A Look At The Detroit Lions Signing Of 2018 UDFA Amari Coleman.
One of the better UDFA signings in 2018 was the Detroit Lions acquiring cornerback Amari Coleman from Central Michigan University. Coleman will continue to stay in the state of Michigan to play football as a Flint native. During his time at CMU, he earned a reputation as being a bit of a ball hawk. His instincts and athletic ability set him up to well to make plays on the ball. He played a bit too aggressive at times though and it did hurt him.
At 5’11”, 188 lbs, Coleman will have to spend some time putting on weight to hold up better in jump ball situations or spend a majority of his career playing on the inside of the formation in nickel and slot packages. While he does have a great vertical, he would get boxed out on jump ball situations on the perimeter against bigger bodied receivers. Combined with his aggressive play and he would set himself out of position to win in jump ball situations, trying to bait the quarterback into an interception.
This aggressive style of play carried over to his tackling ability. While he is willing, he leaves his feet far too often. This led to unnecessary missed and broken tackles that could be corrected with better form. He needs to work on breaking down before driving through the receiver, rather than running full tilt and diving at their legs. This is not to say however, he has no shot to make the roster someday.
Amari Coleman Has A Real Shot To Make It In The NFL
Coleman will need to work on some fundamental technique and better preparation to not get caught guessing wrong by opposing offenses. However, he possesses some really nice athletic gifts that should earn him a roster spot if he can put it all together. His eight interceptions did not happen by mistake. He has very fluid hips to mirror receivers on digs and out routes. Upper end instincts and burst allowed him to close on the ball quickly upon changing direction. Has the deep speed to stick with most receivers he will face as a Lion.
The good news is the Lions defensive backs are arguably their deepest position. So there is no major rush to get Coleman on the field. Which is perfect as he will need time to work on his craft before being thrown into the fire. The learning curve in the NFL at the cornerback position is debatably one of the steepest of any position. Current Lions star cornerback Darius Slay even needed some time his rookie year to get his feet under him. If Coleman can find a way to get consistency with his ability to contest jump balls and open field tackle, he has the athletic ability to be a solid contributor in the NFL.