Corey Coleman Should Be Cincinnati Bengals' No. 1 Draft Target Following 2016 NFL Combine

By Roje Smith

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton had a plethora of receiving weapons last season, but he’ll have fewer options in 2016 now that both Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu have signed elsewhere. This leaves the Bengals in dire need of wide receivers to support A.J. Green. Assuming that Laquon Treadwell is already taken when Cincinnati pick at 24, they will have some good options like Will Fuller and Josh Doctson to choose from.

However, there is an even better option, and his name is Corey Coleman.

Coleman received the 2015 Biletnikoff Award winner for being the nation’s top WR. As a junior last season, he finished with 74 receptions for 1,363 yards and an incredible 20 TDs. Although he has average measurables at 5-foot-11 and 194 pounds, Coleman is deceptively powerful and has explosive athleticism.

This was proven at the combine when he recorded an outstanding vertical leap of 40.5 inches and ran an excellent time in the 40. He also possesses good balance, which makes him a threat at every level of the field. Coleman’s impressive hand-eye coordination also allows him to snatch passes away from his body in a way that has reminded some scouts of Steve Smith, Sr. of the Baltimore Ravens.

His combination of being a speedy vertical threat and a stop-and-go receiver have other scouts reminded of Emmanuel Sanders of the Denver Broncos. Regardless of which NFL comparison he receives, Coleman will be a dangerous weapon in the league.

The only knock on Coleman’s outlook is the limited route tree that he ran while in Art Briles‘ explosive offense at Baylor. Most of his routes were hitches, in-cuts and go routes, and Briles’ system has yet to produce a high-level NFL receiver. This may give teams some hesitance, but Coleman is the type of player that can break that trend, and his aggressive competitiveness is tailor-made for the league.

Some people will argue that Fuller is faster than Coleman, and that’s true. After all, Fuller ran the fastest 40 at the combine with a 4.32 compared to Coleman’s 4.42. That said, this is the only area where Fuller is better than Coleman. Meanwhile, Doctson isn’t as polished as Coleman and his skillset wouldn’t complement Green as well. Coleman would bring a skillset to Cincinnati that surpasses what Sanu or Jones brought.

It would be a very smart decision for the Cincinnati Bengals to target Coleman if he’s still available when they pick. The combination of him, Green and Eifert along, with RB Giovani Bernard out of the backfield, would make Dalton a very happy man.

 

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