After releasing veteran wideout Lance Moore, the New Orleans Saints made it clear that finding another receiver would be a top priority. Well, they did just that by selecting Brandin Cooks in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but what about rookie undrafted free agent Brandon Coleman?
Coleman was projected to go in Round 5 or 6 of the selection process, but somehow went untouched. A product of Rutgers, Coleman played with the Scarlet Knights from 2010-2013. He redshirted his first year, but played in all 13 games in each of his three seasons after that. The team captain started nine games in 2012 catching 43 passes for 718 yards and 10 touchdowns. His numbers took a bit of a downfall in 2013, but he was still productive for his final year.
Coleman brings a wide variety of skills to the New Orleans Saints. He is a former basketball player with outstanding size and body length. At 6-foot-6, he becomes an immediate red-zone threat to opposing defense. He runs downfield with long strides and averaged 22 yards per catch while at Rutgers. His long arms grant him serious playmaking ability, especially against shorter defenders. Coleman has also shown to be very durable throughout his career.
He does lack elite athleticism and needs to work on his ball skills and route running, but the Saints have an excellent coaching staff that can help develop him into a better player. Marques Colston, Kenny Stills and Brandin Cooks are set to be New Orleans’ top-three receivers heading into training camp, but after that, the position is open for competition. Coleman will be battling with Robert Meachem, Joe Morgan, Andy Tanner and Nick Toon for playing time.
The way the Saints run their offense, Coleman is likely to see a piece of the action in 2014 with good hustle and a strong performance this summer. He may end up being one of the bigger steals in the undrafted free-agent market this year.