10 New Orleans Saints who must make impact in 2015: No. 10, Brandon Coleman, Seantavius Jones


Before we get to the players, let me quickly introduce myself. My name is Brian Pavek and I am the newest staff writer for Who Dat Dish. I am a long-time New Orleans Saints fan whose very first NFL experience was watching the reopening of the Super Dome, and from that day on, there has been only one team I root for.

Some of you may be familiar with my work on TheSaintsNation.com where I have been writing for a little over a year and recently tried my hand at podcasting. I was recently given this awesome opportunity to write for Who Dat Dish and while I shall continue to write for Saints Nation, you will not see any of that content on here other than occasional references when relevant.

I don’t want to make this about me too much, and you are here to read about the Saints not me anyway, so without further ado, let’s get into my list of ten New Orleans Saints players who MUST make an impact in 2015.  Today, we’ll start with No. 10.

No. 10: Wide Receiver(s) Brandon Coleman and Sentavius Jones

Jones and Coleman will be the only duel entry on the list, and the reason for that is simple. The Saints traded away their two top receiving threats in Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills last year in order to help shore up major team weaknesses in the linebacking corps and the offensive line. While the Saints have never really had the ridiculously talented wide receiver unit of say a Denver or a Green Bay, they have been consistently productive in large part thanks to the brilliance of Drew Brees and Sean Payton. The only player who has really been a consistent threat has been Marques Colston over the near decade of the Payton and Brees era.

While they have consistently made good use of either lesser talents or ‘specialists’ (like Robert Meachem) the New Orleans Saints offense has suffered from both predictability and a lack of production in the receiver department the last couple of seasons. That’s where Jones and Coleman come in. The Saints don’t need for both of them to become productive players in their second seasons in the NFL, although it certainly wouldn’t hurt. They do however absolutely NEED at least ONE of them to rise to the occasion and become a contributor.

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The good news is that while both of these young gentlemen are undrafted free agents (because this is New Orleans and that’s just how the Saints get down) they are also tremendously talented. Both players bring a ton of upside, but slid out of the later rounds of the draft due to various deficiencies in their games.

In the Coleman’s case he suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee during the spring of 2013. That injury followed him throughout his junior season at Rutgers and his plummet in the draft from a projected third round prospect to a UDFA came in large part due that injury. Coleman has all the tools to be a dominant red zone target and a dynamic player for the Saints. He is a 6-foot-6, 225 pound freak . He has 34-inch arms which give him an incredible catch radius.

Unfortunately, one of the issues that plagued Coleman during last year’s training camp and preseason was his hands. Coleman was touted as a player who could catch anything within his range, but when he got to the Saints he only seemed to be able to drop anything within his range. Despite all the hype from the fanbase Coleman simply didn’t impress out on the field.

That was then. This is now.

Coleman has been VERY impressive so far this year, and while it has only been OTA’s up to this point we have numerous statements from both Payton and Brees saying he and Jones are ‘light years ahead of where they were last year’.  Coleman has put on a show in each of the practices open to the media this year and has shown flashes of the long striding playmaker fans have envisioned.

We need to temper our expectations until at least the pads come on, however with the blessings of both his quarterback and his head coach Coleman would appear to be on the fast track to gaining one of the receiver spots on the Saints 53-man roster.

Coleman isn’t alone though. His fellow second year player and good friend Sentavius Jones may have just as much upside as he does.

Jones is a little shorter at 6-foot-3 and a little lighter at a recorded 200 pounds. However, many reports have said that Jones has added considerable muscle since last year to his long frame. Sentavius ‘stretch’ Jones was one of the players who I noticed during preseason games last year and in my opinion he is a guy who has it. That indefinable and unquantifiable something that makes some players great.

Jones is a smooth operator, who in my opinion, is a better route runner than Coleman and who is known for using every inch of his frame to make spectacular catches (it’s how he got his nickname). One of the biggest knocks on Jones coming out of school was that he was simply too thin to play in the NFL. That is why the reports on his added bulk are so important. If Jones has added bulk without reducing his speed (often longer guys like him actually get faster when they add some muscle), then he should be able to become a very productive player for the Saints.

Jones already looked good playing last year and the fact that perhaps the best part of his game is his ability to attack the middle of the field and get yards after the catch makes him an even better prospect for the team. I’m not a huge fan of the idea of new players fitting ‘roles’ as a smart coach (which Payton certainly is) tailors his offense to best take advantage of the talent he has now. However, with that said, I believe that Jones might actually be perfectly suited to take over the role that Colston has occupied for the last nine seasons.

The bottom line is that regardless of which of these two players steps up, the Saints absolutely MUST have ONE of them rise to the challenge. Both Brandon Coleman and Seantavius Jones have tremendous talent and the potential to be stars, but potential only gets you so far. The Saints need production, and the opportunity is there. I hope both of them can rise to the challenge, but so long as we get one of them, the Saints should be just fine.

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