The New Orleans Saints have been one of the top teams in recent history when it comes to finding late round talent in the draft.
It all started in 2006 under new Head Coach Sean Payton. In that year the Saints drafted receiver Marques Colston out of Hofstra with the 252 pick in the 7th round. Since then, Colston has caught 607 passes and totaled over 8,000 yards with 63 touchdowns. It is safe to say picking Marques Colston has worked out well for New Orleans.
In 2013, Brandon Coleman entered the draft. Coleman is a 6'6 220 pound receiver out of Rutgers. Very similar to the 6'4 225 pound Colston.
Coleman totaled 94 catches, 1,808 yards, and 20 touchdowns in three years at Rutgers. Coleman also ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at the 2013 NFL combine. Marques Colston totaled 182 catches, 2,834 yards, and 18 touchdowns in four years at Hofstra. Colston also ran a very similar 4.50 40-yard dash at the 2006 NFL combine.
Marques Colston played a full year longer than Brandon Coleman in college, and against lesser competition, hence the amount of receptions he totaled. But the similarities between the two receivers cannot be denied.
Unlike Colston, Coleman actually went undrafted, which was a surprise to many. Some speculate that Coleman went undrafted due to a prior knee injury he suffered, but Coleman insists he's been healthy for awhile now. Others speculated that the receiver fell because of his smaller hands, but reasons will vary from team to team. Coleman was then labeled the number one Undrafted free agent receiver according to ESPN, and signed a contract with the New Orleans Saints shortly after.
With training camp approaching, it will soon be known if Coleman posesses the same type of work ethic as Colston.
Colston quickly became the Saints' go to receiver his rookie year due to great training camp success, and at 30 years old, Colston is now considered Mr. Reliable in the Saints' high powered offense.
No one expects Brandon Coleman to come into camp and snatch the number one receiver position, but being such a productive player in college and then going undrafted has to naturally place a chip on his shoulder.
It will be interesting to observe the progression of Coleman's game, and if he can grasp the pro-style concepts; him and Colston would be a very talented duo with Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees calling the shots.