Outside of TY Hilton, the Indianapolis Colts are looking for a player to step up as the No. 2 and No. 3 receiver.
With that in mind, the recent release of cut players will give Chris Ballard and the Colts some options — if they so choose to make another upgrade at the spot. Indianapolis has already made one upgrade at wide receiver, signing Marcus Johnson from the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson is familiar with Frank Reich’s system after spending time with him in Philadelphia.
Here is another option if Indianapolis wants to find another weapon.
While the Cleveland Browns traded the former first-round draft pick to the Buffalo Bills, Coleman showed glimpses of his potential. In two years with the Browns, Coleman hauled in 56 catches for 718 yards — good for an average of 12.8 yards per grab.
There’s a reason the Browns made Coleman a high draft pick in 2015. In his final year with the Baylor Bears, he tallied 74 catches for over 1,300 yards and 20 touchdowns. Coleman did that while averaging 18.4 yards per catch.
From Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, here was the scouting report on Coleman heading into the 2016 NFL Draft:
“With excellent burst, Coleman can quickly get into his route, but he’s also able to make plays after the catch. There he averaged 7.7 yards with the ball in his hands and showed the lateral agility to juke defenders and the acceleration to leave a beaten cornerback in his dust.
Coleman is super fast, but he’s a controlled route-runner who can be slippery at the line of scrimmage to beat press coverage. He adjusts well to the ball in the air and is great on over-the-shoulder plays. Lining up always on the left side of the Baylor offense, Coleman was used both down the field and on shorter routes. He’s excelled at both thanks to his speed, footwork and body control.”
The Colts are in the rebuilding stage of their roster, which is understandable after hiring a new general manager two years ago and a new head coach under a year ago.
But Andrew Luck is going to turn 29 years of age this season. Outside of punter and kicker, quarterbacks are playing longer than ever — see Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers for example. But if Luck is expected to play until he’s upper 30s, that means the window is open now for Indianapolis, and that means Ballard needs to take chances on players who have a high ceiling with the right coaching.
Another reason the Colts should consider Coleman is the fact Frank Reich played a role in an offense that helped Nelson Agholor flourish in his third year — catching 62 passes for nearly 800 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Coleman, under Reich, has that same potential. It’s time to throw a hail mary.