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Injured Shon Coleman misses second opportunity to show he’s ‘most athletic tackle’ in the draft

Shon Coleman spent most of his time at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last week as a spectator.

On Monday, Coleman settled for a similar role.

Coleman spent Auburn’s pro day cheering on his former teammates while mixing in conversation with NFL scouts in attendance at the university’s athletic complex.

The offensive tackle was one of 14 former players invited to the go through drills and workouts in front of NFL employees, but couldn’t participate as he recovers from surgery on a partially torn MCL.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Coleman said. “Being at the combine, I truly feel like I’m probably the most athletic lineman there. Me not being able to showcase that is kind of painful, but at the same time it’s a rehab process so I’m trying to get everything ready.”

Coleman suffered the injury in a late-season home loss to Georgia. Originally thought to be a sprain, Coleman played in the Tigers’ final two games, but an MRI after the season showed a slight tear of the MCL in his right knee. The injury could keep Coleman sidelined all the way until NFL teams hold rookie mini-camps in mid-May.

It’s not an ideal timeline for the projected second round pick, but Coleman isn’t focusing on the negative.

“This whole rehab process has been going good,” Coleman said. “I’m getting stronger and more flexible and everything. I’m pretty confident.”

Coleman interviewed with 16 teams at the NFL combine and expects film from his two years as Auburn’s starting left tackle will erase any of their potential injury concerns.

“They see everything on tape,” Coleman said. “They know I have the athleticism. For the most part I let them know I can learn a scheme. A lot of people bash our offense because we might be a lot simpler here, but as far as picking up schemes and knowing fronts and knowing defenses and things like that, that was my big deal just thinking about the mental part of that.”

Coleman can also count on a glowing recommendation from his former coach Gus Malzahn.

“I think Shon’s upside is out the roof,” Malzahn said. “You’re talking about a guy that really only played two years of SEC football and you see how much he improved from the first year to the second year. He’s one of those football savvy guys. He’s a leader. He’s a mature guy. I think his upside is unbelievable. I think he’s a big-time left tackle and it’s going to be fun to watch him develop at the next level.”

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