Jason Caldwell

Philadelphia Selects Auburn's Blake Countess In 6th Round of NFL Draft

Defensive back Blake Countess has been drafted by the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.

Blake Countess, who played for the Auburn Tigers as a graduate transfer for the 2015 season, was the third AU player selected into the 2016 National Football League Draft.

On Saturday the defensive back was taken by the Philadelphia Eagles as the 196th overall pick with the 21st slot in the sixth round.

The transfer from the University of Michigan started all 13 games for the Tigers, showing his versatility by playing cornerback, safety and nickel.

“I think I project more as a corner or slot corner so we’ll see,” Countess said. “I am willing to play anything, and there’s nothing I haven’t done in the back end.”

Countess finished fourth on the team in tackles with 44 solo stops and 37 assists. He deflected 11 passes, second behind Jonathan Jones who had 13, and he also intercepted two passes.

An All-Big 10 selection as a sophomore and junior, Countess played in 51 college games and started 43.

Countess, who did not receive an invitation to the NFL?Combine, was a standout performer at Auburn’s Pro Day. He had the best vertical jump at 36 1/2 inches, the fastest 40-yard dash time of 4.46 and the fastest L-shuttle time of .682.

Photo by Jason Caldwell

Blake Countess is shown running the 40-yard dash at Auburn's Pro Day.

Additionally, he showed plenty of strength for a defensive back by bench pressing 225 pounds 21 times. He measured in at 5-9 3/4, 184 pounds for his pro day workout.

“I think it was real important,” Countess said of his pro day bench press showing. “That is what I expected of myself, 20-plus. I think it was a good thing to really showcase that and put it on display for everyone to see.”

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has high praise for Countess. “Blake’s a football player. I mean, he’s a football player from the word ‘go.’ For us he played safety, he played corner, he played nickel. He was one of our best special teams players. He just did a great job. He’s going to make some money.”

Countess said that his decision to play for the Tigers worked out well.

"Auburn has been great to me," he said.  "Before I got here, we had a plan about what I wanted to do, and we executed that plan, from special teams to playing multiple positions on defense and playing at a high level. I was definitely pleased with the way Auburn handled things and I think I definitely helped myself this year.”

Offensive tackle Shon Coleman, who was a redshirt junior in 2015, was the first Tiger selected in 2016 draft, a third round pick going to Cleveland with the 76th overall selection. Wide receiver Ricardo Louis also was taken by Browns, who used pick 114th (4th) for the 2015 senior.

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