DeShone Kizer and Corey Coleman could become an offensive nightmare

Sep 18, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman (19) celebrates his second touchdown of the game during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman (19) celebrates his second touchdown of the game during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman is due for a breakout sophomore season and DeShone Kizer is the man who can assist more than anyone else.

The Cleveland Browns have long-awaited their future franchise quarterback — since 1999 when the team returned to Cleveland to be exact.

However, the team selected Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer in the second round of this year’s draft, which should help the development of 2016 first-rounder Corey Coleman. The decision to draft Kizer comes after selecting Cody Kessler in the third round just one year before.

Kizer offers a large, ideal frame in the brisk AFC North at 6-foot-4 and 233 pounds. Whether he starts or not in 2017 is the question, but there is no doubt he has the talent to exceed expectations.

Head coach Hue Jackson announced last week that Cody Kessler will begin training camp as the starter. Jackson also stated there will obviously be a competition but if Brock Osweiler or Kizer want to start, they’ll have to take it from Kessler:

"“He’s really improved. He’s worked his tail off. He deserves the right and the opportunity to walk into this building and walk out there first.”"

Despite this, one of Kessler’s glaring weaknesses in 2016 was moving the ball down the field. He is an efficient quarterback that makes smart plays. Although, the former USC Trojan was hesitant to take a shot downfield and this could be Coleman’s bread and butter.

Corey Coleman was arguably the best playmaking receiver of the 2016 draft class but injuries held him back last season. In his rookie season, Coleman totaled 33 receptions, 413 yards and three touchdowns. Though many expected more, it is difficult to imagine a rookie receiver having a successful season playing with six different quarterbacks. Stability is key in developing young players, especially at the wideout position.

Entering 2017, there are still questions of stability at the quarterback position. However, there should be clarification after training camp and Hue Jackson believes this core can be successful moving forward. He wasn’t saying that before the draft, though, and this leads me to believe that Kizer is their prized possession for the future.

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Coleman is a quick, speedy player who thrives in the open field with the ball in his hands. His elite athleticism allows him to catch the ball in stride and make plays on defenders. Defenses have to gameplan for this as he executes his routes more consistently in the future which will open up opportunities for him and Kizer.

I say Kizer specifically because Kessler simply doesn’t have the arm strength and deep ball accuracy to fully enhance Coleman’s capabilities.

Sure, he plays a much conservative and efficient game opposed to the incoming rookie. But the lack of taking a shot downfield at times is not what will put points on the board.

Risk is a factor in franchise quarterbacks and the majority take risks that often times don’t pan out. Yet, there are those few times it converts to six points on the board that can be a difference maker in a ballgame.

DeShone Kizer is more than likely going to start at one point or another in 2017 (six quaterbacks did in 2016), but for anyone to predict how soon is irrelevant until training camp.

Kessler, as Jackson said, deserves a chance to open as No. 1 out of the gate. But there is little doubt that Kizer clearly has the better size, attributes and athleticism that could turn into a potential franchise quarterback. That isn’t the case for Kessler.

Kizer’s ability to connect with quick receivers was evident in his first season starting at Notre Dame, particularly with Will Fuller. In 2017, when those weapons were no longer at Notre Dame, he often crumbled behind a shaky offensive line. Coleman can be that weapon for the No. 52 pick in coming years and the two can form an impressive duo.

Whether it is helping create plays while Kizer is under pressure, catching quick routes to get first downs or going deep on a one-on-one matchup and letting Kizer throw a bomb to him on the run, Coleman will undoubtedly have opportunities with the newest Browns quarterback.

But before any of that happens, Coleman needs to stay healthy and establish himself as a consistent threat for any defense. Flashes of his potential were present in his rookie season, but playing with six different quarterbacks halted significant growth.

From the sounds of recent reporting, Coleman has strived to get in great shape and practice for a breakout year. Hue Jackson is clearly excited about the Baylor standout and admitted he’s even corralling his team.

This is everything you want to hear about a first round pick entering his second season in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns know their success offensively relies partially on Coleman and he knows it too.

Next: Predicting the starting offense in 2017

Without Terrelle Pryor, he will need to handle the load as the primary target for whomever the quarterback is. The next step is being presented to Coleman and 2017 will prove whether or not he is ready to take that leap as a premier threat in the NFL. However, who is starting at quarterback may limit how fast he gets there.