Today we preview a prolific college running back from the run-crazy Big 10 Conference. This highly accomplished runner also has kickoff-return experience which would be attractive to the running-back-starved Packers.
Packers Player Profile: Tevin Coleman, RB Indiana University
Player information: 5’ 11”, 206 lbs. Junior
Hometown: Oak Forest, Ill
NFL Combine Stats
40 Yard Dash: ** previous 4.52 seconds, would be tied for 6th among running backs (along with Melvin Gordon)
Vertical Jump: ** ”, among running backs.
Broad Jump: **”, among running backs.
225# Bench: 22, tied for 11th among running backs.
** A foot injury which resulted in surgery prevented him from competing at the combine. His pro day is April 15.
Compares to pros: Darren McFadden, DeMarco Murray
Projected Draft Position: Rounds two – four.
Strengths: Great burst and drive. An accomplished back: A first-team All-American as well as first-team All-Big Ten and Doak Walker (nation’s top RB) finalist. Willing and mostly effective pass blocker. Good vision. Adequate to above-average pass catcher out of the backfield but was not asked to line-up wide. Squares to the hole and shows great burst and exceptional one-cut ability. Has the frame to add more bulk.
Weaknesses: Hits the hole with violence, and lacks patience which might worry some teams regarding his longevity. Not a patient runner. Had ball security issues. Tends to go down after first contact, needs to find ways to avoid initial contact and make more out of the play. Listed on many web sites as 6’ 1”, Coleman is actually a few inches shy of that mark. Coming off foot surgery.
Coleman has good size for the pro game. Despite being on a less-than-powerhouse Indiana Hoosiers team he averaged 7.5 yards per carry for 2,036 yards with 15 touchdowns. The junior also caught 25 receptions for 141 yards. He was only the 3rd running back in Big 10 Conference History to record 2000 rushing yards – the others were Melvin Gordon and Larry Johnson. Averaged 23.0 yards per kickoff return his first two years with the Hoosiers, but did not return kicks at all in 2014. He was known for his breakaway speed with home run potential any time he touches on the ball. Led the country with eight 60-yard runs in 2014. Was seventh in the 2014 Heisman voting.
What they are saying about him: Former Chicago Bears director of college scouting believes that Coleman is the #1 running back prospect in this year’s draft. Although we do not concur with Gabriel’s assessment here is what he had to say about Coleman:
“My thinking is that if Coleman played behind the Wisconsin line he may have run for over 2500 yards. As it was, he ran for 2036 yards, a 7.5 average per carry, 15 touchdowns and 25 receptions,” Gabriel wrote. “Coleman has a complete game. He can run with power between the tackles, is creative, and consistently gets yards after contact. He has the speed to turn the corner and is elusive in the open field. As a receiver, he is very reliable, runs good routes and has very good hands. Add to that the fact that he can already pass protect and is a dangerous kickoff returner.”
NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock ranks Coleman as the fifth-best back in the draft and a potential Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) pick (Following Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley, Ameer Abdullah and Duke Johnson in order).
What the Packers See: A solid all-around running back who needs refinement and coaching to bring his game to the next level, but could one day become a solid three down back. Coleman has college experience returning kicks, something the Packers have a desperate need for. Versatile: returned punts in high school and was also used as a wide receiver and DB. A very high character, religious individual nicknamed “The Rock” for his beliefs and leadership. A lot rides on a medical check of his surgically repaired foot and the results of his pro day. If healthy you could see the Packers jump on Coleman on day two of the draft.——————
Jeff Albrecht grew up just north of Green Bay and was lucky enough to attend some of the Lombardi Era classic games, like the 1962 championship and the Ice Bowl. Jeff went on to play HS football in the Green Bay area and College ball at UW - Stevens Point. Jeff is retired but still does some writing for his local paper. Jeff is a writer with AllGreenBayPackers.com and you can follow him on twitter at @pointerjeff .