Thanks to the Texans' aggressive and successful (at least in terms of signing players; time will tell if they were wise moves or not) strategy in free agency, many draftniks have begun speculating that Houston may target a wide receiver with their first round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Often, that has resulted in mock drafters honing in on a potential match between the Texans and Baylor's Corey Coleman.
Some fans, however, aren't convinced that Coleman's skills will translate to the NFL. Based on this ESPN (Insider) article, don't count Football Outsiders' Nathan Forster among the nonbelievers. Using FO's "Playmaker Score," Forster says that not only is Corey Coleman the best wide receiving prospect in this year's draft, but that Coleman's also comparable as a prospect to none other than DeAndre Hopkins.
First, here's how FO calculates "Playmaker Score":
Playmaker Score is based on a statistical analysis of all of the FBS wide receivers drafted from 1996 to 2013, and measures the following:
• The wide receiver's projected draft position. These projections use the rankings from ESPN's Scouts Inc.
• The wide receiver prospect's peak season for receiving yards per team attempt (i.e., a wide receiver with 1,000 receiving yards whose team passed 400 times would score a 2.5)
• The wide receiver prospect's peak season for receiving touchdowns per team attempt
• The difference between the prospect's peak season for receiving touchdowns per team attempt and the prospect's most recent season for receiving touchdowns per team attempt (this factor is simply zero for a player whose peak season was his most recent season)
• The wide receiver's vertical jump from pre-draft workouts
• A variable that rewards players who enter the draft as underclassmen and punishes those who exhaust their college eligibility
• The wide receiver's college career yards per reception
• The wide receiver's rushing attempts per game during his peak season for receiving yards per team attempt.
With regard to projecting Coleman as a NFL wide receiver prospect, Forster writes:
1. Corey Coleman, Baylor: 709 yards/season
Scouts Inc.: No. 43 overall
Similar historical prospects: DeAndre Hopkins, Steve Smith
Coleman has a monster projection. As a junior, Coleman gained 1,363 receiving yards and caught an eye-popping 20 receiving touchdowns. Because Baylor passed the ball only 389 times in 2016, Coleman scored a touchdown on 5.1 percent of Baylor's passes. That's an incredible ratio, which has been topped by only four elite players: Randy Moss, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, and Larry Fitzgerald. Coleman also tested out well physically, posting a position-best 40.5-inch vertical jump at the NFL combine.
Notwithstanding these numbers, there are certainly legitimate concerns regarding Coleman's ability to transition to the NFL level. Baylor coach Art Briles' innovative offense may have inflated the WR's stats, and Coleman did not run a full route tree at Baylor. Nevertheless, Coleman's upside and potential are well worth the price of a first-round selection.
Does that analysis make you more comfortable with the idea of the Texans drafting the Baylor wideout in the latter half of the first round? Were you already all about Coleman becoming a Houston Texan before this? Or are you unmoved and would prefer the Texans stay away from Corey Coleman? Discuss as you see fit below.