Browns Corey Coleman 2016
The Cleveland Browns selection of Corey Coleman in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft marked the first time the team had used so high a pick on a wideout for 11 years.
Not since Braylon Edwards was selected with the third overall pick in 2005 have the team looked to take a pass catcher so high. Edwards did post an 80 catch, 1289 yard season back in 2007, complete with 16 touchdowns, but flamed out very quickly after that. Browns fans, and fantasy owners, have endured a long wait for a stud wide receiver (aside from an all too brief spell from Josh Gordon) but that wait may be over. It could certainly be worth it with this pick.[the_ad id=”58837″]Since the end of the 2015 season, the Browns have lost / said goodbye to wide receivers Travis Benjamin and Dwayne Bowe. While the loss of Bowe is noteworthy for how much of owner Jimmy Haslam’s money he basically stole, his production is easily replaceable. The former Kansas City Chief played in just seven games, was targeted 13 times and reeled in just five catches for 53 yards. The loss of Benjamin was more keenly felt, as the fourth year man broke out with 966 yards and five touchdowns from his 68 receptions, second only on the team to Gary Barnidge. These defections left Brian Hartline, Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel among senior receivers, with converted quarterback Terrelle Pryor still learning the position. This uninspiring list of stars combined for 10 receptions, 1082 yards and two scores last season.
Coleman is coming off a season in which he paced the Big 12 conference in receiving yards (1363) and receiving touchdowns (20). His time at Baylor saw him run a rather limited version of a wide receiver route tree, but there is no questioning his ability to make plays when the ball is in his hand. His athletic ability is remarkable, and with a 4.37 40 yard dash at his Pro Day he’s a threat to take one to the house whenever he touches the ball.[the_ad id=”58835″]The Browns head coach Hue Jackson is one of the most innovative offensive thinkers in the NFL, and should be able to manufacture opportunities for Coleman to get the ball while he learns how to become a more complete receivers. Some have speculated that Coleman could be used in the same way that the Browns divisional foe the Steelers used Martavis Bryant, when he was on the field at least, with screens and other plays close to the line of scrimmage. It’s worth noting that Coleman did have 22 rushing attempts last season (111 yards, 5.0 yards per carry).
From a volume point of view, Coleman should be heavily targeted in the Browns passing game. Assuming Robert Griffin wins the starting job at QB, his formidable deep ball ability should mesh well with the speed of Coleman, but his skills closer to home should ensure he is not a one trick pony, and will see plenty of targets all over the field. Coleman is currently the 47th wide receiver of the board in MFL10’s, ahead of more established players like Torrey Smith (51st), Pierre Garcon (57th) and Mike Wallace (62nd). While these all face major obstacles to prominence on their own team, Coleman should be THE Guy by Week 1. Grab him while you can.
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Neil’s been playing fantasy football for ten years, including a victory in 2014 in a league arranged by NFL.com Fantasy expert Adam Rank. Huge Philadelphia Eagles fan, and follows the fortunes of the England cricket team, usually with his head in his hands for both. Neil lives with his fiancé Kate and their daughter Zoe. He is an atrocious Words with Friends player.