With the NFL season beginning to wind down, we here at the Grill are going to start breaking down the prospects that will be in this year’s NFL draft. For more information on how are grading works, please visit the prospects Page linked here. This will be one of many scouting reports to come. We will begin by profiling the major prospects in the draft and over time we will expand to cover some small school prospects and hopefully, come draft time, we will have about 100 profiles on prospects.
Name: Amari Cooper
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 210 Pounds
College: University of Alabama
2015 Stats: 124 Receptions, 1727 Receiving Yards, 16 TDs
After the jump you will get a breakdown of Amari Cooper’s pro’s and con’s as well as our grade for Cooper.
Pros: Amari Cooper is probably the best route runner to come into the NFL Draft in a long time. He is an extremely fluid route runner and does not waste any motions. He gets off the line well and has no problem beating press coverage. He has good but not elite speed and his hands are incredible. His ability to run after the catch is top notch and he is a great and willing blocker. He has the versatility to play out wide as well as in the slot and has proven to be a very tough and durable receiver. He often faced double coverage this year and had no problem beating the two men for big plays. He locates the ball at its highest point and wins more jump balls than he loses. His combination of hands and jumping ability gives him the capability to make incredible, leaping catches at times as well.
Cons: He is not the most physically gifted receiver. He has decent size and strength and while he is very good in many areas of the game, he is not an elite prospect in any one category. He needs to have more consistent focus and not take himself out of games. He faced Arkansas this year and was totally neutralized by a press man coverage and a bracket all game.
Our Take: Amari Cooper is an unbelievable route runner and has a very low chance of being a bust. However, for people comparing him to Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans and other elite WR prospects in the last few years they are off base. He is not an elite athlete and he wins more often then not with superior route running. He reminds me a lot of an Antonio Brown in that sense. To me, at worst he is a solid, dependable number two and if he can add a little speed and strength, he should be able to develop into a consistent and solid number one wideout.
Final Grade: 93 Out of 100
Cooper is a very good wide receiver prospect but not in the same conversation as previous draft’s prospects like Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans. If he was in last year’s draft he would not be a top ten pick but due to this year’s lack of elite WR prospects he will likely be one.
Possible Draft Spots: I could see Cooper going as high as number five to the Redskins and as low as number twelve to the Browns depending on how the draft plays out. Other teams in between that could have interest are the Jets at six, the Rams at ten, and the Vikings at eleven.
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