The 2018 NFL Draft Prospect series breaks down draft-eligible players, highlighting their college production as well as their NFL potential. It’s important for daily fantasy players to know about NFL rookies before they’ve played a down of professional football because they are among the most misvalued assets in all of DFS. People who know NFL rookies have a significant DFS edge. The draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, from April 26-28.
This piece is on Texas Tech wide receiver Keke Coutee, who has declared early for the draft. For the total list of all players leaving school early, see our underclassmen tracker.
For more on all the other receivers in the class, see our 2018 NFL draft wide receiver rankings.
Updated as of Mar. 8.
Junior | 5’10″ and 181 Pounds | Born January 14, 1997 (Age: 21) | Projection: Rounds 4-5
Combine numbers: 40-yard: 4.43 sec | bench reps: 14 | 3-cone: 6.93 sec | 20-yard shuttle: 4.15 sec | vertical: 34.5 in | broad: 113 in
Coutee isn’t quite this year’s Jakeem Grant, but he has potential. While Coutee doesn’t have the unbelievable speed of his Texas Tech predecessor — Grant ran a 40-yard dash in the 4.20-second range at his pro day — Coutee is a former four-star recruit and he displayed good raw speed and sufficient agility at the combine. On top of that, he’s significantly bigger than Grant (5’6″ and 165 pounds) and younger than Grant (24) was as a rookie. Whereas Grant was a sixth-round selection, Coutee could be drafted early on Day 3.
After playing as a depth receiver as a freshman, Coutee replaced the graduated Grant as the slot receiver in Tech’s offense as a sophomore, and on a per-game basis he basically did in his two years as a starter what Grant did the two years prior.
- Grant (2014-15): 92.4 yards and 0.76 touchdowns from scrimmage
- Coutee (2016-17): 93.4 yards and 0.72 touchdowns from scrimmage
While Grant was more productive as a runner (199 career yards vs. 17) and a returner (four career touchdowns vs. one touchdown), Coutee overall was better as a receiver in his final season: He was fourth in the nation with 1,429 yards receiving, and he had a 32.9 percent share of Tech’s receiving yardage, which is a high percentage for any given receiver to have in that offense.
With his versatility, Coutee — like Grant — has the opportunity to stick in the NFL as a return man and gadget player while developing as a receiver, but unlike Grant he really might have the chance to contribute right away as a pass catcher. Although Coutee will likely be limited to the slot — he played 93.7 percent of his snaps there last year (Pro Football Focus) — he probably has the ability to beat NFL slot defenders. Last year he was 11th in the country with 3.09 yards per route (PFF), and he was first with 1,265 slot yards and sixth with 501 deep yards. Given his size, production, and speed, Coutee isn’t quite at T.Y. Hilton‘s level, but he’s perhaps a better Jarius Wright.
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