With the draft just one month away, I reached out to my friend Ben Cummins over at Draft Day Consultants and The Fantasy Footballers Podcast to get his insight on Keke Coutee’s NFL potential and where some of the best landing spots would be for the former Red Raider star. Enjoy! -ZM
As the 2018 NFL Draft approaches, the spotlight is increasingly shining on a crop of young men whose lives will soon be changed forever.
And with that, the landscape of both the real football world and fantasy football will shift significantly. But who can we get excited about at the wide receiver position? There are many rumblings this is a weak pass-catching class.
That said, teams shouldn’t sleep on Texas Tech wide receiver Keke Coutee. In today’s NFL, where the passing game reigns supreme and intermediate routes oftentimes take the place of rush attempts, Coutee’s style of play creates an opportunity for his landing spot to upgrade an NFL team AND fantasy football rosters.
At 5’10” and 181 pounds, Coutee profiles as a slot receiver in the NFL. And because that’s exactly where he ran the majority of his routes at Texas Tech, Coutee’s learning curve going from college to the pros has a chance to be easily conquered. Aiding him in that endeavor will be the talent Coutee flashed on the field in a number of areas. At the NFL combine, Coutee ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, which puts him in the 85th percentile according to our friends over at PlayerProfiler.com. That speed popped out to me right away on tape.
Despite running the majority of his routes from the slot, Coutee’s speed allowed him to win deep down the field repeatedly. That fact is super exciting because it increases his upside and minimizes his limitations as a slot receiver.
But as we know, hitting homerun balls in the NFL is much easier said than done. How can Coutee function as a prototypical slot receiver by utilizing the short and intermediate areas of the field? The film says there’s upside in these aspects of Coutee’s game as well because his YAC (Yards After Catch) ability showed up repeatedly throughout the season. Coutee showed the ability to break tackles and make defenders miss in space thanks to impressive juke moves and above average agility (65th percentile).
Eddie Royal immediately came to mind while watching Keke Coutee. That’s a much more exciting comparison than some may think. Royal was a 2nd-round pick back in 2008 by the Denver Broncos and immediately burst on the scene as a rookie, catching 91 passes for 980 yards and five touchdowns. Royal’s speed and slot presence helped him produce over a solid nine-year NFL career, finishing with 408 receptions, 4,357 receiving yards, and 28 touchdowns. Royal’s 2nd-round draft selection was likely due in large part to his elite speed and burst, two categories where Royal tested better than Coutee.
However, Coutee bested Royal in agility and more importantly, college dominator. College dominator is an advanced stat, thanks again to our friends over at PlayerProfiler.com, which gives us the percentage of a wide receiver’s total team receiving yards and receiving TDs in college. Royal posted a mark of 21.7 percent (27th percentile) while Coutee scored a mark of 30.8% (53rd percentile). That correlates with overall production. Coutee wins in that department by a landslide.
- Royal’s 4-year college career: 119 receptions, 1,778 yards, 12 TDs
- Coutee’s junior season alone: 93 receptions, 1,429 yards, 10 TDs
Of course, it must be pointed out Coutee benefited from playing in a more high volume passing offense. Either way, production matters.
Ideal Landing Spots
Let’s pair Coutee back up with his old college QB. Why not? Patrick Mahomes possesses rare physical attributes that give him a chance to be one of the league’s best QBs for years to come. Mahomes was my No. 1 rated QB last year and absolutely nothing has changed for me. Mahomes’ high ceiling would offer Coutee a favorable landing spot for years to come from a dynasty perspective and the departure of Albert Wilson instantly opens up slot receiver snaps that could allow Coutee to make an immediate impact as well.
Of course, this landing spot largely depends on the health of Andrew Luck. But for now, let’s assume Luck will be healthy in 2018. A healthy Luck would mean Coutee would land in an ideal spot from a dynasty perspective. And the departure of Donte Moncrief opens up starter WR snaps immediately. The only thing keeping this from being the No. 1 landing spot, aside from questions about Luck’s health, is the presence of Ryan Grant, who the Colts just signed in free agency.
Like the Chiefs and Colts, the Bears also project to have their QB of the future in Mitchell Trubisky. That makes a landing spot in Chicago enticing from a dynasty perspective. And although there seem to be a lot of mouths to feed on paper thanks to the presence of Allen Robinson, Cameron Meredith, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton, the Bears are still missing a prototypical slot receiver. In years past, Coutee landing in Chicago wouldn’t have moved the needle. But with a new-look, progressive coaching staff in town and an exciting young quarterback, Coutee being drafted by the Bears and starting from day 1 would remind many of Cooper Kupp’s 2017 season. I mean, come on, this would be the cherry on top for “The Bears will be this year’s Rams” narrative.
What’s the best landing spot for Keke Coutee?
This poll is closed
Kansas City Chiefs