It’s mentioned a draft class can’t be totally graded till at the very least three years after the picks are made. That’s why after submitting grades for each Pittsburgh Steelers choose made in 2021, I started going again via and grading earlier Steeler draft lessons starting with 2018. Right this moment continuess the fourth class in that train, with the Steelers’ third-round choose within the 2015 NFL Draft: Sammie Coates, a large receiver from Auburn.
This train follows the six viewpoints (listed beneath) for inspecting and re-grading a choose. Every of the primary 5 viewpoints will get examined and assigned a letter grade, earlier than taking that evaluation and mixing it right into a ultimate letter grade. These 5 viewpoints comprise a lot of what goes into the draft grades consumed by so many yearly after the draft.
Steelers’ Profession: What did the participant contribute to the group that drafted him?
NFL Profession: Did the participant make the choose look higher in hindsight after leaving Pittsburgh?
Decide Worth: Did the participant outperform his draft slot? Did he fail to reside as much as the choose used on him?
Positional Worth: Was the participant one of the best participant remaining at his particular place within the draft?
Different Choices: Did any gamers go in the course of the subsequent spherical that had been higher picks?
General Grade: A ultimate mark to indicate whether or not the choice was an total optimistic one, or one higher spent elsewhere.
Every think about a retrospective doesn’t apply evenly to each choose made; take into account the grades weighted. For instance, to return a excessive grade in choose worth, a first-round choose ought to have a protracted and impactful profession, whereas a later-round choose wants solely a pair seasons as a back-up or modest contributor to be well worth the choice used on him.
Some components are common, although. Whether or not picked first total or 259th, there’ll all the time be different choices on the board to match the participant to, and steals and reaches can come from anywhere within the draft.
Spherical 3, Decide 23: Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
STEELERS & NFL CAREER: D
On the time of his drafting, Sammie Coates was one other thrilling piece to a creating Steelers’ receiver room. Antonio Brown had earned his first All-Professional nod that season. Markus Wheaton had set career-highs because the starter reverse AB, and Martavis Bryant confirmed immense potential as a rookie. Standing over six toes and coupling bodily play with 4.43 pace, Coates profiled very equally to Bryant, and was an insurance coverage choose in case of regression from he or Wheaton.
However the place Bryant continued to see his star rise as a younger playmaker, Coates by no means obtained his star to mild. Issues didn’t begin properly, when he did not beat out any fellow receivers for a greater spot on the depth chart, and spent his rookie season as a fourth and fifth receiver, or an outright inactive on Sundays. His first season consisted of precisely one catch for 11 years, and extra importantly, solely 36 offensive snaps and 17 particular groups snaps.
Coates spent yet one more season in Pittsburgh, once more failing to win a beginning job however this time sticking as a contributor, because the group’s third receiver for a lot of the season. Behind Brown and Wheaton, Coates set career-highs with 21 receptions, 435 yards and his solely two NFL touchdowns. A 20.7 common on his receptions confirmed Coates’ big-play capacity, however he nonetheless didn’t play properly sufficient to keep away from spending a number of weeks as an inactive.
For all his promise and standing as a one-time potential first-rounder, Coates didn’t impress the franchise sufficient, and the group addressed the place with the number of JuJu Smith-Schuster in 2017’s second spherical. Pittsburgh traded Coates previous to his third season, and throughout the division, no much less. The Steelers dealt him and their seventh-round choose within the 2019 draft for the Cleveland Browns’ sixth-round choose within the 2018 draft.
NFL CAREER: D-
Coates’ second season in Pittsburgh was the one one in his profession the place he performed over 100 snaps on offense. Now with the Browns, Coates once more did not unseat anyone in a coaching camp battle and wound up buried on the Browns’ depth chart. He performed solely 92 snaps and made simply six catches for 70 yards for the winless Browns, and was launched after the season.
His 2017 season, spent with the Houston Texans, was virtually a precise copy of how his profession started as a Pittsburgh rookie. Coates performed 37 complete snaps on offense, and made one reception for 12 yards. The Texans reduce him previous to the tip of the season. He has not performed within the NFL since, his final publicity to the league a two-month stint with Kansas Metropolis in the course of the 2019 offseason.
Like many different former Steeler picks, Coates seemed to different leagues to proceed his profession. First within the XFL, Coates was fifth on the Houston Roughnecks with 61 receiving yards on six catches previous to the league folding. Later that yr, Coates signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders within the CFL, becoming a member of fellow former Steeler picks Demarcus Ayers and Keion Adams. His first CFL season begins in August.
PICK VALUE: D
By the Steelers’ extremely excessive requirements of drafting receivers, Coates didn’t reside as much as a third-round choice. By regular NFL requirements, he nonetheless didn’t come near dwelling as much as it, failing to change into a starter or perhaps a depth possibility. Nobody might fault the choose on the time — Coates’ profile had him as a possible first-round choose at some factors. Getting him within the third was a sensible transfer by the Steelers then. However he did not change into an NFL receiver, and any Day 2 receiver has to stay as some type of contributor to carry again strong worth.
POSITIONAL VALUE: D+
Except for the Oakland Raiders drafting Amari Cooper and possibly the Seattle Seahawks drafting Tyler Lockett, the 16 groups who drafted a receiver earlier than the 146th choose want they might toss their participant again and take Stefon Diggs as an alternative. The Day 3 choose starred with Minnesota and now as Josh Allen’s No. 1 goal in Buffalo, and has solely Cooper and Lockett as true rivals for one of the best receiver on this class.
Diggs is the one large miss at receiver that went after Coates, in a fairly weak class for depth. Jamison Crowder (one hundred and fifth, Washington) simply retains on offering numbers within the NFL, now in his seventh season and with 388-847 yards every one in all his six years prior. J.J. Nelson (159th, Arizona) had two 500-yard seasons with the Cardinals. However for receivers who stayed at that place, many of the Day 3 picks within the class went the way in which of Coates: Little to no NFL manufacturing, and unable to stay within the league. Compared to a variety of them, Coates was truly a good sufficient choose.
This doesn’t depend Darren Waller, taken within the sixth by Baltimore, later flipped to tight finish by the Raiders and changed into top-of-the-line weapons on the place within the sport in the present day. Nor does it Ty Montgomery, taken within the third by Inexperienced Bay and transformed to working again. However Diggs alone is sufficient to carry this grade down, and Crowder helps add to it.
OTHER OPTIONS: D+
Alright, so Danielle Hunter already made an look and helped add insult to literal harm on Senquez Golson’s retrospective yesterday. However going the very subsequent choose after Coates, the Professional Bowl defensive finish is a obvious various to Pittsburgh’s choose at 87 total. He isn’t the one finish moving into that vary. Trey Flowers (a hundred and first, New England) developed with the Patriots and is among the highest-paid ends within the NFL now with Detroit.
Steven Nelson, one other identify talked about yesterday and one very acquainted to any Steeler followers, went 98th in Kansas Metropolis and have become a lockdown cornerback in Pittsburgh the final two seasons. As is turning into a theme in a reasonably weak class for depth, choices past the primary few names skinny out fast. Crowder’s identify is in that vary, as is Darryl Williams (102nd, Carolina), who has began 4 seasons at sort out within the NFL. A couple of others have made careers as backups or depth.
OVERALL GRADE: D
Even when Pittsburgh misses on a choose, by just a little or by so much, the group’s logic and what they had been going for makes complete sense. It does once more in trying again on Coates, somebody who match with what the group wished in a brand new group of receivers to go with Antonio Brown. For all of the bodily gifted and athletic Auburn prospect needed to his benefit, he simply didn’t have what was wanted to reach the NFL at the moment.
Pittsburgh obtained good worth in taking a fringe first-rounder late on Day 2, and getting one with Professional Bowl upside. It’s a choose sensible groups make time and time once more, and that has rewarded groups with stars like JuJu Smith-Schuster, A.J. Brown, D.Okay. Metcalf, and Michael Thomas, to call a number of. Countering these stars are Coates, Zay Jones, Dorial Inexperienced-Beckham, Jaelen Robust, and plenty of others. The gamers with the identical sort of potential, however can’t put all of it collectively. Coates retains the traits that made him a Day 2 choose. In a pass-happy league, maybe he can unlock what was lacking in his NFL stint.