Scouting Report: CB Duane Coleman

He wasn't drafted and he's already been cut by the Bills, but Coleman has some undeniable skills. He's a natural-born Cover-2 corner with pro-style tackling ability, a mean streak and good ball skills. He's only been playing the position for two years, so he's raw, and he brings some other baggage, but this kid is worth more than outward appearances.

Duane Coleman CB

Numbers: 5110/199, 4.47 combine/4.42 pro day forty, 2.62/2.56 twenty, 1.53/1.52 ten, 18 reps, 35.5/38 vertical, 10'0/10'1 long, 4.51 shuttle, 7.18 cone

2006 stats: 59 tackles, 22 assists, 2-2 tackle for loss, 1-1 sack, 1-6-0 interceptions, 2 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles, 3-9-0 fumble recoveries, 11 special-teams tackles

The Player: A converted halfback (he was the leading rusher on Clemson's 9-4 2003 team), Coleman is a strong, stocky athlete with excellent change-of-direction skills. But since he's only been playing corner since his junior year, much of the nuance of the position continues to elude him. Still, he is an outstanding tackler and a tough chuckmaster. Coleman also has great heads-up ball skills — not only can he separate the ball from the carrier, but he can scoop it up and run with it. He has good leaping ability, and his hips are smooth enough for a tidy transition, but his deep speed, while decent, is nothing special.

(Getty Images)
While he has all the tools, he has yet to truly put them together. He too often makes mistakes in coverage and is not great in recovery. He falls for play-fakes and double moves even more often than you'd expect.

There's been some controversy about Coleman's character, mostly because he was arrested with a good-sized amount of marijuana and was suspended by the team. But he did manage to get his degree while being a huge part of the Tigers' program and has done everything the team has asked him, even when it didn't necessarily seem to be in his best interest.

Reminds me of: Coleman has a long way to go before he's as good as Jason Craft, but he has a very similar style of play.

How he fits: In workouts, Coleman looks like a prototypical Cover-2 corner, But there's plenty of video tape that argues against his NFL readiness. The marijuana arrest can't be ignored, and the fact that he's been cut by the Bills weeks before the preseason started doesn't exactly stand him in good stead. One could argue that Coleman is only holding a spot warm until Tim Jennings heals and Daymeion Hughes and Michael Coe decide to sign, but I think he's more talented than that. If he shows any improvement in recognition and a good attitude, he could make a very strong case for the practice squad, or even the roster if injuries hit or the rooks hold out.


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