Jun 9, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders receiver Amari Cooper (89) at minicamp at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
#1: Amari Cooper
Rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper is entering the league with the expectations that he can lead his team in receiving and essentially revive Oakland’s struggling passing game in just his first season in the NFL. Fortunately, Cooper is prepared to take the challenge head on.
At the University of Alabama Cooper registered 228 receptions for 3,463 yards and 31 touchdowns. In Cooper’s final season with Alabama he had 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns, as he went to earn the Biletnikoff Award.
“He’s exceptionally good against press, coming off the ball, but he’s also very good coming out of a break,” Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban said to Michael Casagrande of aI.com. “Most of the time the defender gets beat either on the release or out of the break. A lot of guys are pretty good at one and maybe not as good at the other. And he has really good hands and good ball skills.
Cooper is not simply a product of a pass-happy spread offense, but instead a polished wide receiver that has had serious production in a pro-style system within one of the most competitive conferences in the NCAA.
Carr has voiced his opinion of Cooper quite frequently this offseason, and his comments are not surprising anyone.
“He [Cooper] is ridiculous in and out of his breaks,” said Carr on 95.7 The Game. “His style of play is perfect for this league. He’s good at getting on toes and creating separation. He’s good at when the ball is in his hands making those fat-twitch movements to make a guy go one way so he can take it to the house. It’s just the little things honestly that people don’t notice.”
Cooper is the most impressive receiver prospect Oakland has seen in over a decade, and if he can continue to improve throughout the offseason he will ultimately become the Raiders’ top receiver for many years to come.