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Meet the next Puka Nacua: Holy Cross WR Jalen Coker

Could Coker be the next Puka Nacua?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Merrimack at Holy Cross Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the NFL Draft, every team is trying to find those sleepers or diamonds in the rough. Last year, the Rams struck gold when they drafted WR Puka Nacua in the fifth round. There’s a receiver out of Holy Cross who has the opportunity to be the next Nacua. His name is Jalen Coker.

Bio

Age: Unknown

Class: Senior

Height: 6’1 (Shrine Bowl)

Weight 218 (Shrine Bowl)

Strengths

Coker’s best ability is his contested catch ability. On film, he demonstrated strong hands and the ability to make catches with a defender on him. His 13 contested catches ranked 23rd among all Division 1 programs.

The combination of hands and ability to catch the ball in traffic makes Coker a dangerous threat downfield. He had the eighth most contested catches of 20+ yards in the NCAA.

Coker also has an incredible understanding of how to use his body. On film, he demonstrated the ability to box out defenders and adjust to the football when needed.

I also loved his ability to manipulate defenders with his eyes and head. Often, he made defenders look silly with well-calculated head fakes.

Coker is also a feisty competitor. You can tell he lives and eats football.

Weaknesses

One of the biggest concerns for Coker is the level of competition. Holy Cross is a member of the Patriot League, and they aren’t exactly known for having NFL talent. Transitioning from the Patriot to the NFL could be a tough challenge.

Coker isn’t slow, but he won’t wow you with his speed. This generally means he isn’t going to create a ton of YAC opportunities. While Coker is a fine pass blocker, he struggles run blocking.

The bottom line

Jalen Coker might be one of the best players you’ve never heard of. His unreal hands and ability to be unphased by defenders make him an appealing prospect. This is a player I expect to shoot up draft boards and could be an instant starter.