There’s a consensus that Corey Coleman has been a bust since entering the NFL in 2016. Considering he’s a former first-round pick, getting traded to the Buffalo Bills for only a seventh-round pick in 2020 about confirms that NFL GMs share that sentiment.
Coleman was selected 15th overall by the Cleveland Browns three drafts ago. Since being drafted, the wide receiver has only suited up in 19 games. A pair of injuries in back-to-back seasons forced him to miss 13 games, which is the primary reason he’s labeled a bust.
If Coleman can stay healthy, then he’ll be a player to watch this upcoming season.
The mastermind behind the deal, Bills general manager Brandon Beane, spoke to the media Monday morning about the transaction. He’s hopeful Coleman can come to Buffalo from Cleveland and unleash his talents.
“Yeah, that’s what you hope. He has had a hand injury several times and has not gotten to play a 16-game season yet in two years,” said Beane. “Again, I don’t know all what went right or wrong there. They’ve got a new regime with John Dorsey, and they’ve made changes to their roster since John got there in January.
“This opportunity became available, and [he] decided to take a shot here in Buffalo.”
The 24-year-old will take part in the Bills’ wide-open WR competition. Aside from Kelvin Benjamin being a lock as the number one receiver, the remaining spots are free game for Coleman and company.
“This is a huge opportunity for me,” said Coleman. “I’m blessed to be here. I’m ready to rock with the Buffalo Bills.”
So, what kind of player are the Bills getting in Coleman?
The first thing that pops off the page is his explosive speed. His Pro Day results echo that, as he ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash.
“I feel like I’m really fast and I can come in here and contribute right away,” said Coleman.
The talent is certainly there for Coleman to come in to Buffalo and contribute immediately. I mean, the dude had 74 receptions for 1,363 yards and 20 touchdowns in his final season at Baylor.
Those college numbers didn’t exactly translate to the NFL, but a horrendous quarterback situation in Cleveland didn’t help, either. While on the receiving end of Cleveland’s QB carousel, in 19 career games Coleman has reeled in 56 receptions for 718 yards and five TDs.
Fun fact: all five of his scores came during Cleveland home games. Bills fans will be hoping for more of the same at New Era Field.
In 2016, Coleman’s rookie season, he recorded 33 receptions for 413 yards and three TDs in 10 games. That was good enough for 41.3 yards per game. If he would have continued that trend for a full 16 games, he would have posted 52 receptions, 660 yards, and nearly five TDs. Not too shabby for a rookie season, but the injury bug prevented that from coming to fruition.
Last season was more of the same for Coleman, as he missed seven games in the middle of the year due to injury. He did return in week 11 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and had a pleasant performance, finishing the game with six catches for 80 yards.
Now that Coleman’s Cleveland career is over, it’s time to flip the script in Buffalo.
It’s a tremendous opportunity for him to stand out, as the Bills ranked 31st in receiving yards (3,086) a season ago. The team was in dire need of a receiver with wheels, and that’s exactly what Coleman offers.
First-year Bills offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll, will play a pivotal role in Coleman’s success. If training camp is any indication, the offensive playbook will open up much more under Daboll, something former OC Rick Dennison was criticized for.
It should be intriguing to see how Daboll utilizes his new speedy weapon.
“I know (Daboll’s offense) works. We all know that. Just getting up to speed so it can be easier with him right beside me helping me out,” said Coleman. “He’s doing everything he can to help me succeed.”