With all due respect to Amari Cooper, Kevin White and Devin Smith, Auburn’s Sammie Coates might be the most physically imposing wide receiver prospect in this year’s draft. And if he’s not the most physically imposing, he’s almost certainly the most athletic.
At 6-2, 213 pounds, Coates ran a 4.43 in the 40, finished second among wideouts in the bench press, and finished in the top five in both the vertical jump and the broad jump.
So yeah, the guy’s a freak.
“I think I did good overall,” Coates said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I put up good numbers, and that was my goal going into it.”
In his final two seasons at Auburn – in a run-first offense, no less – Coates had 76 catches for 1,643 yards and 11 touchdowns. He didn’t just feast on bad teams, either. In fact, Coates had nine catches for 350 yards – an average of 38.9 yards per catch – and three touchdowns against LSU and Alabama last season.
“I view myself as a playmaker,” Coates said. “If I get the opportunity to make big plays, I do it. I’m always doing something unique. That’s how I look at myself: as a game changer. And I think I’m going to take that to the NFL, too.”
Coates said that his “physical presence” is his best asset.
“I’m a strong guy,” he said. “I’m fast. I bring so much to the game.”
Coates could be drafted late in the first round or early in the second, but said he hasn’t paid much attention to rumors or projections.
“That’s something I really haven’t been focused on,” he said. “I’m just taking advantage of the opportunity to showcase my talent when I get the chance. I hope I’m going to be a first-rounder. That’s my goal. I feel like I’m a first-rounder.”
Coates believes he compares favorably to Cooper, White and the rest of the wide receiver prospects in this year’s class.
“They’re all great wide receivers,” he said. “I feel like I’m in the running with all of them. I made plays like they made plays. I don’t feel like they’re no better than me. That’s my attitude. I don’t have a reason to think somebody’s better than me.”
Coates also isn’t worried about the transition to a pro-style offense.
“I think I can (do it),” he said. “I think I’m going to be able to transition real good.”
An Eagles fan in his youth, Coates said he’ll be excited to play for any team that drafts him.
“When you get me to your team, I’m going to bring a different (dimension) to the team,” he said. “I’m the type of guy that loves to work. I love to be coached. I love to get better. So when I wake up, I’m going to choose to get better and better and be the best I can be every day.”
We’ll have to see what happens, of course, but Coates could be on his way to New England. Bill Belichick was in attendance at Auburn’s Pro Day and even chatted with Coates for a bit.
“I think my Pro Day went real good,” Coates said. “I ran good routes. I caught the ball good. Overall, that was my goal going into (it).”