Leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft, current and former Steelers' players will be sharing their Draft Day Memories. In this installment, Sammie Coates shares his story of being drafted in the third round by the Steelers in 2015.
Sammie Coates – Third Round – 2015 – Auburn
"I came up here to the Steelers and visited during the pre-draft visit time. It was different. I am a country person. When I got here I wasn't used to the city. But I liked it. It's a blue collar city.
"There wasn't anything where the Steelers showed they were going to draft me. It was kind of unique that they did draft me. The situation I came into, I was kind of surprised, because they already had some great receivers. I am happy I got drafted here. It's a great place to be, a great quarterback, a great vibe. I am happy to be here.
Photos of Steelers WR Sammie Coates.
"The whole process of the draft is one of those things that is nerve-wracking. You don't know what is going to happen, where you are going to be. You just hope it goes okay. You are thinking I would love to go here, I would love to go there. At the end of the day you are happy wherever you go.
"My expectations were up and down about where I would be drafted. Auburn wasn't a big passing school. Coming out I knew someone might have to take a chance on me. They couldn't tell if I was really that kind of player. I did well at the combine, so my numbers were good. I was just hoping for the best. I didn't know. I was hoping to go really early, everybody does. I was just happy I got drafted.
"Draft day is crazy. You work so hard to get where you are and as the day rolls on and you don't get called, everything goes through your mind. You sit there and wait, and hope you get called the next day. Then you sit and wait more. Once you get that phone call it's one of the greatest feelings ever. I don't care what round it is. It might not be the round you want to go in, but once they call you, you feel like your hard work paid off.
"I didn't watch the first round too much. The second day I was really into it. I thought that might be when I would go. My agent was telling me I would go on the second day. I didn't know for sure. I was with my family. It wasn't a big deal we had. I just sat and waited with my family. When they did call, everyone was happy. I was so happy it was over.
"It was a long day waiting, though. I was getting texts from my agent saying I am on the phone with this team, with that team. They might take you in this round. I was like I don't want to hear that. I was getting texts saying your time is coming.
"I remember it was about 10:40 that night when they called me. It was late. I was thinking, oh man, will this happen? I was tired, everybody was tired. When I got the call everybody got excited and woke up. Everybody was quiet and worried about me before the call. I wasn't stressing. Everybody around me was stressing more than me.
"When the Steelers called it was funny. I didn't have good service. I picked up the phone and got disconnected immediately. I was like, oh no. I had to call them back. When I called Coach (Mike) Tomlin was like you don't want to get drafted. They were laughing. He then told me we are going to draft you in the third round. Welcome to the Steelers family. I talked to all of the coaches.
"I was so excited. I was speechless. To hear my name called on television was one of the biggest things in my life besides graduating from college. My family was more excited than I was. They were thrilled I was going to the NFL. I was excited the process was over. The training, going from here to there and to visit teams. I was excited to know where I was going to be. Pittsburgh is a great place to come to."