Prospect Comparison: Amari Cooper vs. Nelson Agholor

NFL Draft

Amari Cooper vs. Nelson Agholor

Two of the most storied programs in college football, Alabama and USC, both bring two top-notch WR prospects who should have an immediate impact at the NFL level. Both have seen some major changeover in offensive system and QBs over the last few years, but still find ways to be productive and prove their NFL talent.


Neither player is the size and physical freak combination we have seen from absolute top tier WRs in recent years (AJ Green and Julio Jones being the common example,) but both have their strengths. Agholor comes in at a solid height at 6’1 190 pounds, though his thin lower body leaves him susceptible to injury. Especially in the lower body, shots to Agholor can really rock him. Adding muscle may be helpful. Cooper checks in at a similar size to Sammy Watkins last year at 6’1 210 pounds, and his build shows it. He still has a bit of fragility to him, but Cooper has added muscle and is sustaining more shots this year successfully. Both have solid size to make catches, though not at an elite height.

Advantage: Amari Cooper

Check out On the Clock Premium: Mock Draft Simulator for Free!


The athletic ability of both players is apparent. Cooper has excellent body control and has the athletic ability to go up for balls. He doesn’t always utilize his athleticism to the fullest extent, but appears to be improving in that area. Straight line speed is not his strength (though not a huge weakness). He is likely a 4.50-4.55 type player, so just good enough. Agholor definitely wins the straight-line speed category, likely coming in at .1 faster than Cooper (4.40-4.45). Agholor is faster than most corners as well as bigger than them, so he provides a deep threat and a man-to-man matchup nightmare with his athletic ability. He can whiff on body control at times for hard catches, but is definitely an NFL athlete.

Advantage: Nelson Agholor

Route Running:

This is not even a close comparison. Amari Cooper is one of the most refined route runners as a college WR in a long time. He has almost a full route tree from streaks, curls, comebacks, outs, slants, drags, and more. He has great cutting ability and utilizes his route running to get separation. He does sometimes go off the beaten path and move off of the route when reading coverage, but it seems to work. There could be an adjustment period due to the lack of top speed, but his cuts and mental fortitude in routes should put him in an elite route running class. Agholor can be a little lazy at times and has a limited route tree. It appears to be expanding this year, but he does waste foot movement when making cuts, especially on post routes. He loses speed coming out of his breaks which has turned into turnovers for his QB. It is an area that needs improvement from Agholor.

Advantage: Amari Cooper


Both players have trouble securing the easy passes and have too many drops over the course of their careers. Cooper really struggled with catches below his chest or at chest level as a sophomore, often cradling the ball and allowing it to bounce off of his body incomplete. Agholor started off his junior campaign with a few dropped passes on 3rd down and looks like he often tries to turn and run before securing the football. Amari Cooper seems to have improved into his junior season and has more concentration. He still is a body catcher, but is on the upswing. Agholor appears to be improving as the season goes on, but this will be the biggest knock on both prospects down the stretch. Cooper gets a slight edge, but neither has great ball skills.

Advantage: Amari Cooper

After Catch:

Nelson Agholor’s speed and athletic ability make him dynamic after the catch. He is elusive in the open field and can likely find use in the screen game at the next level to be a true weapon. He has solid juking ability and is a terror one on one. Amari Cooper brings more of a stout presence after the catch, utilizing his body and some power to evade tacklers. Though he may not have the straightline speed, he can accelerate quickly and take on defenders at full speed. This is a definite strength for both players, though Agholor may have more of that home run ability that teams looks for.

Advantage: Nelson Agholor

As a whole, both players might be slightly overhyped. Cooper’s lack of speed and focus when catching the football takes him out of the elite WR class of year’s past. Agholor is fast, but also slight with technique problems of his own. Cooper has potential to be a #1 WR in the NFL and will likely be drafted highly based on that potential and pedigree. Agholor could fall the way of USC WRs past (Robert Woods, Marqise Lee, etc,) and fall further than expected on draft day.

Related Articles

2024 On the Clock Mock Draft Simulator is Live!

We have launched 2024 On the Clock mock draft simulator! It's never too early to start mocking for…

Read More about 2024 On the Clock Mock Draft Simulator is Live!

On the Clock LIVE is Here! Draft LIVE based on based on Real-time Data!

Fanspeak will be updating data real-time (immediately after each pick), including players picked and any draft order changes…

Read More about On the Clock LIVE is Here! Draft LIVE based on based on Real-time Data!