lot of the little things needed to be a well rounded NFL reciever. I think a lot of it is due to him being at Baylor (where he wasnt asked to do those things) and with work and experience he could develop, but that would also make me avoid him as a 1st rd WR, I think he will do best as a #2 (and #2 WRs should not be 1st rd picks)