Los Angeles Rams Should Target Corey Coleman In 2016 NFL Draft

Dec 5, 2015; Waco, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns linebacker Breckyn Hager (44) tackles Baylor Bears wide receiver Corey Coleman (1) during the second half at McLane Stadium. The Longhorns defeat the Bears 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2015; Waco, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns linebacker Breckyn Hager (44) tackles Baylor Bears wide receiver Corey Coleman (1) during the second half at McLane Stadium. The Longhorns defeat the Bears 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

There is no question that the Los Angeles Rams will need to look at their options at the wide receiver position this offseason. Unfortunately Alshon Jeffery will not hit the open market leaving their options basically in the draft.

When looking at this year’s wide receiver prospects, there isn’t a clear number one guy. There are players who could turn into number one players, but their isn’t THAT special guy like in the past. The last two drafts have been deep at wide receiver, this year is that is not the case.

One receiver that does stand out however is Corey Coleman out of Baylor. At 5’11 and 185 pounds, he led the FBS in receiving touchdowns beating the closest draft prospect by six. On top of that he had 74 receptions that went for 1,363 yards receiving and lead players projected to go in the top three rounds in yards from scrimmage.

Touchdowns, especially for a defensive team like the Rams, can go a long way. Unfortunately for a team like the Rams, they are also incredibly hard to get. According to NFL.com, last season the Rams ranked 29th in touchdowns scored with 31 and had just 11 reception touchdowns which ranked dead last. For wide receivers, scoring touchdowns is a skill, and that is one skill that the Baylor wide receiver has.

Coleman is a very explosive player that can turn a small play into a big play, you might say, Tavon Austin-like. For a team that relies on the explosive play on offense, Coleman certainly fits the bill. Last season the Rams ranked dead last in passing plays of more than 20 yards, but ranked 14th in passing plays of more than 40 yards.

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While the Rams certainly dont need another Austin, Coleman is not that and has an entirely different skill set that would actually pair well with both Austin and Kenny Brittadding another explosive aspect to their offense.

Coleman is a legitimate deep threat with lightning fast speed, and similar to a player like Desean Jackson, he has the ability to blow the top off a defense.  Unlike many speed-specialists at receiver, like a Tavon Austin, Coleman plays both outside and in the slot while actually excelling on the outside. He has the ability to climb the ladder and win the 50/50 ball, using body control to secure the acrobatic catch. In fact, Pro Football Focus has Coleman’s position fit as an outside receiver.

A lot of short receivers who have iffy catch technique tend to have a small catch radius, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for Coleman. You could argue the Baylor receiver is pretty good at extending his arms to find the ball.

While Kenny Britt can certainly extend the field due to his size, he isn’t going to blow the top of a defense by any means. Pairing Britt’s size and Coleman’s speed on the outside would give the Rams variety in their passing game.

Over the last two seasons, the Rams have had Brian Quick and Kenny Britt on the outside, two receivers with nearly identical playing styles. Adding Coleman’s speed outside of the numbers would give the Rams an entirely new dimension on offense.

Here’s three plays that show what Coleman is able to do.

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Coleman 3 /

Coleman is known for his breakaway speed. Here that speed is clearly seen as he separates himself from the cornerback, makes the catch on the vertical route, and then scores the touchdown. This is the type of thing that Coleman excels at.

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Here against Kansas you can not only see Coleman’s speed, but also his ability to come back to the ball and use his body to go up and get it. For a small receiver, these are things that you normally dont see. However, for a small receiver, Coleman is quite physical.

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Coleman 2 /

This play against Kansas State really stands out. Not often do you see a player who is 5’11 get thrown a fade in the corner of the end zone and succeed, but here, that’s exactly what happens. He gets throws a back shoulder pass and literally gets over the defender to make the catch. If this doesn’t prove that Coleman is more than a utility, Tavon Austin-like player, I dont know what does. Coleman can do the utility stuff, but he can also make the tough catches on the outside.

Now, here’s what the experts are saying about Coleman.

Here’s what NFL.com has to say about Coleman:

"“Dangerous vertical talent with the ability to get over the top of defenders who fail to recognize his blazing quickness off the line of scrimmage. Coleman can get instant separation to create favorable passing windows and is one of the top playmakers in this draft. Coleman’s issues with drops near the middle of the field could be a concern if teams see him next as a slot receiver due to his lack of size. Regardless, he can line up outside and win and he offers immediate punt return help.Comparison: John Brown“"

Here’s what CBS Sports has to say about Coleman:

"“The NFL has yet to see a wide receiver from Baylor coach Art Briles’ system translate and produce similar numbers in the pro game, but Coleman could break that streak. He has an athletic skillset at all levels of the field. Coleman is one of the best deep threats in the country with above average tracking and adjustment skills to make tough catches look easy, playing above the rim.Compares to: Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos – Coleman plays bigger than he’ll measure with the route athleticism to create separation before and after the catch.”"

Here’s what Pro Football Focus has to say about Coleman:

"“Coleman isn’t the tallest wide receiver in the world, but he doesn’t play like that’d a problem. Really good on short passes, with the ability to make people miss and create big plays. The drops are frustrating, but if he can fix that he has a chance to be really special.”"

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Receivers who can create separation from defenders and give the quarterback the chance throw them open are rare to find in the NFL and the Rams need to provide whoever their quarterback may be with play makers who can do more with the football.

Tavon Austin and Todd Gurley are a good start, but having someone on the outside that is just an explosive will open up things on the inside and make things easier.

Coleman is said to not have the ideal size, not able to be physical, or that he is just speed-specialist, but clearly while those are concerns, he is able to do it all. Despite his size he is able to go up and get the football while being physical with cornerbacks, meanwhile, he can also be the all-around weapon that can change an offense.

The Rams are in desperate need for a wide receiver. With only Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin guaranteed to come back next season, the Rams need to add a playmaker. This isn’t the best draft when it comes to receivers, but when it comes to Corey Coleman, he fits exactly what the Rams need.