We all have a Fantasy dilemma once in a while, and one of those for this year is would you rather draft Corey Coleman or Kevin White.
Corey Coleman comes into 2016 as one of the most interesting rookie wide receivers. He plays on a Cleveland Browns team that is desperate for pass catchers and could potentially be a very productive player.
Kevin White, of the Chicago Bears, comes into 2016 as one of the most disappointing rookie wide receivers of 2015. He did not play a single snap his rookie season due to injury, and looks to carve out a role behind fellow wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
Coleman is riding high off his best season at Baylor last year where he continually scorched defenses. However, this is the NFL, and he will need some time to adjust to more complex defenses. Potentially having Josh Gordon playing opposite him should help Coleman.
White came into the NFL coming off a stellar final season at West Virginia and looked to fit right into a dynamic high flying offense. Due to injury, his debut was delayed and now looks to prove that he can dominate in the NFL.
With both players hovering around the 100 ADP spot, White looks to have the slight advantage at first glance.
Draft Corey Coleman or Kevin White?
Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns
- 2015 (Baylor): 12 GP, 74 receptions, 1,363 receiving yards, 20 touchdowns.
Kevin White, Chicago Bears
- 2014 (West Virginia): 13 GP, 109 receptions, 1,447 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns
Coleman wins the eye test here as his touchdown total doubles White’s. That may have something to do with how explosive Baylor’s offense was, but more on that in a few paragraphs.
White caught almost everything thrown his way, as he amassed a plethora (phew big word there Robert) of catches and hovered right around 13 yards per catch, while Coleman was around 18 yards per catch.
Right off the bat it would be easy to look at the numbers and say that Coleman has the upside edge. While the numbers never lie, they do not always tell the full story.
If you break down Coleman’s 2015 season, he faced one Top 50 defense all season. That was Oklahoma, who ranked 39th in the nation, and he underwhelmed in that game by recording only three catches for 51 yards.
Coleman would struggle against “top” defenses. Against TCU (63rd ranked defense) he managed one reception for eight yards. Against the 99th ranked Oklahoma State defense, he had five catches for 77 yards.
He did have a redemption game against West Virginia and their 61st ranked defense, torching them for 199 yards on 10 catches and three touchdowns. Save for that one game, all of his production came against very weak defenses.
White, on the other hand, mostly shined against top defenses. Against Alabama (12th), Texas (26th), and Oklahoma 52nd), he topped 100 yards each game. He only failed to score against Texas, but caught 16 passes for 132 yards. He shined against top competition, where Coleman failed. It should be noted that White did struggle against TCU (18th), only posting three catches for 28 yards.
There is no guarantee that White’s clutch factor, and Coleman’s lack thereof will carry over into the pro game, but White gets a distinct advantage here.
Figuring out just how their games will translate starts with their quarterback. The man under center must be able to get them the ball. Jay Cutler and Robert Griffin III have been two of the most mercurial quarterbacks in recent memory.
Luckily for White and Coleman, their quarterbacks fit what they do well. Coleman has the blazing speed to take the top off any defense and Griffin has the arm to get him the ball. During Griffin’s rookie season, which I will use because that was his last full healthy season, he averaged 8.14 yards per pass attempt. That means he likes to put the ball downfield.
Add in Griffin’s ability to scramble, if healthy, and Coleman could have plenty of opportunities to go deep downfield. Coleman could struggle learning an NFL route tree. Of his 116 targets last season, 76 of them were on either go routes or hitches.
No receiver in the NFL will get away with running just two routes. Expect Coleman to struggle grasping the offense early on.
White has the benefit of being able to learn his offense given he was sidelined for his rookie season so he should not have much issue sliding into the No. 2 receiver spot. Having Cutler under center could help or hurt depending on the game. But Cutler has a cannon of an arm and should be able to find White on some deep balls.
In his 2014 season, White had 15 receptions for 543 yards and seven touchdowns on balls that traveled 20 or more yards in the air. With defenses keying in on Alshon Jeffrey, this should give White plenty of one-on-one chances to go deep.
White, given that he stays healthy, should give the Bears a very dynamic young duo.
The simple answer is to go with Kevin White. Coleman needs too many things to go right to do well this year. He needs Griffin and Gordon to return to form and pick up a more complex route tree. Even if all that happens, there is a very small chance the Browns will have a good enough offense for him to produce.
White, on the other hand, has a great opportunity with the Bears. He has a quarterback who can get him the ball, a proven receiver in Alshon Jeffery across from him, and he fits in an offense that is young and explosive. Coleman and White are both risky picks, but White has the far better upside of the two.
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