Football

Baylor’s Corey Coleman looks the part of NFL receiver

Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman is a first-round prospect for the NFL Draft.
Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman is a first-round prospect for the NFL Draft. AP

Baylor touts itself as Wide Receiver U, but that hasn’t translated to the NFL. Corey Coleman hopes to change that.

Coleman ranks as the second-best receiver in the Class of 2016 behind Mississippi’s Laquon Treadwell and seems a likely first-round choice.

“Corey Coleman is … explosive,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. “He’s probably going to run 4.45; he’s probably going to jump 43 inches. But he’s one of those guys that’s got a completely different gear down the field.”

Coleman won’t run at the NFL Scouting Combine, needing time to heal from the sports hernia surgery he underwent six weeks ago. The 5-foot-10  1/2 , 194-pounder will participate in the bench press and the broad and vertical jumps this weekend.

He will run the 40-yard dash on March 16 at Baylor’s Pro Day.

From high school to college, I had to make adjustments and from college to pro — even if you come from a pro-style offense — you’re going to have to make some adjustments, because not everything’s going to be the same.

Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman

“I started really hitting it hard like a week ago,” Coleman said. “I’m able to run and stuff. I’m going to take these next three weeks until the Pro Day to get into the best shape I can get into, so I can run my best time.”

The Bears have had four receivers drafted since Art Briles arrived in Waco in 2008, including Kendall Wright in the first round in 2012 and Terrance Williams in the third round in 2013.

Wright and Williams have combined for six 100-yard games in seven NFL seasons.

But Coleman, the 2015 Biletnikoff Award winner, looks the part of an NFL receiver more than any Baylor receiver the past eight seasons.

“While explosive in college, the wide-open Baylor offense is mostly half-field reads and unchallenged routes, making it difficult to compare his college film to what he’ll see in the NFL,” CBS draft analyst Dane Brugler said. “It will require a leap of faith for evaluators. But Coleman has the athletic traits and competitive temperament that suggest it’s only a matter of time before he finds success in the NFL.”

Coleman has no doubt he can adjust to the NFL game, learning a full route tree, after what he did at Richardson Pierce High School and then Baylor.

That guy’s tough now. He’ll pull your heart out and watch it stop beating. He is a bad hombre, and he’s a guy that really has a great competitive spirit, has a lot of confidence, and he’s just a person that doesn’t want to be denied.

Baylor coach Art Briles on Corey Coleman

“I came from a high school that ran NFL routes, had an NFL playbook and when I got to Baylor, I had to adjust,” Coleman said. “From high school to college, I had to make adjustments and from college to pro — even if you come from a pro-style offense — you’re going to have to make some adjustments, because not everything’s going to be the same.”

Despite his injury, which was diagnosed before the Oklahoma game, and injuries to Baylor’s three quarterbacks, Coleman still caught 74 passes for 1,363 yards and 20 touchdowns last season. The Bears had seven players take snaps at quarterback after Seth Russell, Jarrett Stidham and Chris Johnson were injured, including three running backs in the Wildcat and a receiver-turned-quarterback.

“It was tough,” Coleman said. “But it was a learning lesson for me, even at the next level when I get drafted. Everything’s not going to go ideally. Our season really ended. We were thinking national championship and then we had the quarterbacks get hurt and adversity. Just got to learn how to deal with it, especially the leaders. The guys were looking at me, being an older guy. I had to show a lot of maturity.”

Coleman hates losing, which helped him win a lot in college. He smiled Thursday when reminded of Briles’ comment about Coleman’s competitiveness.

“He’s just a bad dude, man,” Briles told reporters last season. “That guy’s tough now. He’ll pull your heart out and watch it stop beating. He is a bad hombre, and he’s a guy that really has a great competitive spirit, has a lot of confidence, and he’s just a person that doesn’t want to be denied.”

Charean Williams: 817-390-7760, @NFLCharean

NFL Scouting Combine

8 a.m.-3 p.m. today, NFL Network

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