A Look At New Saints LB Henry Coley


At the conclusion of rookie mini-camp the New Orleans Saints signed five players to their roster with one of them being former Virginia linebacker Henry Coley.

Coley, 6’2″-245 lbs., was invited to the Saints mini-camp on a tryout basis and impressed the coaches so much that they actually waived an undrafted free agent they had signed, linebacker Stephon Sanders.

One of Coley’s teammates at Virginia, outside linebacker Eli Harold, was a highly thought of option for the Saints  in the 2015 NFL Draft but was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 3rd Round.

Harold did visit with the Saints before the draft but you can be certain that they were also watching Coley on the slick while studying tape at Virginia.

And what made Coley stand out to the coaching staff?  It’s simple looking at his numbers…..

Coley’s senior season was one that garnered him some interest leading up to the draft where he had 76 tackles with 12.5 for a loss, 2 forced fumbles and 8 sacks.

In the ACC that year he was ranked 5th in sacks, 7th in tackles for a loss, and 9th in forced fumbles.

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Coley’s junior year was just as impressive where had 91 tackles with 10 for a loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 sack, and returned an interception 23 yards that was lateraled to him.

His 91 tackles would get him ranked at 12th in the ACC in that category.

He would finish his career at Virginia with 222 total tackles with 29.5 for a loss, 3 forced fumbles, and 10 sacks.

Coley would also get plenty of honors in 2014:

  • Touchdown Club of Richmond’s Linebacker of the Year
  • All-ACC second-team
  • All-ACC Coaches second-team
  • Lott IMPACT Trophy semifinalist
  • Team Captain
  • Allstate AFCA Good Works Team nominee
  • Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list
  • Wuerffel Trophy nominee
  • Phil Steele preseason third-team All-ACC

The Saints have also preached about finding smart players which Coley in 2012 and 2013 was named All-ACC Academic.

At his Pro Day, Coley didn’t do any favor to his draft stock by clocking a pedestrian 4.95 and 4.98 40-yard dash.

He would also vertical jump 29 inches, broad jump 115 inches, and get 23 reps on bench press.

Sep 27, 2014; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers linebacker Henry Coley (44) tackles Kent State Golden Flashes quarterback Colin Reardon (10) in the second quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at the stats for Coley, his tackling is probably what stands out for the Saints since that was an area of weakness for them during the 2014 season.

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Listed as an inside linebacker, Coley could provide some depth if he makes the team although there probably isn’t a chance he will beat out players like Ramon Humber or Dannell Ellerbe.

But the Saints coaching staff obviously see something in Coley if they decided to keep him after mini-camp wrapped up.

Head coach Sean Payton expressed that mini-camp is time for undrafted free agents like Coley to earn a spot on the roster like others in the past have such as Pierre Thomas and current Saint Khiry Robinson.

Heading towards organized team activities and training camp, Coley will try to do just that……

Next: The 5 Most Impressive Rookies of Mini-Camp