2015 Draft Profile: Amari Cooper

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The Weaknesses – Tangibles, Blocking

Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) during warm-ups prior to the 2015 Sugar Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Most of the the critiques thrown at Cooper are related to his size and speed, and are frankly all over the place. This is a natural part of the process. As we get closer to draft day, scouts and sports pundits alike tend to lean more on particularly tangible measurable traits as they are easier to justify than more abstract concepts like intelligence, awareness, skill adjustments, etc. – the “intangibles”. The other thing about the ultra measurable traits is that they are often the first to break down in the NFL.

Still, let’s get this out of the way. Cooper is 6’1″, 210 (or so), and claims he’s run a 40 yard dash at 4.31 seconds. Even if that’s an exaggeration, since it’s very unofficial, it’s right in the neighborhood of other NFL receivers: Michael Crabtree – 6’1″, 214 lbs, 4.54 40YD; Roddy White – 6’0″, 211, 4.47 40YD; Jeremy Maclin 6’0″, 198 lbs, 4.45 40YD. Even America’s new football sweetheart, Odell Beckham, Jr. (rightfully so), only ran a 4.43 40 yard dash at 5’11”, 198 lbs. When evaluating an NFL prospect it’s often better to just stick to the game film and analyze what exactly is the source behind the player’s performance.

Blocking is an actual issue with him, however. He’s not a particularly lazy blocker, quite the opposite actually. He is very eager to make his blocks when the play is coming his way. He just whiffs, kind of a lot. For every amazing block he makes, there were another one or two he completely missed. It’s quite interesting considering his skill at making other people miss that he wouldn’t be able to translate that ability into staying in front of defenders.