Auburn wide out Sammie Coates has announced his intentions to forgo his final season of eligibility with the Tigers to enter the NFL draft. Coates is recognized as one of the top receivers available in the upcoming draft, and it comes as no surprise that we will see him pursuing a career that involves playing football on Sundays. Coates graduated from the institution Saturday and cited that as a major reason for his decision to come out.
“If I wouldn’t have graduated, it wouldn’t have even been a thought,” Coates said
According to NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., Coates projects to be a late first to mid second round pick because of his ability to make big plays on offense and his NFL caliber size (6’2’’, 201 pounds). Despite this projection, Kiper Jr. does not have Coates as a part of his top ten receivers implying that he feels a team will reach for Coates’ services. The run- oriented Auburn offense limited Coates’ route tree and he will need to show teams he is a quick learner in order to help his draft stock.
Over the last two seasons, Coates has accumulated 1,619 yards and 11 touchdowns through the air on 72 receptions. Despite these outstanding statistics, Coates finished the regular season ranked second on the team in receiving yards and touchdowns to fellow junior Duke Williams. Williams is another potential candidate to leave early for the draft and could leave a second massive void for head coach Gus Malzahn to fill in the off-season.
Coates and several other Tigers will bring their collegiate careers to a close when Auburn faces off against the Wisconsin Badgers in January 1’s Outback Bowl.
*Photo credits to Kevin Liles, USA Today Sports