Many were surprised when Rutgers wide receiver Brandon Coleman was not among the 256 players selected in this year’s NFL draft. He received a 3rd round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board after a breakout sophomore season (43 catches for 718 yards and 10 touchdowns) in 2012 and decided to return to school for his junior year. Just when he was starting to generate 1st-round buzz, a knee injury limited his production.
The 6-foot-6 225 pounder had 34 catches for 538 yards and four touchdowns last season, and admitted that he was hampered by a torn meniscus in his right knee, an injury he suffered in the springtime.
He looked OK at the NFL Combine, running a 4.56 40-yard dash, which is a solid time considering his size. Coleman also managed 21 bench press reps. Still, the knee injury that caused him to have a down year ultimately cost him from being a mid-round pick to an undrafted free agent. OUCH!
After the draft, he garnered interest from the Patriots, Chargers, Rams and the Saints. He chose New Orleans because he felt comfortable with the team after his pre-draft visit.
Unfortunately for Coleman, he stood at Saints organized team actives and mini-camp for the wrong reasons. Drops seemed to plague the receiver almost every day, causing many to write off his chances at making the roster even before training camp began.
But now, here we are in West Virginia, and Coleman has gotten off on the right foot. QB Ryan Griffin tossed a deep ball the wide receiver's way and Coleman leapt into the air hauling in the pass in front of CB Corey White. The fans roared with approval - that was possibly the top highlight from today's camp.
Now we’ll have to see if Coleman can produce on a more consistent basis. If the “dropsies” become routine, he has no chance. Even if he catches every ball thrown his way in camp, it will be tough to make this roster. I don’t foresee him being able to contribute on special teams because of his lack of speed, but do envision him as a prime practice squad candidate.
Maybe I’m just enamored with his size, or the fact that he is a NJ kid (Jersey strong!) but I feel Brandon Coleman could become a viable weapon in years to come, and is worth holding on to.