Name: Tevin Coleman
College: University of Indiana
Height / Weight: 5’11” / 205 lbs.
S.U. Rank: 3
Potential NFL Teams: Jacksonville, Minnesota, St. Louis, Baltimore
While appealing to the same three teams as Todd Gurley plus one, Tevin Coleman brings a different element to the running back position that we haven’t seen in a while at the pro level.
He can juke.
The more modern and more widely accepted style of running back play is bulldozing through whatever stands in your way and making something out of nothing–Coleman’s approach is just the opposite.
Here are three reasons that being different in approach and mentality will benefit Tevin Coleman in the NFL:
1. Small But Mighty
At first glance, it would seem that his smaller stature compared to other available running backs would negatively affect Coleman’s draft stock, but surprisingly that’s not the case. According to a report from NFL.com, Coleman has a true sense of what it means to use jump-cuts and juke moves to get past defenders.
A team like the Minnesota Vikings knows a thing or two about depending heavily on this style of run. What this means is that if Adrian Peterson were to depart (as he’s trying to do–he reportedly wants to be a Cowboy) then the Vikings would be covered, at least somewhat, with a decent running game.
Also, Teddy Bridgewater is starting to grow and blossom into a true NFC North-style quarterback. Being more dependent on what his offensive weapons do around him rather than having to scramble and make plays out of nothing will allow the Vikings to compete once more for a division title.
A running game without consequence or controversy would put them right back in the mix.
2. Mystery Machine
Since a foot injury prevented him from participating in this year’s NFL Combine, scouts and other teams are still trying to figure out just how good Tevin Coleman can be. Some have compared him to Darren McFadden, a running back who is known for physically destroying defenses on a one-by-one basis.
Others have noticed his ability to maintain enough distance from defenders far down the field to be open and score–they’ve reached this conclusion from the sheer fact that half of his 28 career touchdowns came on plays of 43-yards or longer.
That’s nearly half the playing field every time you touch the ball in a scoring position.
This style could be great but it could also back fire. It all depends on what kind of team is built around him because he’s not the kind of player you want to focus your franchise around–you want him to be able to fit into the puzzle that you, as a general manager, coach, or other important member of the front office of an NFL franchise, have put together.
Some things will just take time to develop. Especially when it comes to transitioning from college to NFL level talent.
But based on what I’ve seen, I’d still say he’s worth the risk.
3. The Red-Light Racer
An additional analysis from NFL.com went out of their way to compare Coleman’s speed to a car racing to get past a light that is turning red at an intersection. Small bursts of energy here go the longest way when it comes to Coleman’s approach to his position.
Since timing is everything, I think his small bursting ability makes him a great fit for a team like the Rams and here’s why:
The Rams are in dire need of something explosive and effective and that’s what Coleman brings to the table. In a division that also hosts the best team early on last season in the Arizona Cardinals and the last two NFC representatives in the previous three Super Bowls, the Rams are seemingly stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Without growth from Sam Bradford, the St. Louis offense will probably not go anywhere. But then in comes Tevin Coleman and the entire picture changes.
Adding him to an offense like the Rams puts St. Louis into serious consideration for, at the very least, a solid chance of winning the NFC West next year.
The run game is just that important.
Do you want to look at more prospect profiles? Then click 2015 NFL Draft Top Prospects Rankings: Top-3 QB, RB, WR, S, CB, OLB, DE