Countdown to 2020: Best Raiders player to wear No. 89
Amari Cooper (2015-2018)
Amari Cooper was chosen 4th overall by the Raiders in 2015 after a stellar career with the Alabama Crimson Tide and made his impact felt straight away. Cooper had over 1,000 yards in his rookie season, becoming the first rookie in team history to accomplish that feat and the first Raiders receiver in 10 years to reach that mark.
He repeated that feat in 2016 and appeared to be on his way to being one of the best receivers, statistically at least, in Raiders history after that season. Unfortunately he, along with the rest of the Raiders offense, struggled in 2017 under rookie OC Todd Downing and that was the beginning of the end for Cooper’s time in Oakland.
Cooper lasted just six games under Jon Gruden before being traded to the Dallas Cowboys where he has continued to excel but some of the same problems that plagued him in Oakland have followed him there. Fans questioned his desire and perceived lack of fire at times as well as his drops but they could never question his talent.
That same narrative has continued in Dallas though he has experienced success there under the bright lights of AT&T Stadium.
Despite his short stint in Oakland, Amari Cooper is ranked 14th in receiving yards and 17th in touchdowns in team history. He is the beneficiary of the wide open era he has played in but there is no denying that when he was locked in he was a special player. The AC-DC connection, the nickname for his connection with QB Derek Carr, looked to be one that Raiders fan could cheer for for a decade but as we know things can change very quickly in the NFL.
There is hope that current Las Vegas rookie receiver Bryan Edwards could someday surpass Cooper’s legacy and numbers and he will have every opportunity to do so. He may not burst on to the scene the same way Cooper did thanks to the other receiver talent on the roster but Raider Nation will be hoping that he sticks around a little longer than Cooper.