Sammie Coates was a fan favorite at Auburn
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Pittsburgh Steelers receivers coach Richard Mann liked what his bosses did when they selected his newest pupil, Auburn's Sammie Coates, in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday night.
"I thought it was a great selection," Mann said in a video on the Pittsburgh Steelers website. "He's a great athlete. He's got good speed to take the top off the coverage."
Coates is the first Auburn player to be selected in this year's draft. Others will follow in Rounds 4 through 7 Saturday.
Coates is a fast 6-foot-2, 213 pounds and is coming off a 34-catch season when he had an Auburn-best 741 receiving yards. He had 82 catches for 1,757 yards and 13 touchdowns in his three years at Auburn.
And he showed Pittsburgh he'll do some of the less glamorous things that were important to Auburn.
"He'll block, he'll dig out safeties," Mann said, who added Coates will help the Steelers' running game. "He'll be good at that.
"I think the sky is the limit for him."
The scouting report by Auburn receivers coach Dameyune Craig on Sammie Coates spoke volumes during the Senior Bowl week as well.
"Anyone who meets Mr. Coates loves him," Craig said. "He definitely has a big heart. He wants to help everyone.
"He's a team player. He was willing to be in an offense where he was able to sometimes demand double coverage to get his teammates open, he would block when he was asked to block. He wasn't a selfish guy."
Coates was willing to flash his smile, and made a name for himself with his good work lifting spirits of children in hospitals.
"He'd just bring a good spirit to your locker room. The athletic ability and all the football stuff that comes with it is great, but I think he brings even more off the field," Craig said.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine