While there is always going to be mystery when it comes to the NFL Draft, over the years the Dallas Cowboys have done their fans a bit of a favor and tipped their hands so to speak. Not only have they (not once, but twice) given us a look at their draft boards after that year’s draft was completed, but in their actions they’ve also alerted us to some key tells about their actions. In our must-read post from earlier in the off-season “< ahref= “http://dal.scout.com/story/1501993-cowboys-six-draft-tendencies-and-tells?s=112” target=”_blank”>6 Draft Tendencies and Tells” we listed the following:
This is by no means an end-all be-all list. Morris Claiborne wasn’t invited to the Ranch, and Dallas spend two picks to acquire him. Maybe the lack of development their helped guide their hand recently, as eight of their picks over the last two years were in for official visits. In that vein, we’ll be bringing you in-depth looks at the draft candidates that Dallas schedules for visits, so that you can be better informed about the small sample size many of the next group of Cowboys will likely come from.
Name: Tevin Coleman Position: Running Back School: Indiana Height: 5’11” Weight: 206 LBs Intangibles/Honors: Team Captain - 2014 Doak Walker Award Finalist – 2014 Maxwell Award Semi-Finalist - 2014 Unanimous First Team All-American (Consensus) – 2014 First Team All Big-Ten (Consensus) – 2014 Honorable Mention All Big-Ten (consensus) – 2013 pSparq Score: Did not participate in athletic testing at the combine due to injury. pSparq is an approximation of the “Sparq Score” metric invented by NIKE (with the help of former USC and current Seattle Seahawks Head Coach, Pete Carroll), designed as a way to standardize athletic testing of High School athletes and interpret their athleticism with a sport specific formula. For more on pSparq,(and the man behind the math Zach Whitman) check out 3sigmaathlete.com
Measurables vs others at his position:
Games Studied: Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan , Indiana State Run Game: When you study Tevin Coleman’s game, the first thing you notice is the number of huge explosive plays he makes, when he gets daylight he’s a touchdown waiting to happen. In open space he has the speed to mess up defenders pursuit angles. In Indiana’s scheme most of his runs are straight ahead type runs out of the shotgun, however occasionally you’ll see him get to line up directly behind the QB and take a hand off on a zone carry, and he definitely has what it takes to succeed in the zone scheme as well. He does look a little awkward getting through the hole on these one-cut type runs, as it looks as though he’s attempting to make himself very small, including a very narrow base which causes him to go down on initial contact in the hole rather often. I believe he does this in order to try to fit through the tiniest of cracks, which he is restricted to more often than not, as his offensive line was over matched physically in every conference game they played. However as he clears the hole he quickly gets up to full speed and runs away from defensive backs multiple times on Ohio State’s speedy defense. When he’s in the open field he plays with a much sturdier base, and runs through plenty of arm tackles, and has a quality stiff arm, making him a tough guy to bring down in space, as shown by his impressive average of 3.2 yards after contact in 2014. Although he was a definite home run hitter for Indiana, he was also very good avoiding tackles for loss, and turning plays blocked for zero yards into 3 to 4 yard runs. Pass Game: Indiana was extremely limited at the QB position, especially after junior starter Nate Sudfield went down after 7 games with an injury. As a team the Hoosiers only completed 168 passes, with Coleman coming second on the team with 25 catches. Although he wasn’t asked to block or catch too often, he showed the ability to catch the ball naturally, as well as diagnose a pressure look and pick out his man, with the willingness to be physical in protection.
Conclusion/Cowboys Projection: In my mind, Tevin Coleman is a very good fit for the Cowboys offense. While he is not the lateral athlete that some of the other backs in this class are, he is very similar to former Cowboy DeMarco Murray in that area, and at times runs like a Murray clone, with the finishing speed to turn some of those 15-20 yard runs from the last few years into 50 or 60 yard touchdowns. He is a very high quality player who would step into the #1 running back spot in Dallas’ stable and produce as a chain mover and a touchdown waiting to happen. Should the Cowboys not get a running back with the 27th pick, I would view Coleman as candidate #1 for the 60th pick, and an immediate upgrade to the running game, giving it an explosive element it lacked in years prior.