Scouting Profile: Wide Receiver Keke Coutee

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Apr 9, 2018

Texas Tech wide receiver Keke Coutee is an electric play-maker who can benefit from a creative play-caller in the NFL

Keke Coutee, Texas Tech

Height: 5’10”
Weight: 181 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.43 seconds
Vertical: 34.5 inches
Broad Jump: 9’5″

While watching Coutee on film, he brings plenty of excitement, though some feel as if it won’t translate to the next level, as evidenced by him being ranked outside the top-10 wide receivers on most draft boards. He’s highly debatable, but one thing is certain – he’s a weapon. Whether it be on special teams or in a spread offense, Coutee will make his mark.

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Some tie college production to the quarterback they played with and some thought Coutee was a product of Patrick Mahomes‘ insane arm strength, but Coutee silenced those critics when he set career-highs in receptions (93), yards (1,429), and touchdowns (10) in his junior year without Mahomes. He posted those stats with consistency, too, as he recorded at least 72 yards in 10-of-13 games, including five games with more than 160 receiving yards.

Size/Versatility: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I’m not going to pretend that Coutee comes with the size that Courtland Sutton does, but that’s not what he’s being drafted for. He’s someone you can line up all over the field, though the slot is where he’ll play a majority of his snaps. While with Texas Tech, he was used to run routes out of the backfield, used on wide receiver screens, wheel routes, and whatever else they needed him to do. He’s the type of player that a creative offensive coordinator covets, because he’ll keep the defense honest. His size isn’t so bad that you’re concerned about injury, either, as he’s built solidly from head-to-toe. His versatility is what gives him such a high grade in this category.

Route Running/Ability to Separate: 2.5 out of 5 stars
There’s nothing special with his route-running and his route tree is limited, but he is a quick twitch player who uses his speed to create separation. It helps that he has multiple gears that he works through, hitting his turbo button out of his breaks will give him more than enough separation. He’s not going to out-technique some of the game’s top cornerbacks, but he will beat them with his speed. While I’m expecting him to line up primarily in the slot, he won’t be facing some of the league’s top cornerbacks, as most don’t travel into the slot. His route-running could be considered as below-average, but his ability to separate makes up for it.

Speed: 5.0 out of 5 stars
He’s got what I describe as speed-on-demand. He simply played at a different speed than anyone else on the field, and it was apparent when he created five yards of separation on go-routes. Has extraordinary stop-and-go speed. If you don’t anticipate him going over the top, he’s gone. While he will struggle with press coverage, should he break free, you aren’t catching him from behind. His burst shows up all over the field, too, so there’s not just one particular area of the field you have to worry about it – it’s everywhere. Even if he doesn’t get into the starting lineup when the season starts, you’ll have fans clamoring for him to get on the field when his speed shows up on returns. He’s the type of player who can take it to the house at any moment.

Hands: 2.0 out of 5 stars
Another area of his game where he seems to be good enough. He’s got mediocre hands on deep balls, as he simply seems less confident using his hands, and would rather go for a basket-catch. If he continues to get separation like he has, this won’t be an issue, but he could struggle with contested catches due to his lack of strength. If you’re using him in the underneath game, Coutee’s hands are like those of a solid running back. His hands aren’t going to be what he’s known for, but they also shouldn’t be something that keeps him off the field.

Awareness: 3.5 out of 5 stars
He’s an excellent ball-tracker, which is important given his ability to go deep. While it doesn’t take much to catch a screen or bubble pass, he does so in a way that doesn’t disrupt his momentum in the route, showing the ability to multi-task. He also displays the knowledge of where a soft spot is in zone coverage, something that’s often based on instincts. He’s also seemingly aware of where defenders are located before he turns around, showing solid awareness of what is taking place behind him while running his route.

After the Catch: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Some have called Coutee soft, but that’s not what I see when watching him. He’s extremely slippery, bouncing off tackles, evading defenders with any tactic possible. Whether it be ducking, spinning, or breaking an ankle tackle, he gets the job done. He’s not Dez Bryant and won’t shake off defenders with ease, but he is extremely elusive in the open field. His vision is highlighted on his kickoff returns, and it’s also the reason he’s able to break-off a big play at any time. Bottom line: With the ball in his hands, he’s electric. Get him the ball and good things are bound to happen.

Potential Landing Spot
This is extremely important for a player like him, as you don’t want his talents to go to waste, but with a player like him, it could happen with a coordinator who isn’t creative. Because of that, Coutee is someone who I’d love to see on the Saints. Sean Payton has proved time and time again that he knows how to get his players in space. It’s hard to imagine defending a group of Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, and Coutee on the field at once. Another team that could be a solid fit is the Falcons, who just lost Taylor Gabriel in free agency.

NFL Comparison
While he may not be the Olympic-timed runner that Tyreek Hill is, Coutee’s game should resemble that of Hill’s. Both have a turbo button to get to the edge, both were considered rough around the edges as route-runners coming into the league, and both can be moved all around the formation. It’s extremely high praise for Coutee, but knowing that Hill landed with a play-callers Andy Reid and Matt Nagy made a huge difference in what his career became. There’s no doubt in my mind that the talent is there with Coutee, so pay close attention to his landing spot.

Don’t miss the other Scouting Profiles on top prospects below:
Saquon Barkley (RB – Penn State)
Derrius Guice (RB – LSU)
Ronald Jones (RB – USC)
Sony Michel (RB – Georgia)
Nick Chubb (RB – Georgia)
Royce Freeman (RB – Oregon)
Rashaad Penny (RB – San Diego State)
Kerryon Johnson (RB – Auburn)
John Kelly (RB – Tennessee)
Kalen Ballage (RB – Arizona State)
Calvin Ridley (WR – Alabama)
James Washington (WR – Oklahoma State)
Courtland Sutton (WR – Southern Methodist)
Michael Gallup (WR – Colorado State)
D.J. Moore (WR – Maryland)
Christian Kirk (WR – Texas A&M)
Anthony Miller (WR – Memphis)
Equanimeous St. Brown (WR – Notre Dame)
Daesean Hamilton (WR – Penn State)
Dante Pettis (WR – Washington)


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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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