Mel Kiper Jr. Mock Draft Places Amari Cooper in Oakland


Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide receiver Amari Cooper (9) scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Eli Apple (13) in the 2015 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It is officially NFL Mock Draft season with the Super Bowl aftermath firmly in the rearview and draft analysts looking to release their pre-Scouting Combine rankings before the results in Indianapolis change the draft landscape.

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Mel Kiper Jr. is one of the most famous of those draft experts, getting in the door before the NFL Draft was the phenomenon it is now as one of ESPN’s NFL Draft analysts from the beginning of their coverage until present day where is still one of the biggest names in the business.

Which is why no matter how you feel about Kiper, his mock draft rankings grab headlines as the man has been covering the draft longer than most fans in the league have been alive as one of the ESPN draft experts since 1984. That type of experience cements Kiper’s credibility, even if he is often wrong like most draft analysts when it comes to his mock drafts turning into 100% reality come the actual weekend of the draft.

When it comes to the Raiders in his recent mock draft, Kiper may be onto something as he has a player who has been attached to Oakland for many months now going fourth overall in Alabama’s Amari Cooper. Kiper has a more shocking name going third overall as he believes the Tennessee Titans could select Mizzou defensive end Shane Ray in favor of Nebraska’s Randy Gregory.

It should be said that Kiper’s mock draft is filled with plenty of eyebrow raising projections on his recent board of rankings. Particularly Jameis Winston going first overall and Marcus Mariota falling all the way to sixth when the New York Jets are on the clock. Those types of projections are definitely bold to say the least, which may cast doubt on how likely his recent mock draft is when it comes to turning into reality come the 2015 Draft in Chicago.

Many fans of the Raiders prefer to see a defensive lineman at the fourth overall pick over Amari Cooper or any of the other draft eligible wideouts. Cooper would be welcomed as the best wide receiver in the SEC last season and a Heisman finalist, but the consensus amongst fans appears to be the best thing for the Raiders would be to bolster the pass rush. Kiper Jr. appears to disagree and we will have to wait until the NFL Draft to see what route the Raiders will take once they are on the clock when it comes to going for defense or taking Cooper with their fourth overall selection.