|(Pat Lovell/USA TODAY Sports)|
The Patriots backfield consists of a lot of unproven individuals after LeGarrette Blount, and few have the capabilities to be three down backs. Jonas Gray could emerge as a running mate of Blount's for the inside power run game. Travaris Cadet and/or James White could become their third down back(s), capable of splitting out and catching passes. Tyler Gaffney could return from injury after a year of rehab and learning the offense and show why the Patriots stashed him on IR last year. Brandon Bolden is a special teamer who contributes, if needed to, on offense. Journeyman Dion Lewis will fight for a roster spot. Hence, no clear cut star amongst the current candidates. This is where the draft comes in.
While drafting a RB early has become taboo in New England since Laurence Maroney, this year may be an opportunity to select a quality starter for the years to come. With Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon both possibly going in the 1st round, the 2nd and 3rd rounds present several starting quality RBs. One of these RBs is Indiana's Tevin Coleman.
Weight: 206 lbs
Arm Length: 32”
Hand Size: 8 5/8"
Pro Day Results:
4.39 40 Yard Dash
22 Reps of 225 on Bench
Fred Jackson - Similar size in both backs. Both have the ability to run, catch, and block out of the backfield. Jackson is a bit more of a between the tackles runner than Coleman, but both show functional quickness to turn open space into big gains. Where Jackson came into the NFL after years in indoor football and in Europe, Coleman could very well be an early pick in the 2nd round.
More I watch Tevin Coleman, more I think he'll make major impact in 2015. Upright runner, but crazy explosive. Please land with right team.
— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) April 26, 2015
Can hit another level of speed in the open field. Falls forward when tackled. Rarely gets pushed backwards after contract. Good body control to stay upright. Natural pass catcher out of the backfield. Jump cut allows him to find a hole and burst through it. Good size and frame capable of adding more muscle to be better suited for the inside run game. Will be able to split out and play WR if called upon to do so.
A slow accelerator. Hesitates behind line of scrimmage if a hole doesn't appear early. Won't break many tackles. Oftentimes just puts his head down and falls forward when things get muddled at the line. Had issues with ball control as he goes to the ground - two such fumbles against Michigan.
2nd round. After the speculation of Jay Ajayi's knee being a serious concern, Coleman could very well be the third best running back in the draft for some teams. The Detroit Lions seem to be the hottest team connected to Coleman, having met with him, working him out, and attending his Pro Day. They have a need for a speed back to pair with Joique Bell to form a formidable one-two, thunder-lightning backfield. A dark horse could be the Dallas Cowboys, who have a perfect offense for Coleman to succeed in, with his one cut style matching with their amazing offensive line.
Tevin Coleman (@Teco_Raww): I think I'm the best running back in the draft and I've patterned my game after DeMarco Murray.
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) April 27, 2015
Will the Patriots draft him?
They could, but likely won't get the chance. Some team early in the 2nd round will take Coleman before the Patriots get a chance. He would be an upgrade over what Vereen provided last year, and would fit the Patriots mold of a back who can assist in the three roles of a running back (running, catching, blocking). Unfortunately, his role is currently occupied by Travaris Cadet and/or James White, which could lead the Patriots to not deeming him a need worthy of using a 2nd round pick on.
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