August 30, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) runs against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) during the second quarter in a preseason NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Winner: Amari Cooper
While a number of Raider receivers were “winners” after last night (Brice Butler and Seth Roberts, specifically), the biggest win of the night on the offensive side for the Raiders was by Amari Cooper, the highly-touted #4 overall draft pick who had already shown up big in two previous preseason contests.
NFL Spin Zone
Cooper lined up on both sides of the Raiders offense last night, meaning he only drew All-Pro cover corner Patrick Peterson part of the time. But one one beautiful play, he handed Peterson his lunch. With Peterson covering him in man-to-man closely, Cooper used a quick jab step to put Peterson out of position off the line, then executed a beautiful stop and curl back towards the ball while Peterson overran him. Cooper caught the pass, then turned and headed upfield past the correcting Peterson, dragging tacklers for a 36 yard gain on a pass that was thrown about eleven yards down the field.
Immediately after that long play, Carr put the team in the hurry-up and hit Cooper for a 13 yard gain that gave the Raiders first and goal at the 8. Cooper would finish the game with 4 receptions and 62 yards. Cooper, through three preseason games and roughly a full game’s worth of snaps, has caught 8 passes for 124 yards with plays of 36 and 40 yards.
And as he showed last night, he’s not just doing it on raw athletic talent or size. Cooper can run routes like a pro already as a rookie, and in the process can best one of the NFL’s premier cover cornerbacks. He’s already ready for the big time.
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