Breakdown: Falcons Select Tevin Coleman

Everything you need to know about the Atlanta Falcons' third-round selection of running back Tevin Coleman out of Indiana from Scout's college and pro football experts.

Awaiting Image
Tevin Coleman
Indiana / 5'11 / 206 lbs
  • RB
  • [3] #9


Coleman was the Hoosier workhorse, carrying the ball 452 times for 3,215 yards in 32 games. He averaged over seven yards per attempt and scored 28 touchdowns. He was also very effective out of the backfield as a receiver, catching 54 passes for 383 yards. In 2014 Coleman set a school record with 2,036 rushing yards. He has good size (5-11/206) and has average test speed but he shows explosiveness on the field. Coleman has quickness and knows how to stay on his feet. He runs with good balance and is very elusive. Coleman had surgery in December to repair a foot and toe injury. We will see if that affects his draft stock.

Dave-Te' Thomas Player Evaluation

Report from NFL Scouting Services' Dave-Te' Thomas:

Tevin Coleman has valid burst and explosion off the snap. He is a finesse-type of runner who is physical enough to move the pile, and has adequate strength to beat the press in passing situations. He shows above average vision and is a patient runner who waits for blocks to develop. He can stick his foot in the ground and explode laterally, showing an explosive vertical burst when changing direction.

Coleman lacks blazing speed, but thanks to his track “pedigree,” he has very good stop-&-go quickness, along with the in-line acceleration to race up the rush lanes. He is a shifty type with outstanding feet, doing a nice job of avoiding low tackles on the move. He has the timed speed to take the ball long distances and runs with good balance. His ability to take the ball “to the house” saw the ball carrier lead the nation in 30- (nine), 40- (eight), 50- (six) and 60-yard (five) gains in 2014, and he tallied ten touchdown jaunts for at least 20 yards, second-best in college.

Coleman attacks the rush lanes with above average explosion and has the pull-away ability to leave even speedy cornerbacks grabbing at air. He gets to top speed in an instant and has good ability to create separation, thanks to his stiff-arm skills and burst. He has very good vision to recognize coverage and avoid angles. He stays low in his pads and has the ability to cut on a dime. He easily separates the moment he gets a crease and few defenders have the ability to chase him once he gets behind his opponent. He excels at setting up his blocks, especially when operating in space.

Coleman is never going to be a pile mover, as he needs to improve his lower frame power and develop the leg-drive to do so. If he tries to get too fancy dancing around holes, he will be captured by a physical defender. With his balance and vision, he has to continue sifting through traffic rather than try to overpower the defense. He does not go down easily, but is just not built for a runner that can consistently handle short yardage situations. He does run with enough strength to push off a few defenders, thanks to an improved stiff arm, but just not the type that can get consistent leverage.

While the Hoosier system did not require their running backs to be involved much in the passing game, Coleman showed enough in 2014 to convince scouts that he can be an option coming out of the backfield with equal success getting into his routes. He shows good hands and vision to look the ball in outside his frame. He does go through stretches where his concentration lapses and his drops result when he short-arms the ball or loses sight of it when he hears the thunder of a linebacker closing on him. He makes good effort to adjust when utilized on screens and does a nice job of working back when the pocket is pressured.

Coleman lacks raw power, but demonstrates a good concept for angling when blocking in the second level and knows how to throw a punch and deliver a shoulder when chipping vs. first level types. He will show good knee bend and pop in pass protection, but if he exposes his body, a defender can quickly push him back into the pocket. As a return man, he follows his blocks well, showing enough burst and balance to take the ball to the house. He shows sure hands fielding the ball and good weave to escape from the crowd.

What could hinder Coleman’s draft stock is the 2014 postseason. He needs to show teams that he is fully recovered from December 2014 surgery that was required to repair toe and foot problems. He had to get around on crutches and unless he is prepared for agility tests at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine and Indiana’s Pro Day, he will have to rely upon game film to show teams his “body of work.”

NFL Scouting Combine measurables
5-11/206 (4.6 forty)
32-inch arm length
8 5/8 inch hands

Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.


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