War Eagle Extra

‘Agonizing’ day ends in celebration for former Auburn DB Blake Countess

Auburn defensive back Blake Countess, No. 24, goes for an interception against Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.
Auburn defensive back Blake Countess, No. 24, goes for an interception against Ole Miss on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. Auburn Athletics

The joy of hearing his name called in the sixth round of the NFL Draft Saturday wiped away what Blake Countess described as an agonizing five-plus hour wait.

Countess admitted being glued to the television on the third day of the draft as he watched with his immediate family to see if his name would be called.

“You really can’t put it into words,” Countess said. “You see guys go at your position and it stings a little bit. You just keep hoping your name is coming soon. I heard from friends and teammates what it would be like, but I didn’t realize how hard it was be until I was going through it.”

Analysts projected the former Auburn defensive back as an undrafted free agent, but his agent Dan Saffron’s internal projections showed Countess going in the four to six range.

Countess had confidence in his agent’s information, but given the unpredictable nature of the event couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief when the Philadelphia Eagles called midway through the sixth round. The timing of the call may have surprised Countess, but the team making it didn’t.

Philadelphia was one of two teams to fly the Michigan graduate transfer in for a visit during the pre-draft workout period. On a visit to Eagles’ team facilities, Countess met with defensive backs coach Cory Undlin, who new head coach Doug Pederson retained when he was hired in January.

“They said they really liked me,” Countess said. “I fit in to what they are going to try to do in coach Pederson’s first year and were going to try their best to get me. I definitely felt the love when I was there.”

Philadelphia traded three of its early picks in this year’s draft as part of a package that netted them the second overall pick. The Eagles drafted quarterback Carson Wentz and spent their first four picks addressing needs on the offense.

With the trade, the organization had a large gap between picks from Friday night to Saturday, but whenever Philadelphia was on the clock Countess paid extra attention.

“I was super locked in whenever they had a pick,” Countess said with a laugh.

The Eagles made Countess the 196th overall selection in the draft.

“It was a feeling to remember,” Countess said. “It was a long process and a long day, but there was so much excitement and joy. This is something I’ve dreamed about for a long time.”

Countess won’t be celebrating for long as he plans to get back to training Sunday with the date of May 8 circled on his calender for his first off-season camp.

“Nothing changes for me right now,” Countess said. “I’m going to continue to get in better shape and just keep doing what I’m doing.”