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Scouting The Draft: Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn

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A look at the Auburn WR

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Introduction

One of the big decisions of the Jets offseason is going to be what to do with Percy Harvin, who is due upwards of 10 million dollars and a 4th round pick if kept. It's certainly possible the Jets keep Harvin or renegotiate a lower salary, but with or without Harvin, the Jets have a need for electric downfield playmakers. One such name to keep an eye on is Sammie Coates out of Auburn.

Coates was a Rivals 3 star recruit out of Leroy High School in Leroy, Alabama. After originally committed to Southern Mississippi, he switched his commitment to Auburn after watching Cam Newton and the Tigers win the BCS National Championship. After redshirting his first year, Coates found his way onto the field as a redshirt freshman before taking over the starting job and becoming a big time contributor for the 2013-2014 BCS Title game Auburn Tigers.

Measurables

Height: 6-1 3/4"

Weight: 213 lbs

Hand size: 9 1/2"

Arm length: 33 1/2"

Projected 40: 4.35

Stats

Year Receptions Yards Yards Per Catch Touchdowns
2014 34 741 21.8 4
2013 42 902 21.5 7
2012 6 114 19.0 2

Pros:

+Elite athleticism. Just a downright ridiculous athlete. Every year, sports journalist Bruce Feldman compiles a list of the 20 freakiest athletes in college football. Over the last 3 years prior to this year, the top freaks have been as follows: Jadeveon Clowney, Margus Hunt, and Jeff Demps. Probably 3 of the best pure athletes around. Last year, who topped the list? Sammie Coates. He's strong and fast. Auburn has hand-timed him at a 4.25, he has a recorded 44 inch vertical leap, and can bench 405. Freaky. Expect him to light up the Combine.

+ Very good runner after the catch. Flashes good agility and cuts in the open field. Physically strong enough to manhandle DBs. Please see the video below.

+ Vertical threat. Has a career yards per catch over 21 yards. Creates separation with his speed and burst of the line.

+ Coachable and plays specials. Did some work for Auburn as a gunner on punt teams and did it well. Gotta appreciate that.

+ Flashes the ability to make smooth stops and starts in route running

+ Long arms and tremendous leaping ability gives Coates a large catch radius.

+ Accelerates quickly and eats up cushion in a hurry.

Cons

- Raw route runner. Played in a run heavy system at Auburn where he had a limited route tree.

- Must improve getting off the line against press coverage.

- Too often catches with his body.

- Was not overly productive, inconsistent as a junior.

- Occasionally will have concentration lapses.

- Shows inconsistency in tracking the down field throw.

- Needs to high point the ball more often in traffic, though has the ability to.

- Despite strength and playing in a run heavy system, is not a very good blocker. Plays as more of a wall off blocker than truly using blocking technique. Not overly aggressive in the run blocking game.

Conclusion

Coates is the very definition of a boom or bust prospect in my opinion. He is difficult to project due to his collegiate system, limited route tree, and good but not great production. He's certainly going to be a project for any team that takes him. Yet he is still my favorite WR prospect in the draft behind Dorial Green-Beckham. His athletic potential, size, strength, and frame screams Julio Jones. After a down season it had looked like Coates was trending down to the mid 2nd round, but the buzz is that he tore up the Senior Bowl practices showing the ability to run the short and intermediate routes, leading him to possibly rise back into the first round. He's a bit of a risk for sure, but he's a superb block of wood to work with. If he manages to get to the Jets second round pick, I'm all over it.