Runs hard and not shy about contact. At times seems to crave contact and not afraid to run through defenders. Will deliver a wicked stiff arm when he gets to the edge. Has good power and leg drive after contact to pick up yards after contact. Finishes his runs and runs behind his pads. Runs with authority and hits hole quickly, making him effective in short-yardage situations. Runs with good balance and has enough agility to side-step defenders in the hole or on the second level. Can make a jump cut in the hole to bounce a play for a big gain. Will step up and square up a blitzer off the edge in pass protection. Capable on special teams coverage.
Lacks top-end speed to make a lot of big plays. Lacks the wiggle to really make defenders miss. Not as effective when you force him to go east and west. At times shows lacking vision, cutting back on runs into the teeth of penetration. Doesn't have a lot of experience working in the passing game.
Coleman is a physical runner that has a skillset tailor-made to being a short-yardage runner at the next level. He is a good physical runner that can be a nice change of pace to a more explosive back as well. He also could potentially play some fullback if his physical running style translates to blocking. He served as the short-yardage back for UCLA, but also took over as their lead rusher at times when Johnathan Franklin was going through struggles. He's also deaf, but has become a good lip reader that allows him to read calls and audibles as long as the QB turns and faces him to mouth instructions.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(10/20) at Arizona: 2 att., 2 yds, 1.0 avg, 0 YAC, 0 TDs
(12/2) at Oregon: 16 att., 98 yds, ?, 15 YAC, 0 TDs; 1 tgt., 1 rec., 6 yds, 0 YAC, 0 TDs; 1 fumble
(12/31) vs. Illinois: 8 att., 43 yds, ?, 29 YAC, 0 TDs; 2 tgt., 1 rec., 5 yds, 8 YAC, 0 TDs; 1 forced fumble
2011: 14 GP/0 GS, 152 att., 765 yds, 5.0 avg, 11 TDs; 5 rec., 24 yds, 4.8 avg, 0 TDs; 5 KOR-14.6 avg, 0 TDs
2010: 11/2-82-487-5.9-5; 3-3-1.0-0; 3-9.7-0
2009: 13/1-54-244-4.5-1; 5-26-5.2-0
2008: 10/1-53-284-5.4-2; 4-13-3.3-0
- missed 1 game in 2010 due to a concussion
Coleman's running style should make him an effective short-yardage back. He does well in those situations. He's not going to be a big-time playmaker at the running back position, but as a situational player that can be a short-yardage, goalline, and fourth quarter finisher he could be effective. I like his versatility to play on special teams and potentially play some fullback. He's raw as a fullback, but he can develop there because he can contribute on special teams immediately as he develops there. He could be a solid lead blocker, but he needs some time to develop there. I think he can also play as a tailback, because he's not slow by any means. His running style may shorten his career a bit because of all the contact he will potentially take. But I think he can offer similar value to a player like Marion Barber did during his days in Dallas. Coleman is likely to be a career backup, but because of his value to play in a variety of key roles, I think he can be considered a good backup. A better comparison to the type of player he could be is similar to Jason Snelling, but I think he's a more physical runner than Snelling is and probably has better burst and balance as well, which could make him a superior player. The key for him that was where Snelling improved the most was getting better in the passing game. If he can get better there, and I believe he can, then he could be a really valuable second or third back. The ideal situation will be working as a reserve behind a player like Chris Johnson or Jamaal Charles, where he can vulture short-yardage and goalline runs.
Mike Tolbert, Panthers.
Coleman could be a potential challenger to Snelling for his role on the team because they potentially fill the same niche, which is a special teams guy that can add depth at both running back positions. Coleman isn't Snelling's equal in the passing game, but could potentially develop there. He would be a nice developmental option for the Falcons as a reserve at either running back position, pushing Antone Smith for the fourth running back spot or Mike Cox for the backup fullback position behind Ovie Mughelli. And because he has higher upside to contribute on offense as a runner, he could be considered an upgrade over either player. Eventually, Coleman can be developed as a good complementary back behind Jacquizz Rodgers or another tailback to work on the short-yardage and goalline situations and would bring a comparable power element that Turner previously brought after Turner departs in the future.
Coleman is worth drafting because he can add depth at either running back position, but because he's got limited upside to be a potential starter, would be considered a reach before round six or seven.
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