Where does Amari Cooper rank as a prospect? Part 2
This is Part 2 of ranking the best 10 WR prospects of the past 10 years, including Alabama’s Amari Cooper of the 2015 class.
6. Amari Cooper, 2015
Cooper falls 6th in the last 10 years, which is pretty darn good. He doesn’t have the dominant upside of the 5 players above him but has tape of running every route in a pro style offense and making huge plays while being the focus for defenses. He has improved every year, but ultimately falls short of the top 5 WR prospects since 2006.
7. Dez Bryant, Pick 24, 2010
From a pure talent perspective, Bryant would be higher, but the maturity concerns did knock him down a peg. He still was an excellent prospect and was on par with Green/Julio with talent. Big, long, and productive. Running a 4.52 at 224 pounds at the combine was very solid and despite his fall in the draft, Dez was a top prospect. This brings up an intriguing point on Amari Cooper’s top-notch intangibles. He should do well at the interview process and has a high football IQ to impress teams, something Dez was criticized for.
8. Michael Crabtree, Pick 10, 2009
Michael Crabtree was insanely productive throughout his college career and won award after award. At the time, he was the only WR to win the Biletnikoff Award twice. He was injured and did not participate at the combine, so a lot of the questions about speed and playing in a pro style system were not able to be answered. Still, with the production, size, hands and routes, he was polished. Cooper’s pro style usage and better athletic ability make him a better prospect than Crabtree.
9. Justin Blackmon, Pick 5, 2012
We’ve seen Justin Blackmon’s career fall apart due to substance abuse, but he was a great prospect. He followed Michael Crabtree to win the Bilitnekoff twice in his college career and put up a ton of stats at Oklahoma State. Blackmon came in with similar concerns and strengths like Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. Good hands, runs good routes, has big time production, but does he athletically hold up? Blackmon did go to the combine unlike Crabtree and ran a 4.46 40 time at 6’1 207 pounds. Ultimately, Blackmon was a very good prospect. I personally liked Crabtree a touch more as a possession player, but Blackmon ended up flashing more in the pros. There also was a touch of character concerns with Blackmon that Crabtree and Amair Cooper don’t have. This is probably a fair tier for Cooper with all factors (talent, character, etc,) are put into play.
10. Michael Floyd, Pick 13, 2012
The 10th spot is tough between Floyd and Odell Beckahm, but I ultimately had Michael Floyd as the better prospect. Floyd was more of the physical threat over Justin Blackmon, but had more question marks. He ran a 4.4 flat at the Combine at 6’3 220 pounds. He was a big time recruit who came in and provided solid production for a big time team in Notre Dame. He didn’t have the polish of players like Blackmon, Crabtree, and Amari Cooper. He didn’t quite have the body control like Dez Bryant, but the upside of Floyd was off the charts. He could get off the line, block, and be a deep threat as well as a red zone threat. His career hasn’t quite taken off, but as a prospect, he is in the top ten.
It is no knock on Amari Cooper to be the 6th best WR prospect over he last 10 drafts. Running a 4.4 would help him tremendously, and with the top of the 2015 class not shining this season, he could be drafted higher than some of the prospects above him. As a whole, Cooper has WR1 potential and is likely a stud #2 WR on an NFL team.