Former Auburn receiver Emory Blake to sign with St. Louis Rams
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Former Auburn receiver Emory Blake is expected to sign a deal with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent, according to his agent.
Blake was previously scheduled to attend the Tampa Bay Buccaneer's rookie minicamp this week, but the Rams stepped in at the last minute and signed him to a deal. He is the third former Auburn player to sign a deal with the Rams as an undrafted free agent since the conclusion of the NFL Draft on Saturday. He joins tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen and linebacker Daren Bates in St. Louis.
Blake reports to St. Louis on May 9.
"I'm glad I get to go through it with some guys that I know and am familiar with," Blake said.
St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher has a strong connection to the Auburn football program. His son, Trent, is a backup safety for the Tigers and the longtime NFL coach has attended games at Auburn.
"I know he's seen us play before and knows what we can do," Blake said. "Maybe there were some things that went into that decision."
Blake was Cam Newton's favorite receiver in 2010, leading the team with eight touchdown catches on only 33 grabs during the Tigers' run to the BCS national championship. He led the Tigers with 50 catches for 789 yards and three touchdowns last season, when the passing game sputtered under offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler.
Blake thrived in the hurry-up, no-huddle system implemented by Gus Malzahn in 2009 and 2010.
"He is not the fastest guy," Malzahn said last week. "He knows how to get open and he's a great competitor, wants the football, does a lot of the dirty work and what I mean by that is he loves to block. He's got an understanding of the game and he's one of the more mentally tougher receivers I've had a chance to coach."
Blake had scheduled two trips to rookie minicamps, and was expected to travel to New Orleans next week to attend the Saints camp before signing with the Rams.