CLEVELAND -- Prior to being held out of the Orange and Brown Scrimmage and missing several practice sessions because of a hamstring injury, Cleveland Browns rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman made a positive impression on his coaches.
Although the rookie rarely shows emotions on the field, the Browns’ first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft sure does make plays, including several catches in the team’s full-contact practice ahead of the Orange and Brown Scrimmage at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
“That’s what he does,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “He’s not doing anything that I’m surprised of. I said it before, that’s why we drafted him. He’s a tremendously talented young man. He’s got some growing to do, so there are some things that he’s got to clean up and continue to get better at. He always finds a way to make a play.
“That’s what you’re looking for in a guy that has the opportunity to score the football like he does. Obviously, in order for him to catch those balls, there is some good protection going on. There is a good ball thrown and he is able to make some plays. He’s just got to continue to do that. That’s something that we’re counting on, but at the same time, there is a whole lot that goes into that.”
Already an impact player within Baylor’s offense heading into the 2015 season, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Coleman set new career bests during the year when he turned 74 catches into 1,363 yards and 20 touchdowns for a Baylor team that won its first eight games last year.
In three seasons with the Bears, Coleman turned 173 catches into 3,009 yards and 33 touchdowns.
And despite his diminutive frame, Coleman has continued to show the coaches his ability to make plays against the Browns’ defensive backs.
“I don’t know that he does something spectacular that separates himself, but he’s just very, very talented,” Jackson said. “He can make contested catches. He has the ability to adjust to the ball in the air. He has the ability to make plays down the field.
“That’s what he did. He’s a fantastic player. I think we all recognize that, but again, he’s still a young player. We’re doing it in practice. I need to see him do it against competition and that’s when we’ll say, ‘Okay, maybe he’s arrived,’ but he’s got a ways to go.”
Coleman has shown a particular connection with Griffin, the quarterback on several of the catches during the Browns’ full-contact practice, and that is something Jackson hopes to continue seeing as the preseason comes to end tonight against the Chicago Bears at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“He knows how to score the football,” Jackson said. “He knows how to get from here to there very fast and get the ball in the end zone. He’s proven that, but he’s got some things to clean up. Again, I don’t want to anoint this young man yet.
“It is way too soon. I’ll be the first to tell you that. Has he shown some very unquestioned ability? Yes, he has. I want to give him that, but at the same time, he knows there are some things I’m expecting him to get cleaned up here real fast in order to be the type of player I think he can be.”