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Syracuse 2020 NFL Draft profile: EDGE Kendall Coleman

One of two Orange pass-rushers looking to get picked this year.

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NFL Combine - Day 5 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

We have zero idea what’s going to happen to football this fall, but regardless of whether the season actually occurs or not, there’s going to be an NFL Draft next week (even if it happens with significant videoconferencing issues).

The Syracuse Orange football program hasn’t seen a ton of players selected in the draft lately, but that fact could change this year with four players attending the Scouting Combine. So while we didn’t love the results of this past season, getting a few more players into the NFL could be a positive conclusion that helps the program going forward, too.

Before the draft — scheduled for April 23-25 — we’re profiling all of the Syracuse players that warrant consideration to be picked (and some of those that appear likely to be undrafted free agent pick-ups).

We’ve already discussed Alton Robinson, Trishton Jackson and Sterling Hofrichter. Today, we close out with:

Name: Kendall Coleman

Position: Edge rusher

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 257 lbs.

Hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.

NFL Draft Projections: Coleman’s not projected to get drafted, but he’s still seen as a hard worker that can challenge for a roster spot or practice squad.

2019 Stats: Despite numbers dipping in 2019, he still had 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. He also got into passing lanes a bit more — not bad for a player who isn’t seen as overly long.

Career Stats: Coleman collected 137 tackles during his career, but more importantly, 26.5 TFLs and 15.5 sacks, plus a couple pass break-ups and a blocked kick. His 2018 season was a high-water mark when he teamed with Alton Robinson to be one of the most lethal pass-rushing duos in the country.

Game to Watch: There’s a lot to see in 2018, but if we’re looking at more recent highlights, it’s worth watching him pick up 2.5 TFLs against Duke during a pretty dominant team effort against the Blue Devils.

Scouting Combine Performance:

Coleman’s work with former Colts standout Robert Mathis has helped his positioning somewhat. At the combine, he was among 25 defensive linemen to run a 40-yard dash in under five seconds, and had solid jumping numbers. His cone drill and shuttle numbers were also solid, showing some agility.


As mentioned, he’s a hard worker and that’s been noticed already by scouts. He’s less of a speed rusher like Robinson, and actually possesses a reasonably diverse collection of moves to throw at offensive linemen when trying to get into the backfield. He’s not as prone to overpursuit, and has made himself more disruptive in passing lanes.


While he’s not a speed rusher, he’s also not speedy at the snap, necessarily. Coleman’s also not a huge dude, nor does he have the breakout speed that could really make himself into an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. That limits where he can go, just by way of base defenses.

Fun Fact: Kendall’s actually an accomplished poet, as was revealed during his last couple years on campus. Here’s one Daily Orange piece that details how poetry became a form of artistic expressions for him.

TNIAAM Draft Prediction: While I’d love to see Coleman selected, it seems more likely he’s a top undrafted free agent. His possible limitations to a 4-3 scheme and speed concerns seem likely to stop his name from getting called. But he could be a diamond in the rough for a team that’s wiling to take a flyer. That list could include the Broncos, Browns, Saints and perhaps his hometown Colts, who are not only familiar with him (through Mathis) but Syracuse players as well.

Highlight Reel: