Keke Coutee– Wide Receiver
School: Texas Tech
Weight: 180 pounds
Keke Coutee NFL Draft Profile
Texas Tech University’s Keke Coutee had a truly dynamic breakout season for the Red Raiders in 2017. A true junior in 2017, Coutee demonstrated NFL ability while putting the whole country on notice amassing 93 receptions for 1,429 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns.
He put up these numbers despite suffering a mid-season leg injury which limited his ability to return kickoffs but was still able to accumulate 315 kickoff return yards to go along with a touchdown on only 10 returns. This is crucial to Coutee’s game as it brings in another dynamic that teams will consider when drafting the star wide receiver.
Slight in build, Coutee plays much bigger than his size. What intrigues me about Coutee is that he was only a three-star recruit coming out of high school, and didn’t really have an impact till late in his sophomore year. He only started a combined four games during his first two college seasons making most of his impact in the return game. The coaching staff and Coutee both realized the special talent they had during his junior year.
Yards After Catch
Yards after catch is extremely crucial to any wide receiver’s game. With the size that Coutee possesses, it almost is a must for him and boy, does he create some sensational plays after he catches the ball.
This guy is GIFTED after the catch as most of the plays Texas Tech runs for him are quick screen and shovel passes. He seriously is untouchable with his game-breaking speed after he makes the first defender miss.
One of the main things I noticed while watching film was his one-cut ability. It was amazing how he can shift speeds in the blink of an eye and make defenders look silly when they overplay him. To be successful in the NFL you need to have an ability that separates you from the pack. I believe the skill to create yards after the catch is going to be important to how Coutee projects to the NFL game and how the team that drafts him will use this strength.
This might be obvious, but I believe that it needs to be mentioned. Coutee ran an official 4.43 40 yard dash at the combine and even though that is fast, I don’t believe it tells the full story of Coutee’s speed. We have always heard about “game-speed” and this is a player who epitomizes that saying. I saw Coutee legitimately burn opposing cornerbacks on straight “Go” routes. He has special speed out of the slot and if used correctly and in the right scheme, he will transition in the NFL smoothly.
Keke Coutee comes from the Air Raid system which is the offense Texas Tech runs. Unfortunately, they offer a limited route tree, which could be problematic for Coutee when he tries to transition from the college level to the professional level. He ran a lot of screen passes, shovel passes, and go routes and while these are commonly used routes in the NFL, it all but promotes limitations.
Thus, Coutee might not be acclimated to the extended focus on late developing routes that they NFL demands. This is one of the main issues for rookie wide receivers in the NFL as they are not ready for these professional routes and in turn, struggle during their initial season. Coutee must be ready to expand his routes and be ready for this type of transition the NFL is going to ask for.
Yeah, this is something that is always difficult to talk about, but in Coutee’s case, it is a downside no matter what. While being taller and weighing more might hinder Coutee’s game as I mentioned in yards after catch and speed, it never hurts to be bigger.
Wide receivers take a good amount of punishment when they are hit making catches over the middle and being big and strong could go a long way in staying healthy. Coutee did have a few injuries during his collegiate years and while he rarely missed time, injuries add up. Size is always a factor in the NFL where you are playing with the big boys and while Coutee isn’t going to get taller, he can do himself a lot of good by gaining more weight to help him stay healthy and protect himself from incoming tacklers.
I look at Keke Coutee and I see a diamond in the rough. A player who has great speed, along with solid hands, and game-breaking yards after catch ability, which is what NFL teams are looking for in receivers.
Learning and adapting to new routes are going to be crucial to how Coutee projects in the NFL, but I believe he can be a special player found beyond the first round. He surely won’t be the most talked about receiver but watch out for who drafts Coutee as they are getting an immediate kick return specialist, as well as an interesting slot receiver who could develop into something special.
NFL Player Comparison
Teams With Need At Wide Receiver
New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals
Early to Mid-Second Round — New England Patriots