In the dynasty space of fantasy football, I like to consider myself well informed. I also enjoy the prospect evaluation phase for incoming rookies, especially wide receivers. However, before three weeks ago, I couldn’t have told you who the hell Keelan Cole was. Then, he went out and made this play on his first target.
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) August 11, 2017
The reason his name didn’t show up during the draft process is most likely attributed to where he played at Division II Kentucky Wesleyan. Unlike fellow D2 All-American Adam Shaheen, who was a second-round draft pick, Cole went undrafted and joined the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent over offers from Seattle and Washington. It certainly wasn’t the lack of production that was holding Cole back.
|Year||Class||G||Rec||Rec Yds||Rec TD||Team Passing||Team TDs||MS Yards||MS TD||Dom|
To put his 2014 numbers into perspective, his receiving yards and TDs led all of Division II. Not too bad for a guy that walked on at Kentucky Wesleylan and played defensive back in high school. Cole grew five inches after he graduated high school, which prompted the position change from DB to WR. It appears to have worked out for him.
Cole was a valuable chess piece wherever he lined up. Along with his astounding receiving production, Cole was also used on special teams, scoring four career kick return touchdowns. That’s exactly what helped Cole reach All-American status, not as a WR, but with the “All Purpose” designation.
Why does that matter? Jon Moore previously highlighted why special teams production has hidden value.
|Year||Class||G||Punt Ret||Punt Ret Yards||Punt Ret TD||Punt Ret Avg.||Kick Ret||Kick Ret Yards||Kick Ret TD||Kick Ret Avg.|
Cole started hot with that big play but has cooled of late, including two big drops in back-to-back games. Brian Sexton of jaguars.com wrote of Cole:
He dropped what should have been his second touchdown catch of the pre-season but he’s flashed so brightly that it’s almost impossible for that play to diminish what he’s done every day on the practice fields and in the games.
He did start the third pre-season game due to a Marquise Lee injury. Throw in Allen Hurns trade rumors and a Dede Westbrook injury, and Cole could see meaningful snaps this year.
However, it’s more likely that Cole is battling for one of the final roster spots and aside from snaps on special teams won’t see the field. His production should be enough for us to file his name away for a later point in time, and if he starts climbing the depth chart, we should take notice.