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NFL Prospect Focus: Brandon Coleman and Devonta Freeman

Greg Gabriel reviews two offensive weapons. Greg Gabriel

April 18, 2014
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Brandon Coleman – Wide Receiver – Rutgers

Size – 6060 – 225 – 4.56

Strong Points – Size, good athlete, speed for his size, makes some big plays

Weak Points – Production dropped off in 2013, has some drops, average run after catch, has some tightness in his hips

2014 Stats – 34 receptions – 358 yards – four touchdowns

Summation – Coleman is a big, athletic receiver who many thought after the 2012 season would be one of the elite receivers in the country. His play fell off in 2013, but in fairness, he was playing with a knee injury.
In 2012, he caught 43 passes for 718 yards and 10 touchdowns. His production in 2013 fell to 34 catches for 358 yards and four touchdowns.

He has good quickness off the line, and the strength to fight through a jam. For a big guy, he has good route quickness, especially if the route is of the one-cut variety. He has some tightness in his hips, which limits his ability to break down and get in and out of multiple cuts quickly.

He showed a larger receiving radius in 2012 than in 2013. Still, he can pluck the ball, but he will have some concentration drops. He is better coming back to the ball than he is with over-the-shoulder-type catches. He is best on outs, slants, and go-type routes. He can be inconsistent inside. After the catch, he is a strong runner but not elusive. Though his 40 time is average, he plays faster when he is in space. He is adequate as a blocker.

With his size, Coleman can create matchup problems. He has to become a more consistent player. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and basing my grade more off of 2012 tape when he was 100% healthy. If he reverts back to 2012 form, he has a chance to become an eventual starter after a period of development. He is going to be a hit or miss.

Grade B 6.5

Devonta Freeman – Running Back – Florida State

Size – 5082 – 206 – 4.58

Strong Points – Competitive and productive, consistent, vision and instincts, hands, adequate blocker, quicker than fast, durability

Weak Points – Size, short arms, timed speed, not a top after-contact runner.

2014 Stats – 173 carries – 1016 yards – 5.9 avg. per carry - 14 Touchdowns - 22 receptions – 278 yards – one touchdown

Summation – A third-year junior and a one-year fulltime starter, Freeman started some games the last half of the 2012 season. He played in a rotation with two other backs in 2013.

He does not have great size at 5082 – 206. He also has very short arms, measuring only 29 3/8” at the combine. Still, he is a tough competitor who gets the most out of every carry. He is a quick starter, but in the Florida State scheme, there are a lot of runs that start off with lateral movement and then a cut upfield. You don’t see that much in the NFL. He is better when he runs right to the hole. He has good vision and instincts and runs with good lean. He can make a cut in the hole and get to an opening. While he runs hard, he is not a really powerful guy. He can get some yards after contact, but he is not a move-the-pile type. He has shown effectiveness both inside and out.

As a receiver, he is reliable, running good routes and showing good hands. While he is not a home run threat, he consistently gets yards after the catch. He is most effective on screens and checkdowns. He is a willing blocker, but because he lacks size, he isn’t consistently effective.

I see Freeman as a good role player at the next level. He can be used in a rotation as a change-of-pace back. I don’t see him ever being a number one back, but he can be effective if he is given 10 -12 touches per game.

Grade B 6.4

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