Acceleration: Is very fast, but also has great burst. A good combination of straight-line speed and initial quickness.
Agility: Has a great combination of lateral agility, balance and flexibility. Is more athletic than most defenders he has faced but might see more competition from NFL talent.
Blocking: Has not been asked to be a blocker. Doesn’t have the strength to be more than a mirror-and-slide blocker.
Hands: Inconsistent hands. Has the wingspan to extend away from his body and make catches, but fails to secure the ball and bring it in to his body. Must get better at bringing the ball in and using his hands to secure the catch. Has the ability to go up and get the ball at it’s highest point.
Release: Has not faced a high level of competition and has never seen press coverage from an NFL level body. Will have to adjust to zero coverage and learn how to beat the jam. Has the quickness to side-step a pressing cornerback, and the speed to run past defenders.
Route running: Is raw, and comes from a small school where he was not developed in to a pro-style wide receiver. Rounds off too many corners. Is inconsistent in his spacing and steps.
Size: Has ideal size but where he really stands out is his wingspan. Has great length. Has starting wide receiver size. Passes the eye-ball test.
Speed: Is incredibly fast. Has exceptional speed out of the gate and can get into his top gear instantly. Has the kind of speed to break a defense.
Final word: Gates is an intriguing player. He has exceptional athleticism, great speed and the size we all look for in starting receivers at the NFL level. His downfall is chiefly the level of talent he has faced at Abilene Christian.
Gates is a developmental prospect who may be forced in to action early on in his career. With a wide receiver you can afford to slowly ease him in to the offense throughout the season.
Gates is a solid mid-round pick who could see himself drafted higher if a team falls in love with his measurables.