Just yesterday, news broke of a trade between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns. In exchange for a 2018 sixth-round draft pick, the Steelers sent receiver Sammie Coates to Cleveland. Now of course, Cleveland’s draft pick will help the Steelers, but what about the other end? How can new receiver in Coates help the Browns?
How Sammie Coates Helps the Cleveland Browns
Another Fountain of Youth
If there’s one thing that the Cleveland Browns are really good at, it’s being a super young football team. And adding Coates only helps them get younger. Coates is only 24 years old and his birthday isn’t until March. The Browns may have needed a veteran presence amongst their receiving corps, but instead they decided to allow the group to grow by itself. What’s ironic is that, as of right now, Coates is still the second-oldest receiver on the Browns roster.
An Easy Target
Coates is a speed demon above anything else. On almost every route, he has the separation and explosiveness to put some serious distance between him and a defender. Additionally, his size makes him a nice target for any quarterback, especially a gunslinging rookie like DeShone Kizer. Standing at 6’1″, Coates will likely be able to make catches over cornerbacks such as new Steeler Joe Haden.
The only real problem with Coates as a receiver is that his hands are…unreliable, to put it nicely. Before the 2015 NFL Draft, scouts noted that Coates “won’t be on any quarterback’s Christmas card list.” And honestly, that’s just cold. But in any case, Browns fans shouldn’t be too worried about Coates’ hands. Just have receivers coach Al Saunders put him in front of a JUGS machine for a while during each practice. Then and only then will Coates truly become a dynamic receiver.
Explosive Deep Threat
It seems every team in the AFC North is going the way of the deep-threat receiver who can take the top off a defense. The Steelers have Antonio Brown, the Bengals have A.J. Green and John Ross, and the Ravens have Breshad Perriman. Now, the Cleveland Browns have their own uber-fast, explosive receiver.
Although he is still a bit raw, Sammie Coates is one of the best in the league on the fly route. He ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine and his explosiveness is hard to contain. Again, he just really needs to work on his hands. But if he can do that and truly mold himself into a number-one wide receiver, the AFC North should watch out.
It’s pretty difficult to justify this being a “bad trade” for the Browns. Really, all that they did was take a flyer on a receiver. He’s big and fast, but has trouble with his hands sometimes. Additionally, Sashi Brown was also able to get an all-important draft pick packaged with Coates. Although it’s only a seventh-rounder, it still absolutely counts in the Browns’ book.
What’s ironic is that the sixth-round pick the Browns sent to Steelers was the one that the Steelers sent to the Browns when they acquired Justin Gilbert. So really, here’s what the trade was: the Browns got Sammie Coates in exchange for Justin Gilbert. That’s a pretty great trade for Cleveland, don’t you think?
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