Auburn wide receiver Sammie Coates will play his final college game in the upcoming Outback Bowl, having made the decision to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, he told reporters on Monday, including Brandon Marcello of AL.com. Coates graduated a year early, and indicated that he wouldn’t be declaring for the draft if he were still an undergrad.
Coates was slowed by injuries for part of this season, and had two or fewer receptions in more than half his games, but finished strong with a five-catch, 206-yard showing against Alabama in last month’s Iron Bowl. In total, Coates hauled in 30 balls for 717 yards and four touchdowns in 2014.
Coates ranks as 2015’s fifth-best wide receiver prospect, according to WalterFootball.com, and seventh per CBS Sports’ rankings. Mel Kiper of ESPN.com suggested last week that he expects the Auburn wideout to be a late-first or early-to-mid-second round pick.