Dealing away Corey Coleman would be a big mistake by the Cleveland Browns organization.
Cleveland Browns beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot started up the rumor mill again last week. At that time, she mentioned that the team would be willing to part with former first round pick WR Corey Coleman.
Selected 15th overall in 2015, Coleman had high expectations thrust upon him. Unfortunately, he has failed to live up to them so far, primarily due to inconsistency and injuries.
Coleman had a prolific college career at Baylor, wining the Biletnikoff award in 2015 as the nation’s best pass catcher. During that season, he hauled in 74 passes for 1,363 yards and 22 touchdowns.
After running a 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds at Baylor’s pro day, Coleman’s stock was secured in the first round. Shortly after, former Browns executive Sashi Brown made him his first draft pick.
Over his first two seasons, Coleman has struggled. He ran an extremely limited route tree at Baylor. Wide receivers usually take a year or two to really adjust to the NFL, but Coleman’s lack of production has been disappointing nonetheless.
Coleman has played in just 19 out of a possible 32 games in his career, totaling 56 catches for 718 yards and 5 touchdowns. While the Browns haven’t had great quarterback play, Coleman is also to blame for his ineffectiveness.
He struggles against press coverage by physical cornerbacks, as he isn’t able to create separation at the line of scrimmage.
Coleman’s biggest issue thus far has been his drops. In 2017, he failed to catch a touchdown too. Speaking of drops, on Cleveland’s final offensive play of the 2017 season, Coleman dropped a 4th down conversion that would have given the Browns a chance to beat the Steelers.
Despite all of that, Coleman was the first WR taken in the 2015 draft for a reason. He is a dynamic athlete and has the quickness and agility to get open. Take for example this play against Jacksonville Jaguars’ CB Jalen Ramsey, one of the NFL’s best defensive backs:
It’s plays like this that made Coleman a top prospect. His potential outweighs the possible return that the Browns would get for him. Unless they are offered a first or second round pick, which is highly unlikely, it would not be worth it to give him up.
Josh Gordon has not played a full season in the NFL since 2012. While he appears to finally be past his drug problems, the Browns will need to wait before they can trust him completely.
If Coleman is traded and Gordon were to be suspended again (knock on wood), the Browns would be left with Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and any combination of Rashard Higgins, Ricardo Louis, Jeff Janis, and Damion Ratley starting at WR. Not exactly a great group.
Callaway has also been plagued by off-field issues and can’t be relied upon just yet. However, his presence should be motivation for Coleman, as Callaway was handpicked by new GM John Dorsey, and was arguably the best WR on the field in the 2018 draft.
Callaway plays a similar role to Coleman, so there will be competition for targets and playing time. Perhaps Coleman needs a challenge in order to reach his potential. If after this season he still hasn’t taken the next step, and both Gordon and Callaway stay out of trouble, then a trade can be explored.
The Browns need offensive play-makers, and although it hasn’t happened yet, Coleman has the potential to be a very good WR. Trading him now doesn’t make sense, as the possibility of him improving is much more valuable than a mid-round pick.
If he can stay healthy, Coleman should finally start playing like the dynamic weapon he was drafted to be.