Tevin Coleman has impressed scouts in his pre-draft workouts, running a blisteringly fast 40-yard dash time of 4.35 seconds. Meanwhile, he also recently revealed that he played most of his 2,000-yard season with a nagging injury. However, Even the most optimistic IU fan realizes that Coleman won't likely be a first-round pick. NFL teams are, in general, shying away from picking running backs too early in the draft. In addition, at least two other running back prospects in Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley are expected to be drafted before Coleman.
Despite this, Coleman has been projected as a late second-rounder in most mock drafts, and scouts from all 32 NFL teams attended his pro day in Bloomington earlier this month. With this in mind, let's project where Coleman will end up when he hears his name called this weekend.
15/1 - Dallas Cowboys
Dallas lost DeMarco Murray to their division rivals this offseason, and his replacement, Darren McFadden, already has a lot of wear and tear, plus is an injury concern. Could this open the door for Coleman to play in the Jerrydome?
Speaking of Dallas, was anyone other than Cowboys fans that upset when the refs bungled the Dez Bryant call to put their season to an end? Yeah, sure it was the wrong call, but after all it was the Cowboys. It's hard to really feel sympathetic for a guy like Jerry Jones, especially when he and the governor of a state that is home to one the Cowboys' biggest rivals are celebrating together in the owner's box.
15/1 - Detroit Lions
SBN Lions blog Pride of Detroit predicted Tevin would go to the Lions with their 54th pick, and it's a pretty good idea for a team whose top RB, Joique Bell, averaged under 4 yards per carry last season. The Lions will need to find a replacement for Ndamukong Suh, but otherwise, they'll likely focus their draft around the offense, which disappointed last season despite having Megatron. Could Coleman give the Lions a spark that they need?
20/1 - Arizona Cardinals
In a very competitive NFC West, the Cardinals surprised a few people by making the playoffs, even after Carson Palmer went down with an ACL tear. However, their running game was inconsistent all season, and Andre Ellington, who led the team with 660 yards, averaged 3.3 yards per carry. Bringing a player aboard like Coleman, who has the potential to break out a huge run at any time, could help Arizona get into the end zone too, as the Cards only had six rushing TDs all of last season.
20/1 - Indianapolis Colts
Tevin staying within the state would be an excellent, feel-good story. But are the Colts as interested in picking Coleman as some of their fans are? As you'll recall, Indy has already signed Frank Gore, plus they'll still have Boom Herron, and Vick Ballard will be coming off injury. Ryan Grigson has never been afraid to make a splash in his tenure as Colts GM, but considering the Colts gave up a first-rounder to acquire Trent Richardson, and we all know how that ended up, I would think he'd be cautious about using another high pick on an RB, and thus might focus on the defensive side of the ball. Regardless, SBN's mock draft had Coleman going to Indy with the 61st pick.
25/1 - San Diego Chargers
The Chargers lost Ryan Mathews to Philly this offseason, and while PFTCommenter may not like to hear this, San Diego cannot build a backfield around Danny Woodhead. Coleman would help San Diego keep pace in a crowded AFC West; however, the team may decide to trade Philip Rivers tonight, which would put them in more of a rebuilding mode. So if that happens, a running back might not be their biggest concern.
35/1 - Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta already has a pretty solid offense centered around Matt Ryan, Roddy White, and Julio Jones. Bringing in a RB like Coleman could make that offense even more potent. However, new coach Dan Quinn was brought in in part to help fix a lackluster defense, so the team's focus may be on that in the draft. In addition, the Falcons have an early pick, so if another team uses their late second-round choice on Coleman, they may miss their chance.
200/1 - New England Patriots
Just stop with this one. Belichick never drafts running backs this early. Ease your mind Colts fans, it's not gonna happen.
30/1 - FIELD
The Eagles already have a bunch of running backs, but nothing Chip Kelly does in the next couple days would surprise me. Denver also has some young RBs, but Hoosiers fans would love seeing Coleman team up again with Cody Latimer. The Dolphins have shown interest in Todd Gurley, so if they don't get him, Coleman could be a fallback option.
Just please, for Coleman's sake, I hope he doesn't end up in Oakland or Washington. Those teams kill players' careers before they even start.