The Chris Cooley “Seal of Approval” matters if you are a tight end for the Washington Football Team.
The WFT’s newest tight end, fourth-round pick John Bates, has already earned “the seal.”
“I love this dude,” Cooley said in reflection on Bates’ including in the WFT’s recent NFL Draft.
Cooley’s credentials, you know. In his nine seasons with Washington, Cooley totaled 429 catches for 4,711 yards and 33 touchdowns.
And Bates’ credentials as a helper to WFT tight end starter Jordan Reed? That’s going to have to be about projection; a product of Boise Stare, the 6-5, 250-pound Bates did a lot of blocking in college and caught just two TD passes.
The popular Cooley, appearing on “The Kevin Sheehan Show” podcast and a recent episode discussing Washington’s 2021 NFL draft, praised Bates for his athleticism.
“Real versatility,” Cooley said. “The thing I love is he is a natural athlete. He looks like a basketball player; he’s fluid to the ball.”
Other experts, including ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, also praised the Bates pick. Said McShay: McShay: "I think he catches the ball as well as any tight end in this class besides (Atlanta No. 4 overall pick Kyle) Pitts."
Most experts echo the thoughts of Cooley, who said, “You watch him at Boise State open his body up and make those go-up-and-get-it type catches; he’s a natural, down-the-field threat, more than people actually think.”
All the opinions on Bates are worth collecting. But in the case of the former Pro Bowl tight end Cooley? In this case, it carries a bit of extra weight.