Card: Sage 2015 (171/250)
Acquired: 2016, Box Breaker
Justin Coleman played for the Tennessee Volunteers from 2011-2014. He saw action in all four years for the school posting 157 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 5 interceptions for 106 yards and a TD, with 17 pass deflections. Despite his numbers, Coleman’s overall pedestrian 40 time (4.53) combined with his size (5’11”, 185) caused him to drop out of the draft. He’d sign as a free agent with the Minnesota Vikings after the 2015 Draft but be released in August. Claimed by the Patriots, he’d be cut the following day. The Seattle Seahawks signed Justin to their practice squad the day after that- and then the Patriots came back three days later and signed Justin to their active roster. Whew! Talking about a whirlwind tour.
Justin ended up being a key player in the Patriots’ secondary, playing in 10 games and starting 2. He’d finish his rookie year with 23 total tackles, 5 pass deflections, and 1 fumble recovery. Although he played for the team in 2016, he only started 1 game and had 11 total tackles and 3 pass deflections.
The Patriots traded Coleman technically back to the Seahawks in 2017 for a seventh round pick. Coleman started 5 games for the Legion of Boom recording 2 interceptions for 58 yards and 2 touchdowns, to go along with 9 pass deflections, 1.5 sacks, and 35 tackles. Moving forward through 2018 with the departure of Richard Sherman, it looked as though the Seahawks were hoping that Coleman would be a major player for the team. He became their primary nickelback and produced a career high 51 total tackles, .5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 10 pass deflections, and returned a fumble for a TD against the 49ers.
Literally at the time of this post Justin was inking a free agent contract with the Detroit Lions. As offenses continue to evolutionize, defenses are forced to catch up and the specialized slot corner or nickelback is now in extreme demand. That being said, Justin is now the highest paid slot defender in the league.