Tevin Coleman to the Atlanta Falcons: These Birds Just Got Explosive
After having surgery in January to repair a foot injury, Tevin Coleman's draft stock started to drop.
While recovering, Coleman didn't run at the combine or at Indiana University's pro day. During a workout for scouts in mid-April, Coleman put any doubt to rest by running a 4.39 and 4.40 40-yard dash, which would've put him first out of the more than 30 running backs who participated in the 2015 NFL Combine. (Jeremy Langford ran a 4.42-second 40 yard dash.)
It's scary to think about what Coleman may have done in a better offense in college.
On the 81st-ranked offense in total yards, Coleman rushed for an impressive 2,036 yards and 15 touchdowns. Coleman had nine rushes longer than 50 yards and 4 touchdowns from more than 70 yards out.
With a 7.5 yards per carry average, he ranked seventh among all backs with at least 100 carries and tied with first-round draft pick Melvin Gordon from Wisconsin. If he gets free with a little bit of space, he's headed to the endzone.
In the passing game, Coleman wasn't utilized much. He did, though, show consistency and improvement by increasing his number of receptions each of his three years as a Hoosier. Can he be even better in a stable offense in the NFL?
Tevin Coleman Atlanta
The Atlanta Falcons have had a declining rushing attack in recent seasons. According to our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, which quantifies a team's production in comparison to expectation-level production, the Falcons' Adjusted Rushing NEP per play ranked 20th in the league in 2014. The team lost, on average, 0.03 points from their expected total on each run play.
This was a steep drop from 13th (0.01) in 2013. As far as raw production goes, they were one of only nine teams to average fewer than 100 yards per game. In 32 regular season games over the past two years, the Falcons have rushed for more than 100 yards only eight times. With more than 100 yards in 11 of 12 games in 2014, Coleman was drafted to bring consistency and home run potential to the offense.
Coleman joins a backfield with Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith, who combined for only 88 carries and 392 yards on the ground. Both backs figure to share time with Coleman and contribute to the Falcons' passing attack, but Coleman should be able to win the starting job and be the workhorse back early in season, if not by Week 1.
Coleman, if his collegiate ability carries over to the NFL, provides the ground version of what Julio Jones provides through the air -- the ability to score from anywhere on the field. Coleman's presence will open up the passing game and make defenses actually care about trying to stop the run. Expect Coleman to be a weekly threat to rush for 100 yards on the ground and to break off several highlight worthy runs in 2015. Based on his potential, this is a great pick for the Atlanta Falcons.