Sammie Coates, Auburn WR: Seahawks Draft Profile

Many mock drafters, including Rob Rang of CBS Sports, have the Seattle Seahawks selecting Auburn WR Sammie Coates with the 31st pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

The pick definitely makes sense, and should be welcome news to ‘Hawks fans.

Despite Chris Matthews‘ emergence in Super Bowl 49, the Seahawks are still in need of an athletically dominant wide receiver. Sammie Coates is exactly that. His speed is to drool over and his strength is even better. He has all the physical tools of a Pro Bowl NFL receiver.

Another plus for Coates is his off-the-field intangibles. He has never been a distraction or trouble-maker in the locker room, or in the rest of his life. Here is a video on his relationship with a young leukemia patient, something that is rare for a college-athlete. 

The problem with Coates is his development as wide receiver. Even if you were to watch his highlights, you won’t see many “hands catches”. He isn’t a consistent hands catcher, and too often waits for the ball to fall into his arms instead of high-pointing it. He also struggled with drops during his college career and has suspect route-running.

However, good coaching could turn this raw prospect, into a star. And no team in the NFL has done as good of a job of developing talent as the Seahawks.

For some insight on Coates from someone who has watched him develop over the past three years, here is Nicholas Allen from FlyWarEagle.

Question: What are Sammie Coates’ strengths and weaknesses?

Sammie Coates has earned the tag “athletic freak,” and for good reason. He’s been clocked in the 4.3-second range in the 40-yard dash, has a 44-inch vertical and bench presses over 400 pounds, and at 6-foot-2 and 213 pounds, he’s got good size as well. Coates been in the top 5 nationally each of the past two seasons in yards per catch at 21.5 in 2013 and 21.8 last season – so he’s a big play machine. That said, he could have made even more big plays at Auburn. Coates’ hands have been inconsistent and he’s dropped his fair share of passes. Also, a lingering leg injury early in the 2014 season slowed him down a bit and there were a handful of long passes that he just couldn’t catch up to.

Q: What kind of a difference-maker was Sammie Coates at Auburn?

Coates was huge as a vertical weapon in the passing game and made opponents respect the pass. He also had an impact off the field. Coates won the 2015 Rare Disease Champion Award (more info here:  http://flywareagle.com/2015/02/01/sammie-coates-wins-2015-rare-disease-champion-award/ ) and by all accounts is a great guy.

Q: Do you think Sammie Coates will still be available to the Seahawks at #31?

It’s hard to say. He’s got the physical tools to be a mid first rounder, but Mel Kiper had him 31st in his first mock draft and out of the first round in his second that was published this week. If Coates puts up the kind of numbers he’s capable of at the Combine this month, he’s the type of player that could create a lot of buzz leading up to the draft and push himself up teams’ draft boards.

Q: Ultimately, how successful do you see Sammie Coates being in the NFL?

Again, he’s got all the physical tools, so if he stays healthy he has a chance to do very well in the NFL. Also, because he’s a high character person he’s less of a risk than some of the other players coming out, meaning he shouldn’t create any discipline issues for himself or his team.

Other posts in the Seahawks Draft Profile series:

Todd Gurley, Georgia RB  

Shaq Thompson, Washington OLB/SS

Xavier Cooper, Washington State DT

Breshad Perriman, UCF WR

Phillip Dorsett, Miami WR

Carl Davis, Iowa DT  

Malcolm Brown, Texas DT

Marcus Peters, Washington CB  

Hau’oli Kikaha, Washington OLB/DE

Jay Ajayi, Boise State RB

Devin Funchess, Michigan WR

Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma WR

Jalen Collins, LSU CB

Photo credit for all above pictures: USA Today Sports