Can 2015 Draft Pick Sammie Coates Fill Martavis Bryant’s Shoes?

In recent years, the Steelers have been able to acquire receivers with exceptional talent in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft. The last bad luck the Steelers had picking a receiver was when they chose Limas Sweed in 2008. This turned out to be a waste of a second-round pick, but their luck with receivers has since turned around. We’re hoping that 2015 fifth-rounder Sammie Coates is a high-quality receiver just like his predecessors.

Since 2008, the Steelers consistently picked talented receivers despite not choosing any players in the first two rounds. In 2009, the Steelers chose third-rounder Mike Wallace, who currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens. In 2010, they chose third-rounder Emmanuel Sanders as well as third-rounder Antonio Brown. The Steelers then chose third-rounder Markus Wheaton in 2013 and fourth-rounder Martavis Bryant in 2014. With Sanders and Wallace no longer on the team and Bryant serving a year-long suspension, it may be 2015 fifth-rounder Sammie Coates’ time to shine.

Coates once had a reputation for dropping the ball when he was at Auburn. Since the offense that he was in didn’t receive many targets, the balls he dropped felt like the end of the world to Coates and his teammates, or at least the end of his career.

Luckily, Coates has since redeemed himself and is looking very promising in practice. At 6 foot 1 and 212 pounds, Coates has used his speed and his size to make a number of contested catches. He has made one-handed sideline grabs around a defense and two-handed catches above his helmet. He’s even laid out his large frame to catch a deep ball in the end zone. Coates has some big shoes to fill during the suspension of Martavis Bryant, but if training is any indication, he should be able to keep the team afloat.

Sammie Coates certainly has a promising level of skill, but what is most impressive is his can-do attitude. Coates told Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he is ready to play and to help his team win. Coates’ excitement hows a level of dedication to his team and to the sport of football that not all players demonstrate. It is clear that Coates will work tirelessly to help the Steelers reach success. With his combination of skill and enthusiasm, Coates is likely to fulfill these goals. Only time will tell how Coates does on the Steelers. If the past successes of the Steers’ late draft picks are any indication of how Sammie Coates will perform, chances are the Steelers will succeed with Coates as their receiver.