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Road to the Draft: B.J. Coleman

B.J. Coleman, QB, Tennessee-Chattanooga
6-foot-3, 234 pounds
Draft projection: Fourth to sixth rounds

Lowdown: Coleman has good size, a big arm and good intangibles. He’s smart, and he’s an intense competitor. That makes him a worthy developmental quarterback prospect in what is a weak class of QBs in this draft. Bills General Manager Buddy Nix was head coach at UT-Chattanooga for nine years, through 1992, so Nix no doubt has a good read on Coleman. It would serve the Bills well to take a QB prospect in the middle rounds. Coleman might be one of the few options.

Coleman started his college career at Tennessee, but he transferred in the spring of 2009. Tennessee had just changed coaches (Lane Kiffin had taken over). Coleman was the clear-cut No. 2 behind incumbent Jonathan Crompton, and he didn’t think he would get playing time. In 2009, Coleman passed for 213 yards a game with 17 TDs and 9 INTs. In 2010, he passed for 272 yards a game with 26 TDs and 13 INTs. His completion percentage each of those two years was only 56.4. As a senior, he improved it to 60.9 percent. Playing behind a young, small offensive line, his numbers were down. He missed almost four full games with an injured passing shoulder but recovered to play the season finale. In essentially six games on the field, Coleman finished with 250 passing yards a game with 9 TDs and 9 INTs.

Said ESPN analyst Mel Kiper: “Has the physical ability you need. I’d like to see that 58 percent (career) completion percentage up at 65. It wasn’t. That’s’ why he’s a 5 or 6 not a 2 or 3. But watch out for B.J. Coleman.”

---Mark Gaughan

(The News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.)

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