Scouting Report: WR Amari Cooper, Alabama
- Good size, which could give him an advantage over some smaller slot corners when lined-up inside.
- Very good speed, not an ultimate burner, but he can stretch the field when needed.
- Excellent agility and short area quickness, is so smooth in his open field running that he gets a lot of yards after the catch.
- Very crisp route-runner that does a nice job getting separation.
- Broke out in a big way this past year and dominated the SEC.
- Smart receiver who works back to the quarterback and finds openings in zone coverage.
- Capable of lining up both in the slot and outside.
- Doesn’t play like a “big” 6’1” receiver, not going to outmuscle DB’s for catches.
- Can get jammed and rerouted off the line, works far better with a free release.
- Not great with jump balls and isn’t a big leaper.
- Value will be more dependent on volume and usage than some other receivers.
Amari Cooper is probably the most polished receiver in this draft and the smoothest route runner. He went from showing flashes his first two years at Alabama to having a major breakout campaign this past season. He looks to compete with Kevin White with being the top receiver in the draft and could go within the top 5.
Cooper brings excellent route-running, speed, agility and hands to the table, and if used properly he could end up as an elite top 10 receiver in this league. He’s pretty NFL ready so he should contribute early on, but his value will probably be tied to his situation.
Cooper is the type of receiver who while he has good size and deep ball ability, he’s not going to excel in either area. So when it comes to big plays and scores, he will need to rely on his superior ability to create separation and then his open field ability. He’s not going to win contested balls or be a big red zone threat so his TD ability will likely be limited unless he can pair up with a top quarterback or inventive offense.
That is of course unlikely to be the case, but in a high powered offense where he can see a ton of targets with a QB capable of hitting him in stride he could put up big numbers. In a more general offense with average (or below average) QB play his numbers will still be good, but some of his ability may be wasted.