With the return of Josh Gordon and the trade for Jarvis Landry and the drafting of Antonio Callaway, the Browns suddenly have a crowded room at the receiver position. Does that make 2016 first-rounder Corey Coleman the odd man out? Perhaps.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer suggests that the Browns would trade Coleman, if the Browns receive a “decent offer.”
It’s unclear what that precisely means, but whoever gets Coleman would be banking on him playing much better than he has in two NFL seasons. Injuries (a pair of broken hands) have been an issue, and Coleman has only 718 career receiving yards in 19 career regular-season games. The question becomes whether he can be more durable, and whether he can do more when he plays.
If Coleman washes out of Cleveland, he’d become the latest failed first-round receiver in an eye-opening list of them. After Julio Jones and A.J. Green arrived in 2011 (Jonathan Baldwin was the first-round bust that year), round one has produced more than a few receivers who failed to live up to their potential. In 2012, Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright, and A.J. Jenkins didn’t work out. In 2013, Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson became more bust than boom. (DeAndre Hopkins turned out OK.) In 2015, Kevin White, DeVante Parker (who has yet to break out), Nelson Agholor, Breshad Perriman, and Phillip Dorsett eventually underachieved. (Amari Cooper was the exception.)The 2016 class of Coleman, Will Fuller (1,058 total yards in two seasons, so not really a bust), Josh Doctson, and Laquon Treadwell have been uninspiring, at best. In 2017, Corey Davis, Mike Williams, and John Ross failed to overwhelm as rookies.
Of course, 2014 provided a major exception to the trend, with Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandin Cooks, and Kelvin Benjamin each performing at a high level, even through three of them were traded, with one traded twice.
As it relates to Coleman, the change of scenery that would come from a trade could be a welcome development. And so we’ll see whether the Browns get a “decent offer” for his services at some point before training camps open.
Based on Coleman’s first two years, a “decent offer” could be the Browns giving another team a draft pick to take his remaining guaranteed money off the books.