Amari Cooper   WR   Alabama

TALENT BOARD ROUND  1

STRENGTHS
Amari has the size-speed ratio that will allow him to become a franchise wide receiver for the team that drafts him. Along with that size and speed, he shows the ability to catch the ball in traffic, adjust to the ball in the air and go vertical in a crowd to snatch the ball before the defender can turn around to defend against it. He is an excellent route runner and wants the ball to make impact plays and score touchdowns. Amari has big strong hands to fight for the ball, but also possesses the soft hands that franchise receivers need to cradle the ball on those deep passing plays. He also shows the strength and lateral agility to “out quick” most defensive backs and, if he is not quicker than his opponent, he will use his strength and size to make the catch on those difficult third downs when everyone in the stadium knows the ball has to be thrown to him. Amari is the type of wide receiver you can build your passing game around. I call him Amari (Super) Cooper because at times it looks like Amari has super powers when he makes impact plays.

CONCERNS
You always wonder about injuries when it comes to a physical player like Amari. In the draft world, Alabama has a history of extensive medical files that can become a concern for the team that selects any player from this program. Of course the combine should answer any medical questions or issues. For a player with Amari’s talent, I suspect we just might hear some misinformation about his medical status by teams wishing he might drop in the draft to their selection. As of this writing, I see nothing on film that suggest Amari has any medical issues that should affect his status but you never know!

BOTTOM LINE
If you’re looking in the dictionary for the definition of a franchise wide receiver I believe Amari’s picture will be there as an example. However, he has to stop dropping passes and letting those drops filter into his overall play for the rest of a game. If he can’t turn the page emotionally about his drops in a game, he just becomes a very good receiver and not the type of receiver a QB can throw to on any down with confidence. He has all the physical attributes along with proven production to be a franchise receiver for the team that selects him. He is the type of receiver that can make an average QB look better than he really is and not many receivers can do that. His run after the catch skills are excellent and his physical attributes are an excellent fit as a red zone receiver and touchdown maker. Amari will move the chains on third downs and has the ability to stretch the defense not necessarily because of his speed but because of his natural ability to catch the ball and change direction with such ease. He has a long gait, which makes it easy for him to keep his eyes from bouncing around on the deep ball. This allows him to make the tough catch down the field with a defender climbing all over him. He reminds me a lot of Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears although Amari runs much better routes than Brandon did when he came out in the draft. If your team is looking to upgrade to a franchise wide receiver, I suggest you get on to the social media and insist they select Amari (Super) Cooper. He will make a young developing quarterback a star very quickly.

Drew Boylhart
APR/2014