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Projecting the Falcons 2016 offense: Tevin Coleman

After a rough rookie season, will Coleman bounce back in 2016?

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Selected in the third round of the 2015 draft by the Falcons, Tevin Coleman figured to be part of a rotation in the backfield for the 2015 offense (alongside Devonta Freeman). Coleman would start the season as the starter, showing some promise in his first couple of games before going down with an injury. Once Freeman took over the starting position, he wouldn't relinquish it, leaving Coleman with fewer snaps than desired and a rookie campaign marred by 3 fumbles in just 12 games. The team is certainly hoping he'll bounce back in 2016.

2015

As a runner, Coleman demonstrated the ability to bust out for big plays on several occasions. He also surprised fans with a running style that was more physical than some anticipated. Frustratingly, some of his best runs on the season were completely undone by the fumbles he had. If he's going to get more opportunities in 2016, he'll have to prove he can secure the ball better first. Here's how Coleman did in his rookie year:

Rushing
Year Games Attempts Yards Avg TDs
2015 12 87 392 4.5 1

Receiving
Year Games Receptions Yards Avg TDs
2015 12 2 14 7.0 0

Projection

With Devonta Freeman having a pro-bowl season in 2015, it's not unreasonable to think he'll still get the majority of carries in the upcoming season. However, Coleman figures to be a bigger piece of the offense, if for no other reason than to take some pressure off of Freeman and keep both players fresh for a full 16 games. Per game, I think Coleman will get between 8 to 9 carries, with only a handful of looks as a receiver coming out of the backfield. Mind you: if Coleman were able to put up these numbers along with what I projected for Freeman, the Falcons would end up with over 1600 rushing yards on the season, which would be impressive. I'm not entirely sold on that happening, but these projections are less about the entire team and more about the roles of the individual players. With that said, here's my best guess at how Coleman may fare:

Rushing
Year Games Attempts Yards Avg TDs
2016 16 136 625 4.6 2

Receiving
Year Games Receptions Yards Avg TDs
2016 16 10 70 7.0 0

What do you think of this projection for Coleman going forward?