Virginia Tech Senior
Has good speed and burst. Gets a nice release off the line and can accelerate well into his routes. Shows some ability to sell his routes and separate. Shows sneaky quickness after the catch and will make some nice moves at times after the catch. Does a nice job tracking the deep ball and will go up to get the high throw on the deep post over the middle. Is able to adjust to the high throw and can extend to make the grab. Shows good body control and does a good job making diving grabs and can work the sideline a bit. Smart, and plays in control on the field. Is a willing blocker downfield that is able to get position to spring the back on the second level. Versatile special teams player that works as a punter or returner. Gets pretty good distance and hangtime on his punts.
Doesn't have the elite speed or acceleration to really be a homerun threat after the catch every time he touches it. Needs to do a better job beating the jam at the line of scrimmage. Can be a bit tentative about contact at times after the catch. Needs to show better effort at times to attack the ball in the air on fade routes. Struggles to get position against the defender on the quick slant. Lets balls get into his body too much. Misses too many assignments as a run blocker and struggles to get position at the line of scrimmage because he doesn't use his hands well.
Coale was a solid four-year starter that was never super productive in Virginia Tech's run-first offense, but he managed to make some big plays at various times. He's more quick than fast, but he has nice hands and is a guy that is tailor-made to playing in the slot at the next level, a role he often had at Tech. He's a guy that is the personification of a role player at the next level because he's able to adapt to a multitude of roles. Evidenced by his ability to pull double duty as a starting wideout and punter midway through his senior year due to the inconsistencies of some freshman. And the fact was that he was by far their best punter. The truth is that he was so effective in that role, that one imagines had he stayed as a specialist coming out of high school, he could still be a draft-worthy prospect there.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(10/1) vs. Clemson: 9 targets, 5 rec., 40 yds (8.0 avg), 9 YAC (1.8 avg), 0 TDs, 0 drops
(11/10) at Georgia Tech: 2 tgt., 2 rec., 97 yds (48.5 avg), 34 YAC (17.0 avg), 1 TD, 0 drops
(11/17) vs. North Carolina: 6 tgt., 4 rec., 37 yds (9.3 avg), 27 YAC (6.8 avg), 0 TDs, 0 drops
(11/26) at Virginia: 3 tgt., 2 rec., 15 yds (7.5 avg), 0 YAC (0.0 avg), 0 TDs, 2 penalties (holding, clipping)
(1/3) vs. Michigan: 12 tgt., 8 rec., 117 yds (14.6 avg), 57 YAC (7.1 avg), 0 TDs, 0 drops
2011: 14 GP/14 GS, 60 rec., 904 yds, 15.1 avg, 3 TDs; 8 PR-6.5 avg; 13 punts-43.5 avg
2010: 14/14-39-732-18.8-3; 2 PR-11.0 avg
Coale is a good player that will definitely find a role in the NFL on special teams. The question becomes how good can he be on offense. While he has enough size, speed, and quickness to like him there, and his ability to make some big plays and highlight grabs from time to time makes him an intriguing prospect. But there's never been a time where he looked like he would dominate his collegiate competition, which is exactly what you want to see if you expect a guy to be a productive offensive threat at the next level. Playing in the slot is probably the ideal role for him because despite being about an average-sized NFL receiver, he plays more like a guy that you would expect to be 5-10/185. Basically he's not that physical and more of a finesse guy. I could see him being a productive role player as a No. 3 on a team that has a dynamic No. 1 target on the outside that can draw coverages. And when he goes up against some of the lesser nickel corners in the league, he can win those matchups. And if he has a good accurate QB, then he can be more effective. The player he reminds me a bit of is Brian Hartline, although I think Hartline was a more explosive vertical option than Coale. But Hartline has developed into a nice 40-catch receiver thanks in large part I think because he has a dynamic guy like Brandon Marshall on the outside, and a rangy slot guy like Davone Bess. Although his role would be more akin to Bess's, I think he'll be more like Hartline in terms of his production, being the third option that can be decent. A better comparison because he does play in the slot is Austin Collie. I don't think he's as good as Collie was coming out of BYU, but similarly if he gets a good QB to throw him the ball he can have above average production. I think his production on most teams will be around 20-30 catches. But it wouldn't surprise me if he winds up having a few 50-60 catch seasons, especially if he lands on the right team that likes to spread the field with a lot of 3 and 4-wide sets. I don't think he's going to hit the ground running like Hartline and Collie did, but I do think it won't take him more than a year or two before he can start to hit his stride as a receiver. Even if he doesn't develop, then he'll be a solid No. 4 or 5 receiver because of his ability to perform on special teams. I think he can have a long career because of that special teams value. And while I don't know if he'll ever keep defensive coordinators up at night, I do think that in the right environment he could be an effective and sneaky third option in the slot like he was often at Virginia Tech.
Coale could be a nice potential replacement for Douglas if the team was not to re-sign him. He could immediately be as good an option as the No. 4 receiver as Eric Weems because he brings similar traits on special teams, so he could also be a nice replacement there. I don't think Atlanta is really the place that is going to maximize his skillset, but I do think that can do a lot of the same things that Douglas has done here, although to probably a slightly lesser degree. He can definitely be a nice role player that can be the 4th or 5th option because of his special teams ability.
Coale's special teams ability makes him worth a draft pick. But his less than ideal offensive potential means that taking him before the fifth or sixth round is probably a reach.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
After Catch: 6.5
Body Control: 7.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.