Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama – 2015

Junior who has declared for the 2015 NFL draft.

Positives: He has a pretty good build for the position – with above-average height and bulk. Runs with above-average speed, quickly, and acceleration and can quickly eat up whatever cushion the cornerback tries to give him. Shows above-average lateral and directional quickness, and also has the vision to be very elusive after the catch. He also uses his quickness well to get past coverage at the line. His route running is generally above-average. Though his hands are slightly inconsistent, they are usually good enough. He has a strong body and runs balanced after the catch – as a result, he is not easy to bring down. His good open-field vision gets him a lot of yards after the catch. Fairly nimble feet for sideline catches. Above-average concentration on contested passes.

Negatives: Tends to round off his out routes, but, since he is a good route runner otherwise, that should be easily corrected. Though his hands are good enough, he sometimes has trouble adjusting to off-target passes or extending for passes, and he body catches more often than he should. He seems to locate the ball better when he is not on the move, which may mean he will be more effective in a system that doesn’t expect him to catch the ball on the run. Has had some trouble with injuries during his college career – struggling through a nagging toe injury in 2013 and bruising his knee in November 2014. Concentration sometimes lapses on easy passes. Looks a little lost as a downfield blocker. To me, he has a bit of a question mark concerning his willingness to get physical in either his route running or his blocking.

Projection: Early round 1, and possibly the first wide receiver taken. To me, though he has excellent athleticism, is a good route runner, and has pretty good hands, his inconsistency would push him down the first round a little bit farther, and possibly close to the second round. But all indications predraft are that he could go in the top 10 picks.

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