Scouting Report: Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
Freak, football player or both?
Today we attempt to tackle a tricky receiver. Sammie Coates is a player capable of making eye-popping, jaw-dropping plays. He’s also capable of dropping the go ahead score with no time on the clock. Coates’ speed and athleticism alone will keep him in the league for a long time. You might say that Coates is the 2015 version of Donte Moncrief—a player with some obvious physical strengths but an incomplete all-around game.
The crucial question we need to answer about Sammie Coates is, can he be more than just a deep threat? Few sane football people would question this guy’s ability to take the top off a defense. Coates is a player who must be accounted for at all times or things can go very bad in the blink of an eye. This is a player who, if you judged him on his ten best college plays, would be right up there with Amari Cooper, Kevin White and DeVante Parker. Sadly, we need to factor in the drops and inconsistent play.
Coates was asked at the combine about being pegged as just a vertical threat.
“Being a receiver, you work on running routes, and I've always been doing that - we just didn't have the plays always called. I've been running routes since I've been there, it's just the fact that I haven't showcased them on film because it wasn't my role in the offense.”
Coates is already giving some of his endorsement money back to Leroy High School in Leroy Alabama, where he played high school ball.
“Just to give back to where I came from, I went to a small high school - only 75 in my graduating class, so not much goes through there, not many people or many stores, a dollar store - that's it. But to give back to my high school, that's big to me.”
- Height - 6’1”
- Weight - 212
- Hand - 9 3/8”
- Arm - 33 3/8”
- 40 - 4.43
- Bench - 23 reps
- Vertical Jump - 41”
- Broad Jump - 10’11”
- 3 Cone - 6.98
- 20 Yd Shuttle - 4.06
- 60 Yd Shuttle - 11.81
Those are serious all-around numbers. He’s fast. He’s explosive. He’s strong. This was a very impressive performance, and we think his 40 time is a little on the slow side. He plays faster than that.
- Size - Coates is close to ideal size-wise. He’s actually a shade over 6’1” and his long arms combined with his freaky vertical leap give him a huge catch radius.
- Speed - He’s fast on film and he was fast at the combine. In fact, on film, he looks sub 4.40 at times.
- Release - Great release. Gets off fast and accelerates quickly to top gear. Gets defenders on their heels quickly.
- Strength - He’s freakish in this regard and he plays that way—out-muscling defenders. He’s going to be just fine going against NFL press coverage.
- Hands - This is Coates’ area of weakness and concern. He drops too many passes and unless he cleans this up, he could be a role player at the next level. And, just to be clear, Coates shows decent hands at times. He can catch with his hands. He just makes way too many … let’s call them concentration drops.
- Big play ability - Not only does Coates make big plays, he has a knack for making them at big times and against the big schools. It makes you wonder what he could do if he channeled his intensity more consistently.
- Routes - While he can be a little stiff in and out of his breaks, he does run some effective routes, because corners give him tons of respect. His size makes him very hard to redirect or knock off his routes. He’s a pure outside receiver.
- Blocking - Makes some great blocks, but needs to be more consistent. His strength and size are obvious advantages here.
- Production - Auburn has a lot of good receivers, so it’s understandable that Coates wasn’t targeted a ton. His numbers are still impressive, especially the 21.4 yards per catch.
Draft Breakdown has three of Coates’ games on tap.
Coates is a player who struggles with focus at times. It’s not uncommon for young athletes and it’s something that can improve with time. That's not to say it will or it won't. Coates strikes me as the kind of kid who will actually like being a professional. Being freed from the time constraints of being a student athlete will probably help his football and perhaps his focus.
Needs to improve on:
- Working back to the QB
- Getting head turned early
- Route awareness against zone coverage
The hands could improve with better focus and concentration. The rest of it could improve with time and experience. As I said earlier, Coates' speed and physicality can keep him in the league all by itself. So, he's a player who will be afforded some time to improve.
This draft class has a few high-end wild cards and Coates is one of them. On the right team, given a little time, he could be a serious weapon. Teams like Baltimore, Seattle, Minnesota or Philadelphia are all good potential landing spots. If he ends up with a strong-armed quarterback, he has a pretty high fantasy ceiling.
We’ll update Coates’ fantasy value after the draft in our post-draft rookie rankings.
More 2015 Scouting Reports:
- Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
- Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
- Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
- Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
- Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
- Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
- Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
- Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami
- Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
- TJ Yeldon, RB, Alabama
- Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary
- Nelson Agholor, WR, USC
- Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
- Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF
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- Wide Receiver Rankings Week 16 Part Deux