Blake Countess’ brief stop in Auburn turned out to be a productive one.
The Michigan grad transfer used his final year of eligibility to help boost his draft stock as the team’s defensive MVP while proving to NFL teams he was capable of playing any position in the secondary.
On Saturday, the Philadelphia Eagles selected the defensive back in the sixth round (196th overall pick) of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Countess had a career-high 71 tackles, 2.5 for a loss, as a senior with two interceptions and 11 pass breakups starting all of Auburn’s 13 games. He also helped his draft stock during Auburn’s pro day in March.
The 5-foot-9, 184-pounder had the best 40-yard dash time of the 10 players that ran the drill and had standout numbers in the vertical jump (36 1/2), broad jump (10’1’’) and bench press (21).
Countess started training for the draft at IMG Academy in Florida after Auburn beat Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl. While he didn’t receive an invite to the NFL Combine, he used the snub as motivation.
“As a competitor you want to be in those places; you want to be able to compete with the best,” Countess said in March. “To not get an invite is definitely a motivator. You have to control what you can control and just keep moving forward.”