The Browns selected Corey Coleman with the No. 15 overall pick of the 2016 draft in part due to his elite combination of athleticism (97th-percentile SPARQ score) and collegiate production (3,173 scrimmage yards and 35 all-purpose touchdowns in 34 games). But Coleman’s ensuing two years with the Browns consisted of more broken hands (2) than games with over 100 yards (1). He was mercifully traded to the Bills for a 2020 seventh-round pick less than a month ago.
The Bills, however, have decided that, even though they have perhaps the worst wide receiver unit in the league, Coleman doesn’t fit into their 2018 plans. On Saturday, the Bills released the 24-year-old as part of the team’s final roster cuts. There have been more than a few first-round busts at the receiver position over the past 25 years, but Coleman finds himself in rarefied territory after just two seasons.
How Bad Has Corey Coleman Played?
Coleman has statistically struggled to separate himself in two seasons compared to the other 97 first-round receivers drafted since 1993.
- Receptions: 56 (T-67th)
- Yards: 718 (68th)
- Yards per game: 37.8 (T-53rd)
- TDs: 5 (T-55th)
- Catch percentage: 42.7 (91st)
- Yards per catch: 12.8 (70th)
- Yards per target: 5.5 (90th)
Coleman’s counting stats are hindered by his 13 missed games, but his putrid catch rate and average yards per target reflect his general ineffectiveness. He’s objectively been a below-average receiver since entering the league, and #bad might be a more fair descriptor considering his draft pedigree.
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Just How Quickly Did the Browns and Bills Give Up on Coleman?
Coleman is far from the least-productive first-round receiver ever: A.J. Jenkins, Breshad Perriman and Phillip Dorsett were each traded or cut prior to their fourth seasons and were still less productive than Coleman. However, many recent first-round busts have been drafted in the back half of the round.
The former Browns and Bills receiver is truly in selective company when we consider only top-15 picks.
Coleman is just the second top-15 receiver drafted in the past 25 years not to make it to his third season with his original team.
The other receiver? Mike Williams. Not that Mike Williams.
The original Williams was inexplicably drafted by the Lions with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2005 draft after he sat out his junior year and after they had already spent top-10 picks the previous two seasons on wide receivers Roy Williams and Charles Rogers. The former University of South California star looked the part of a No. 1 receiver (6-feet-5 and 230 pounds), but he ultimately played just 22 games in a Lions uniform before being released prior to the 2007 season.
Williams would later play three additional uneventful seasons with the Titans, Raiders and Seahawks, but he was never able to erase his status as a first-round bust.
Needless to say, Coleman’s career outlook seems bleak as he enters his third season in the league. About the only thing Coleman truthers can still hold onto is his career splits with and without quarterback Josh McCown.
- With McCown (4 games): 13.2 fantasy points per game, 3.8 receptions, 49.5 yards, 0.8 TDs
- Without McCown (15 games): 7.1 fantasy points per game, 2.7 receptions, 34.7 yards, 0.1 TDs
Coleman is too talented not to get another shot with another wide receiver-needy team (Dallas? New England?), but he’ll need to master the nuances of the receiver position and prove capable of being more than an injury-prone athlete if he hopes to escape the ignominious fate that befell Williams.
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Pictured: Corey Coleman