Coby Fleener

Draft Grades: Indianapolis Colts

The Colts clinched a solid grade from this draft class the minute the regular season ended. But new GM Ryan Grigson took their development to a new level with a strong draft class which should allow this team to emerge as contenders again in the not-so-distant future.

Obviously the addition of Andrew Luck was franchise-changing move. He’ll step into a starting role from day one, and should be the face of this franchise for the next 10 years and beyond. He won’t right the ship in one season, but he has all the tools necessary to make this team a Super Bowl contender again within the next three to five seasons.

I’m not as high on Coby Fleener as most, but this was a no-brainer for the Colts. Every young quarterback needs a go-to receiver, and who better to play that role for Luck than his college teammate and close friend?

Some have criticized the Colts for drafting two tight ends, but Fleener and Dwayne Allen are very different and both should play significant roles. Fleener is really more of an oversized receiver, while Allen is more of a traditional tight end. The Colts offense will likely feature sets with Fleener lined up in the slot and Allen on the line.

T.Y. Hilton is an explosive deep threat and should also contribute on special teams. He’s not a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver, but he’ll be a weapon that opposing defenses need to account for at all times.

Josh Chapman is a prototypical nose tackle. As with most 320-pounders, stamina is an issue, but he should see the field for 20-25 snaps per game even if he doesn’t win a starting job as a rookie.

Vick Ballard will likely fight with Deji Karim for the third-string running back job. His upside is limited due to a lack of explosiveness, but he could be an effective short-yardage back.

LaVon Brazill is an intriguing developmental prospect. Don’t expect to see much of him early in his career, but the Colts could keep him around as a 5th receiver and develop him for the future.

Justin Anderson is a physical lineman who could provide depth at guard and right tackle. And if he impresses early, he could push Joe Reitz for playing time.

Tim Fugger played defensive end at Vanderbilt and should be a nice fit in the Colts new hybrid defense. He has the athleticism to play both end and linebacker depending on the defensive set.

Chandler Harnish, Mr. Irrelevant, will compete with Trevor Vittatoe for the third-string quarterback job.

The Colts left a lot of holes unfilled, mainly on the defensive side of the football, but I love the fact that they surrounded Luck with a ton of talent. Too many teams address their need for a quarterback and only halfheartedly fill the holes around him. The Colts are clearly making sure that Luck is given every opportunity to succeed.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Colts, Draft Grades - 2012 Comments Off

Rounds 1-3 Winners: Indianapolis Colts

Obviously the Indianapolis Colts hit a home run with the selection of Andrew Luck. But their Day 2 selections took this draft class to a new level.

Coby Fleener was a no-brainer in the 2nd round. While I didn’t have a high 2nd-round grade on him, his value to the Colts exceeds his value to any other team due to his connection to Andrew Luck. Every young quarterback needs a security blanket, and Fleener will be that guy.

The selection of Dwayne Allen may seem redundant, but Fleener and Allen are actually very different players. Fleener is essentially an oversized wide receiver, while Allen is more of the traditional tight end. I expect the Colts to use Fleener in the slot frequently, much the same way the Packers have used Jermichael Finley in recent years. Allen, on the other hand, will be used more as a blocker and a short-yardage receiver.

In the 3rd round, T.Y. Hilton adds a new dimension to the offense. He has the speed to consistently stretch the field and, even if he’s only targeted a few times per game, his presence on the field will affect how defenses line up.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Colts Comments Off

Indianapolis Colts select Coby Fleener, Grade A

I would have criticized anyone who took Coby Fleener in the 1st round, or even early 2nd, with the exception of the Indianapolis Colts.

Fleener is strictly a pass-catching tight end, and even in that department he’s overrated, but his connection with Andrew Luck gives him added value for the Colts. Fleener will immediately make Luck feel more comfortable. Even if his long-term upside is relatively modest, his ability to help develop Luck makes him an extremely valuable asset in Indy.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Colts Comments Off

Who fits Giants need at tight end?

One of the few holes on the Giants roster is at tight end – an area of need which GM Jerry Reese has confirmed. They’re likely to consider addressing this position in the 1st or 2nd round of the draft, so let’s examine who might fit their needs.

The Giants are one of the few teams in the league still clinging to the traditional tight end. They expect their tight ends to be an extension of the offensive line.

This past season the Giants used their tight ends in pass protection on 24 percent of their passing plays – the 6th highest average in the league. But unlike the teams ahead of them on this list, they don’t bring in pure blockers in these situations. Instead, all of their tight ends are expected to contribute as both blockers and receivers. In 2011, all three tight ends were used to block on 18 percent of pass plays or more, led by Jake Ballard’s 25.6 percent (6th highest in NFL).

And this isn’t a new trend. In 2010, the Giants also used their tight ends in pass protection 24 percent of the time, led by Kevin Boss’ 27.9 percent (5th highest).

So which tight ends in the 2012 draft class fit the Giants mold?

Dwayne Allen is a perfect fit for the Giants

For starters, Coby Fleener, Orson Charles and Ladarius Green are not good fits. All three are deficient blockers and lack the physical qualities to improve in that area.

So if they’re going to address this need early, that leaves them with one option: Dwayne Allen.

Allen isn’t a dominant blocker, but he gives a solid effort and has the frame to add some weight and improve. He’ll probably never be elite in this area, but he compares favorably to Kevin Boss both in his blocking ability and his potential to contribute as a receiver in the passing game.

Allen is definitely an option for the Giants with the 32nd pick.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Giants Comments Off

Browns Offseason Priority: Find Some Playmakers

While most Cleveland Browns fans would prefer to blame Colt McCoy for disappointing offensive performance, the fact is no quarterback could have salvaged the Browns offense in 2011.

Could Griffin be the Browns superman?

Aside from rookie Greg Little, who showed some promise, the Browns simply lack the playmakers necessary to consistently put points on the scoreboard. And the issue goes beyond the wide receiver position. While a healthy Peyton Hillis will help (if he’s re-signed) even he isn’t a true playmaker. What the Browns need is someone their opponents need to game plan for, someone who can change the course of the game in a single play.

The easiest solution to this problem would be to add Robert Griffin III. While I believe Colt McCoy can be an effective starter if surrounded by a strong supporting cast, he will never have Griffin’s playmaking ability. McCoy can win with the right teammates, but Griffin has the potential to turn his teammates into winners.

But if Griffin is off the board, hope is not lost. The Browns still own three of the top 37 picks, and could acquire another if they trade down – which would make sense if the lose out in the bidding for Griffin.

If the Browns move back 5-10 slots to the middle of the 1st round they could potentially add Kendall Wright, who would immediately add a new dimension to their offense given his ability to stretch the field.

Then, either at No. 22 or in the 2nd round, the Browns could add another weapon – perhaps a playmaker at running back (Doug Martin or David Wilson) or a pass-catching tight end such as Coby Fleener or Ladarius Green.

The bottom line is this: the Browns have some glaring holes, but also have the ammunition necessary to address their areas of concern. Adding Griffin would help, but all will not be lost if they’re forced to return with Colt McCoy as the starter in 2012.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Browns 1 Comment

Coby Fleener scouting report

Coby Fleener TE Stanford #82
Ht: 6’6″

Wt: 245

 
Strengths:
Prototypical size. Experience lining up as a traditional tight end and at receiver. Above-average straight-line speed. Gives a solid effort as a blocker. Does a nice job finding the soft spot in zone coverage and giving a large target for the quarterback. Dangerous runner after the catch; size and athleticism makes him tough to bring down. Very reliable hands; catches the ball away from his body and secures it quickly. Does a nice job grabbing the ball at its high point in jump-ball situations. Shows good body control along the sidelines.
Weaknesses:
Route running could use some work; slow and deliberate in his breaks. Has adequate speed, but quickness and agility are lacking. Lacks the suddenness in his movements to lose defenders. Holds his ground blocking outside linebackers, but struggles to hold off more physical defensive ends. Struggles to get low enough to have the leverage necessary to excel as a blocker.
Comments:
Fleener’s rare size/speed combination makes him an interesting prospect, however, he may not be the same dangerous weapon in the passing game at the next level. Fleener preyed on some weak secondaries in college, and he will struggle when matched up with more physically gifted safeties and linebackers in the NFL. His lack of quick-twitch athleticism will be exposed at the next level, limiting the routes on which he can consistently break free. He can still be an effective receiver, but his game at the next level will look different than it did in college. Depending on the system in which he lands, he may not be a three-down player due to his marginal blocking ability.
Videos:
2011 vs Notre Dame
2010 vs Virginia Tech 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment

All-Overrated “Team”

Here is my pre-Senior Bowl all-overrated “team.” It’s not exactly a full team because certain positions don’t have a truly overrated prospect… yet. Depending on the media’s reaction to the Senior Bowl and/or Combine, players could drop off the list, or earn their way onto the roster in the coming months.

QB Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M
Every year a quarterback or two see their stock inflated due to team needs. Tannehill is this year’s victim.
RB LaMichael James Oregon
James is an impressive athlete with speed to burn, but he isn’t an every-down back.
RB Chris Rainey Florida
Much like James, Rainey is heralded for his speed, but he will be limited to special teams duty in the NFL.
WR Alshon Jeffery South Carolina
There’s no denying Jeffery’s raw ability, but his inconsistency raises a big red flag.
WR Nick Toon Wisconsin
Toon was a productive college receiver who benefitted from Russell Wilson’s prescence in 2011. He’s a 3rd or 4th option in the NFL at best.
TE Coby Fleener Stanford
Fleener is my top rated tight end, but that’s exactly why he’s being overrated. He’s just the best of a mediocre class.
OT Jonathan Martin Stanford
Martin will be a fine pro, but not at left tackle. Anyone who falls for the hype will be moving him to the right side, or to guard, within three years.
OT Mike Adams Ohio State
Adams certainly looks the part, but he’s terribly soft and not especially quickon his feet.
DE Quinton Coples North Carolina
You can put together a highlight real that makes Coples look like a top-five pick… but you can’t find a single game where he shows it from start to finish.
DE Jack Crawford Penn State
Crawford never lived up to expectations at Penn State despite his impressive athleticism.
DT Alameda Ta’amu Washington
Ta’amu has the size to play nose tackle, which boosts his stock significantly, but he may not have the stamina to be a three-down lineman.
LB Zach Brown North Carolina
Brown is an athlete, but he’s undersized and will get pushed around by NFL linemen.
LB Bruce Irvin West Virginia
Irvin flashes elite athleticism at times, but he had to fight for playing time throughout his career due to inconsistent performances.
LB Vontaze Burfict Arizona State
Top-10 talent, undraftable character. Not worth the trouble.
CB Janoris Jenkins North Alabama
See above.
CB Alfonzo Dennard Nebraska
I have a hard time understanding where the 1st-round love for Dennard comes from. He’s a physical corner and his injury prone – a bad combo.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft Comments Off