(Editor's Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held April 30-May 2, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today's featured player is Indiana running back Tevin Coleman.)
Name: Tevin Coleman
Position: Running Back
Height/Weight: 5-11 / 206
Honors: A finalist for the Doak Walker and Maxwell Award, Coleman finished seventh in the 2014 Heisman Trophy voting. His 2,036 rushing yards in 2014 is the 15th-highest nationally, and the third-most in Big Ten history behind only Larry Johnson and Melvin Gordon.
Key stat:Coleman became the 18th player in FBS history to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season. His average of 169.7 yards per game ranked higher than 70 of the 125 teams in FBS.
Where He's Projected:While most draft analysts have Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon (in that order) as the top two running backs in the draft and both figured to be in the first round, Coleman is being slotted in the next tier of backs. He's arguably the best of the bunch and could be a high second-round pick, if not a late first. The Cowboys probably couldn't get Coleman at No. 60 in the second round. He seems more realistic at No. 27, although that could be a bit high. If the Cowboys wanted Coleman, the best option would likely be to trade down in the first round and get into the second, to add picks and still get a back that could fill their needs.
How He Helps the Cowboys:Some draft experts will say Coleman is the closest thing to DeMarco Murray in this entire draft. He's a complete back who will get the tough yards but will also break off the long runs. While Murray finished 12 of 16 regular-season games with 100 rushing yards, of his 28 career touchdowns, 14 of them have come from 43 yards or more. Eight of this touchdowns are longer than 60 yards. Coleman is also a good blocker, meaning he will stay on the field in passing situations and that only opens up plays such as the lead draw. He's a complete back who could turn into a three-down back in this offense.
Scout's Take:One of the most complete backs in the draft when it comes to all three phases of the position. Some of Coleman's best games in his career have been against schools with outstanding defenses. He's impressive in the way he attacks the hole or bounces the ball to the outside. Looks to cut the ball to find room. Can plant his outside foot and turn up the field. Has the vision to see the backside cuts. Is more of a one-cut runner than he is a darter. Would not call him an explosive runner initially, but he does have good speed when he gets to the second level. Plays with extended speed. Lead the nation in runs that covered 60 yards or more during the 2014 season. Is a physical runner than will lower his pads to finish the run. His offensive line makes it difficult to have many clean runs. Appears to get stronger as the game wears on. Stamina is outstanding. Soft hands when asked to play as a receiver. Able to catch the ball in the flat on the swing or coming out of the backfield on the screen. Has a feel for where he needs to be on the screen. Really nice job of setting it up and executing. Strong as a pass blocker. Will stay square and in position to block. Nice job of sorting out twists and games up front. Will step up and take on defensive tackles or ends. Aware of his blocking assignments. High character player that has managed to play through injury and not miss anytime. In my opinion is the closest running back in the draft to what the club had with DeMarco Murray and what he was able to accomplish – they have very similar styles. – Bryan Broaddus
-- Other Possible Picks --
Bryce Petty - QB - Baylor
Carl Davis - DT - Iowa
Eric Kendricks - LB - UCLA
Todd Gurley - RB - Georgia
Owamagbe Odighizuwa - DE - UCLA
Shaq Thompson - LB - Washington
Jalen Collins - CB - LSU
Devin Smith - WR - Ohio State
Melvin Gordon - RB - Wisconsin