New York Giants wide receiver Corey Coleman could have a breakout year if he stays out of the medical tent.
Jones showed pinpoint accuracy and developed a rapport with receivers Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and young wideout Darius Slayton. But there’s one individual within that position group not earning much attention, and that’s Corey Coleman.
The 25-year-old is the only Giants receiver on the roster who was a first-round draft pick. The Cleveland Browns chose him at No. 15 overall in 2016 after he underwent a stellar collegiate career at the University of Baylor. Upon him running an impressive 4.37 40-yard dash at his pro day, many believe Coleman would have an immediate impact as a rookie.
But a broken hand limited him to just 10 games his first year. During that campaign, he notched 33 receptions for 413 yards and three touchdowns. The Browns had a carousel at the quarterback position that season consisting of Cody Kessler, Josh McCown, and Robert Griffin III.
Another broken hand in 2017 that required surgery limited him to just nine appearances. He ultimately finished that year with 23 receptions for 305 yards and two scores.
Coleman’s tenure with the Browns would come to an end in August 2018 when he voiced his displeasure about not receiving reps with the first-team offense on an episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” After he demanded a trade, the Browns dealt him to the Buffalo Bills for a 2020 seventh-round pick. Nonetheless, the Bills would release Coleman before the start of the regular season. The New England Patriots would then sign him on Sept. 11, cut him just days later, and then re-sign him to the practice squad on Sept. 20 before releasing him again on Sept. 29.
With his career teetering, the Giants signed him in October of that year. He appeared in eight games for Big Blue but was primarily used as a kickoff returner, catching just five passes for 71 yards.
The Giants brought him back in 2019 on a restricted free agent tender. The belief was that with a full training camp, he would finally flourish and live up to his first-round status. A torn ACL on the first day of training camp concluded his campaign though.
To say Coleman has had bad luck would be a huge understatement. With just 61 career receptions for 789 yards and five touchdowns, some have labeled him an injury-prone bust.
But the Giants obviously carry faith in him considering they re-signed him to a one-year deal in March. Coleman turns 26 in July and probably realizes this could be his last chance to make an impact.
Coleman has potential, but he’ll be competing with other talented receivers such as Cody Core, Da’Mari Scott, Binjimen Victor, and Alex Bachman in order to win a roster spot. His kick-returning abilities bode well for him, but he’s far from a lock to make the team.
If he can earn a spot on the final roster and stay consistently healthy for the first time in his NFL career, Coleman can be what the Giants passing attack needs: another receiver other than Slayton who can make plays on the outside and win the one-on-one matchups downfield.
If Coleman can display the talent that made him a first-round selection, the receiving corps will become one of the strengths on this team.