The Raiders have added a huge playmaker to their roster, as with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft the silver and black took Alabama wide out Amari Cooper.
Here’s a scouting report on Cooper and what he will bring to the Raiders.
Cooper had big shoes to fill at Alabama as many expected him to be the program’s second coming of Julio Jones, and Cooper didn’t disappoint. He broke onto the field as a freshman and was a 3-year play-maker for the Crimson Tide.
Cooper caught 59 passes for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns as a freshman. He dealt with a toe injury the next season that really slowed him down. The sophomore still collected 45 receptions for 736 yards and four touchdowns in 2013.
Prior to the 2014 season, I predicted that the junior would have a huge year – not that it was a bold prediction – but Cooper exploded as new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin sent a huge amount of targets his direction. Cooper amassed 124 receptions for 1,727 yards with 16 touchdowns in 2014. He had a number of huge games against the likes of Auburn (13-244-3), Tennessee (9-224-2) and Florida (10-201-3). Versus the Gators, Cooper held his own and did well going against cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, the best cornerback in college football.
For the NFL, Cooper is a future No. 1 receiver who clearly has the size/speed combination to present a constant mismatch. He is really difficult for corners to cover as he is always getting separation to get open for his quarterback. Cooper has great route-running, speed, run-after-the-catch ability and skills to fight for 50-50 balls. All of that made him nearly impossible to cover in college. Cooper isn’t overpowering with size, but he is fast enough to burn defenses over the top and stretches the field vertically. As a pro, Cooper should require safety help over the top unless he is going against one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.
Cooper should go as a top-10 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He has the ability to be a Pro Bowl receiver and a difference-maker.