BEREA, OHIO— The smile on Hue Jackson’s face made clear the direction of the Browns all along.
Having just selected Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman with the No. 15 overall selection after trading back from both the No. 2 and No. 8 picks, Cleveland's head coach was asked how much he wanted the Browns to take a wide receiver.
“As fast as I could get one,” Jackson said, to a chorus of laughter. “And, obviously, one that runs really fast and knows how to score touchdowns. That’s what this guy can do for us.”
Jackson was thrilled to have gotten a receiver, but he wasn't desperate enough to have wanted just any pass catcher.
Rather, he wanted Coleman, who was the top target for the Browns at No. 15 and who was selected after the team was able to acquire another third-round selection in 2016.
“It is rare that you are able to pick up the first wide receiver on your board and acquire the number of additional picks that we had,” Browns Executive VP of Football Operations Sashi Brown said. “We are really pleased with our ability to execute that plan.”
Browns Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta backed Brown in his assertion that the plan throughout the process was to nab Coleman amidst the first round.
“Corey is a guy that I think we’ve had in our sights for a while,” DePodesta said. “We felt like if the right opportunity presented itself to move in the middle of the first round where we felt like we could get him and pick up really value for doing that, then that’s something we would do.”
It’s obvious from the comments above that the Browns wanted Coleman, but each of the aforementioned staffers had a different reason as to why the Baylor product was the guy.
For Jackson, it was all about Coleman’s ability to score.
“Touchdowns. He scores touchdowns,” Jackson said. “The guy, he can light it up from anywhere on the field, like I said, by catching it and running with it. He has the ability to score the ball, and that’s something we need to improve on.”
Brown, on the other hand, felt that Coleman’s ability to play like a big wide receiver, despite his 5’11 frame, separated him from the pack.
“We felt that Corey, coming out early, a younger player, still has a lot to develop as a receiver but brings some dimensions that you know you just can’t develop in terms of his speed, his ability to attack the ball in the air for a smaller receiver who does not play to his size,” Brown said. “He plays above his size."
Finally, VP of Player Personnel Andrew Berry was enamored with Coleman's speed and agility, which put him atop the list.
“We are excited to add a player who has elite speed, elite separation ability and great athleticism, has been super productive throughout his college career,” Berry said. “We think he can add that super dynamic, big play element to our offense.”
No matter the reason for his spot atop the Browns’ draft board, the sentiments surrounding Coleman were shared.
At a position of need and in a place of value, Coleman was the right selection for everyone in the draft room.
“We’re really excited to bring him here and make him a Cleveland Brown,” Brown said.
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