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Broncos roster review: Rookie safety Douglas Coleman III

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Could the ball-hawking undrafted rookie make the Broncos final roster?

Iowa State v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

Name: Douglas Coleman
Position: Safety
Height: 6'1" Weight: 200
Age: 22 Experience: R
College: Texas Tech

At the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos addressed their safety position by signing undrafted rookie Douglas Coleman III to a contract. Like every undrafted rookie, the road to a roster spot is long, but the Texas Tech product has the talent and ability to crack the Broncos’ final roster.

Coleman played a total of four seasons at Texas Tech and is coming off a breakout year for their defense. During his four-year career, Coleman totaled 137 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 9 interceptions, 15 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 defensive touchdowns. This past season for Texas Tech, Coleman totaled 63 tackles, 8 interceptions, and 2 pass deflections.

The Broncos depth at safety isn’t the greatest so Coleman has a chance to latch on as a backup for them. He’s coming off a season where he totaled 8 interceptions, so he has a nose for the ball. He’s more a free safety so being the potential backup to Justin Simmons is likely. Trey Marshall is really the only main competition for the third safety role as of right now, but the road to the fourth spot is wide open.

The Good

Well, the thing that helps Coleman out the most is the real lack of competition is he facing, currently at least. The Broncos did little to replace Will Parks’s role and the third safety right now appears to be Trey Marshall. He looked good in the final few games of last season but is a bit unproven. So, unless the Broncos add a veteran late in the offseason or during Training Camp, this role seems to be up for grabs.

Coleman had a bit of a breakout season last season for Texas Tech. He snagged a career-high 8 interceptions showing that he’s a bit of a ballhawk and can be in the right place at the right time. Seeing this sort of production from a UDFA is exciting to see and hopefully it can translate at the next level.

Finally, he’s in a Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell defense. This scheme has produced a lot of good safeties and has developed a lot of later-round players into stars in this league. Their track record speaks for itself so it’s probably one of the better landing spots for a safety like Coleman.

The Bad

Honestly, I don’t have a ton here because tape and any write-ups on Coleman are few and far between.

He’ll face the same obstacles that every UDFA faces entering the NFL. He has to prove himself from day one and have little to no slip-ups if he wants to make the final roster. The leash is short so hopefully, he can perform well and stay injury-free.

In my limited watching of Coleman, he seems more of a coverage safety rather than a box safety. So I am interested to see how he does as a tackler. Every Fangio defensive back needs to tackle so, he needs to prove that as well.

Final Thoughts

Of the UDFA’s signed by the Broncos, I think Coleman has the easiest road (currently at least) at a roster spot. The depth behind starters Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson is thin and they need to replace the 50% of snaps that Will Parks played last season.

Now, do I think Coleman can do that from day one? That seems a bit unrealistic, but I believe he has a solid shot at nabbing that fourth safety job. A veteran being added could derail all of this, but as of now, I like his chances.