2015 Draft Profile: Amari Cooper

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Comfort in Traffic

One of the more impressive things about Cooper’s play is his feel for spacing and comfort in traffic. Whether facing man or zone defense, Cooper has shown a propensity toward finding the space and being right where his QB needs him to be, even when the window is tight and contact is surely on the way.

In the 2014 Iron Bowl, Cooper runs a hitch route just past the sticks for the first down on 3rd & 3. Auburn is well aware of the down and distance and places a DB in man coverage on top of Cooper with LB zone coverage moving from curl to flat zone underneath. Cooper breaks off the line staring right at his defender setting up for what looks like his trademark shake and shimmy, but instead simply breaks turns around for the catch. He’s aware enough to not come back too close to the first down line, and turns around just as the route beneath him clears out some space. Once he lands from the catch he’s already to making a move, and what should have been a tackle at the 18 yard line happens at the 8 yard line.