The Lions will consider a wide receiver when they are on the clock in the middle rounds of the upcoming draft. We looked at Jonathan Baldwin yesterday, a big receiver with the ability to come down with the long ball. Today we look at a receiver that could also be the deep threat the Lions need outside opposite Calvin Johnson, Abilene Christian’s Edmond Gates. Baldwin gets it done by out-jumping while Gates gets it done by out-running.
Edmond Gates, WR, Abilene Christian
Weight: 192 lbs.
Arm Length: 30 3/4 in.
Hand Size: 9 3/8 in.
40-yard dash: 4.37 sec
Broad Jump: 10’11”
Vertical Jump: 40″
Gates is a developmental prospect with big-play ability who has some makeup concerns but could become a valuable backup receiver and returner with time and more coaching. However, he’s currently very unrefined as a route-runner, lacks some bulk (but is tough), and needs to improve his overall football IQ. At this time, can turn a short pass into an explosive play, but route-running deficiencies and his ability to track the deep ball limit his ability as a vertical threat. Needs to get stronger to beat press coverage and become a better blocker. Gates could sneak into the end of Day 2.
NFL war rooms may have a hard time coming to a consensus on Edmond Gates considering the inability of various websites to agree on how his first name is spelled. The National Football Post goes with Edmund while ESPN refers to Edmund and Edmond. So, is it with a “U” or an “O”? E-D-M-O-N-D appears to be correct based on the official roster listed on the Abilene Christian University athletic page.
Some may question the level of competition he faced in college but what can’t be disputed is that Edmond Gates is fast. No prospect, regardless of level of play in college, could beat Gates’ 4.37 second 40-yard dash.
Some teams may shy away from Gates because he will be a 25-year old rookie and had only one year of football experience prior to playing at Abilene Christian. Being an older rookie wouldn’t be as much of an issue if Gates was ready to come in and contribute to an NFL team right away. The lack of experience and his developmental needs are highlighted in the National Football Post scouting report final impression:
A gifted straight-line athlete who needs to continue to mature as a route runner. Possesses a good skill set and has come a long way in a short amount of time, but needs to work on his trade if he hopes to develop as a consistent route runner in the NFL. However, his overall athleticism will allow him to make a roster in year one and develop.
Look for Gates to come of the board in the third round or sometime thereafter.