Keke Coutee was drafted 103rd overall by the Houston Texans and was the 11th wide receiver selected in the 2018 NFL draft.
Coutee appears to have flown under the radar before being drafted. Although he failed to crack the top 15 in the RotoViz Scouting Index, he was drafted ahead of several big name WR prospects. Additionally, Coutee graded out as one of the top-12 WR prospects per Anthony Amico’s WR prospect model.
Before analyzing Coutee’s fit with the Texans, let’s look at his prospect profile.
Keke Coutee, Texas Tech, 5-10, 181
RAW AND MARKET SHARE COLLEGE PRODUCTION
Coutee was a three-star prospect who committed to Texas Tech over Oklahoma, Louisville, and Houston. He was one of the three true freshmen WRs to see action. Coutee played in five games and managed an 11/105/0 line.
As a sophomore, with Patrick Mahomes under center, Coutee took a big step forward. He played in all 12 games and posted a 55/890/7 receiving line. Coutee’s most impressive performance as a sophomore was a 10-catch, 172-yard, 1-TD game against a 16th-ranked Oklahoma team.
Coutee however did not experience a breakout season until his junior year. After Jonathan Giles transferred to LSU, Coutee became the focal point of one of the nation’s pass-happiest teams. His raw 2017 production numbers were strong enough to propel his yardage total into the top five in the nation. In addition to his receiving work, Coutee was used on special teams, where he returned 10 kickoffs for 315 yards and a score. Although Coutee saw limited action on special teams, it bodes well for his NFL prospects.
Unfortunately, Coutee’s athletic marks (4.43 forty, 34.5-inch vert, 6.93 agility) don’t completely offset his below-average height/weight profile, but his No. 6 finish in the Phenom Index should allay some of the concerns around a Freak Score of 42.
One of the younger WRs in the draft, Coutee benefits when we examine the influence of age from different perspectives. Receivers who play their rookie season at age 21 have historically gone on to have at least one WR2 season more than 40 percent of the time.
Referencing Kevin Cole’s regression tree for evaluating prospects, we can see that Coutee’s career market share of receiving yards is well below the level to make the positive split. However, Coutee’s receiving yards, yards per catch, and age suggest he could be poised to make the leap as a successful NFL WR.
The Landing Spot
Coutee lands in an ideal spot, as the Texans have one of the league’s best receiving opportunity scores.
The WR depth chart behind DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller is currently unsettled. During training camp Coutee will battle with Braxton Miller, Sammie Coates, and Bruce Ellington for WR3 duties. The lack of track record for his competitors gives Coutee a great opportunity to eventually secure this role.
Most interestingly, Coutee projects to be a good complementary receiver to both Hopkins and Fuller. Although Coutee may work primarily out of the slot, he’ll add an explosive and occasional vertical weapon in that role. Currently Coutee is slotted in as a Tier 7 rookie prospect. His versatile skill set and premium landing spot should help him jump several tiers in the new rankings. A perfect fit in Houston, he’s someone to consider in the late-second round of rookie drafts.