Kansas City Chiefs trade idea: Corey Coleman is buy-low opportunity

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 31: Corey Coleman #19 of the Cleveland Browns cannot come up with a catch while being defended by Mike Mitchell #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter during the game at Heinz Field on December 31, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 31: Corey Coleman #19 of the Cleveland Browns cannot come up with a catch while being defended by Mike Mitchell #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter during the game at Heinz Field on December 31, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Kansas City Chiefs GM Brett Veach has another potential buy-low opportunity out there, if he so desires, in Browns WR Corey Coleman.

Before we get into the particulars here of any trade idea, let’s look at Brett Veach’s first year with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Just last summer, we all witnessed two interesting trades during Veach’s first month or so on the job when he made moves to bring in two under-appreciated assets, from his perspective, from the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns. Specifically, he traded future draft picks to bring in linebacker Reggie Ragland and offensive lineman Cameron Erving.

Ragland was an instant hit, a current and future starter in the middle who should only get better with experience and distance from his ACL injury. Erving is still finding his footing, but the Chiefs are giving him every opportunity to become the versatile back-up sorely needed with the departure of Zach Fulton to the Texans.

Regardless of how those worked out, for better or worse, Veach revealed part of his M.O, which is to scour the rosters of other teams for potentially under-utilized or under-valued assets. In short, are there players wasting away on current teams who could come in and help the Chiefs?

It’s here that Corey Coleman fits the bill, at least as a talent wasting away.


Corey Coleman entered the NFL as the first round pick of the Cleveland Browns back in 2016. In his final season at Baylor, Coleman was an All-American wideout and even won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best wide receiver. He finished with an impressive stat line of 74 catches for 1,363 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns. Coleman also has impressive return abilities.

Mike Mayock instantly compared him to Percy Harvin, as a very dangerous playmaker when given the ball. Coleman ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds, but he also showed up among the Combine’s finest in the broad jump, vertical leap and the bench press—showing off athleticism and strength.

There were concerns, however, that Coleman was not a well-rounded product just yet. He needed significant mental work to make the leap to the pros—namely to focus more on making and securing the catch given his high drop rate. Coleman was also clearly limited in his route-running, as Baylor kept things relatively simple for their star. It would take time for Coleman to learn the full route tree and use his instincts at the next level.

Unfortunately for the Browns, Coleman has lived up to his weaknesses more than his strengths. It certainly doesn’t help to have a broken hand as a receiver, and in a streak of horrible luck, Coleman has broken his right hand on two separate occasions in two consecutive years.

Beyond health concerns, however, Coleman is also taking his licks for his mental make-up. On Friday, during the Browns minicamp, Scott Petrak noted that “doubts remain about [Coleman’s] work ethic and football intelligence.”

Todd Haley and Hue Jackson have said the right things in terms of challenging Coleman while still praising his skill set to the media when asked. But a player who wasn’t drafted by the current general manager typically has a shorter leash and Coleman could be an accessible asset for other teams if Dorsey is simply tired of dealing with a mental headache at wide receiver—especially one who is no longer needed given recent roster additions.


On the surface, this answer is a quick “no.” Sammy Watkins already crowded the wide receiver room when he signed a three-year deal this offseason. Tyreek Hill, Chris Conley, DeMarcus Robinson, Jehu Chesson and a load of promising young free agents already crowd the depth chart for the Chiefs.

You’d never look at the Chiefs in 2018 with concerns about wide receiver.

However, this move isn’t so much about need as it is about value, and Coleman presents a potential value. It’s akin to taking the best overall player on your draft board rather than drafting for need. If general manager Brett Veach can turn a low-level draft asset into a potentially rewarding player, it could be a good move. Veach has certainly tried this before a couple times.

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This move would likely be all about 2019, if the Chiefs were to make it. To that end, here are a few thoughts:

  1. Coleman has two years left on his rookie deal along with the ability for the team that employs him to exercise a fifth year option for 2010. He will make approximately $6.8 million total over the next two seasons.
  2. Chris Conley is an unrestricted free agent after this season, which means the depth chart could look thin after the top two if Patrick Mahomes doesn’t develop chemistry with Robinson, Chesson or another roster hopeful.
  3. The Chiefs also already brought in Kendall Wright for a free agent visit earlier this offseason, which sent a signal that perhaps they were still interested in further help at the position after all.
  4. If the Chiefs could bring in Coleman on the cheap (e.g. a 6th round pick, let’s say), he would likely provide the Chiefs with a compensatory draft pick if he were to walk after two years in free agency—perhaps even a better pick than the one they traded.
  5. While Coleman would have a clearer shot at helping at wide receiver in 2019, with Conley potentially gone and after a year in Andy Reid’s offense, he could immediately slot in as a returner to lessen the pressure on Tyreek Hill in that role. He’d also be a step up from Kerwynn Williams or De’Anthony Thomas. Remember the Harvin comparison here.
  6. Most importantly, Veach has made it clear that he wants to give Mahomes as many weapons as he can. Coleman is a potential game-changing talent if he can seal the mental mistakes.

All of this is, of course, conjecture, but it’s an interesting exercise when looking at the Browns roster and realizing there’s little reason for Dorsey to feel beholden to him. Veach has proven that he’ll make a deal at any time and that he loves a good deal. It likely all comes down to the draft grade Veach had for Coleman two years ago, but if he loved him then, there’s a chance he could make a move for him now.