With the draft coming up at the end of the month, we will offer up a breakdown of players at positions of need for the Dallas Cowboys.
Indiana running back Tevin Coleman
Height: 5-foot-11 3/8 Weight: 206
ESPN Insider rank: No. 5 running back, No. 59 overall
Games viewed: Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan
Scouting report: If the Cowboys want to replace DeMarco Murray with a back with similar qualities, it’s Coleman. He has a similar upright running style and he even carries the ball in his lefthand almost exclusively.
Big Ten defensive backs seemed to underestimate his speed. On a 90-yard touchdown against Ohio State, the safety had an angle but couldn’t match the long strides. Even without the 90-yard run he was better vs. the Buckeyes than Melvin Gordon. I don’t see a guy who has quick feet, but he has the ability to find another gear. Once he sees a hole, he hits it.
He didn’t have much help from Indiana’s quarterback play so his production is pretty impressive. He was not as successful between the tackles against Ohio State, but he was against Iowa. On a long TD run he broke a Carl Davis tackle and then showed the burst in the second level that left the defensive backs in his wake.
He showed some Wildcat skills against Michigan, but there was no doubt he was keeping the ball. He had some fumble issues and lost one here when he didn’t get a handoff cleanly. Was that him or the young QB? Later he collided with his quarterback on a play. The best sign of Murray I saw in this game was when he met a linebacker in the hole and ran through him. Later turned a 4-yard loss into a 1-yard loss.
He is solid in pass protection. He squares up his body to his targets. Too many guys in college will just drive their shoulder in but he used good technique.
Biggest concern: He’s a solid prospect with a solid overall game. Does he do anything great? I don’t know. But that’s OK. He’s not Todd Gurley. And that’s OK, too. The long runs he had at Indiana last season won't be as prevalent in the NFL, so will he be able to withstand the constant pounding?
What ESPN Insider says about his agility and acceleration: Above average burst to and through the hole. Home-run threat who turns on the jets and runs away from pursuit when gets any kind of daylight. He's not an ankle-breaker who sinks hips and makes multiple defenders miss in space. However, he is a shifty runner who makes the occasional defender miss with subtle moves that don't cause him to lose too much momentum. Doesn't take a lot of clean shots either.
Cowboys fit: I started off by saying he looks like Murray to me, so clearly I think he fits. They need a runner who can put his foot in the ground and go when it’s time to go. This guy can do that. Like a lot of these runners after Gurley and Gordon, there is some wonder if picking him at No. 60 is too high or if No. 91 will be too late for the Cowboys. If they can get a pick between the two with a trade then I can see him stepping in as a good fit immediately.