In this series, he produces his all-Senior Bowl mock Packers draft. Opinions are based on his observations, and conversations with Scout.com draft analyst Chris Steuber and league scouts who were in Mobile.
After selecting punter Matt Dodge in the seventh round, the Packers are back on the clock ...
Sixth round: Harry Coleman, S, LSU
Coleman's nickname is "Hitman," and you could see why in Mobile.
Coleman, who moved from safety to linebacker during spring practices entering his senior season, was voted LSU's defensive MVP. The 6-foot-1, 206-pounder finished third on the team in tackles and second in tackles for losses (nine) and sacks (four). His best game as a senior came against Auburn, when he tallied nine tackles, two sacks, 2.5 tackles for losses and two forced fumbles.
It's easy to see why the LSU coaching staff liked Coleman as a linebacker. During Senior Bowl practices, Coleman was at his most comfortable when attacking from the secondary or simply lining up as an in-the-box safety.
"Coleman is an athletic, physical specimen who plays with intensity," Steuber said. "He has great speed, a solid burst and is a sure tackler. He's aggressive and is always looking to make a big hit. He plays with a high motor and is strong in the box. He has great value on special teams."
While starting 13 games at safety as a junior, Coleman ranked second on the team with seven pass breakups. To make it in the NFL — and possibly challenge incumbent Atari Bigby — Coleman will have to regain his coverage skills.
Behind starters Nick Collins and Bigby — both of whom are restricted free agents — the depth at safety is negligible. Derrick Martin brought attitude and big-time production on special teams but bombed in his significant playing time at safety. Matt Giordano added nothing on defense or special teams as a midseason pickup. While neither Anthony Smith nor Aaron Rouse were dependable, they were a step ahead of Martin and Giordano on defense.
So, the Packers need to add a safety, and the athletic and aggressive Coleman would get a year to learn the ropes behind the starters while being an immediate hit on special teams.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.