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Alabama Football 2015 NFL Draft Profiles: Amari Cooper

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What really makes future top-10 receiver Amari Cooper so good?

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Amari Cooper

Position: Wide Receiver

Age: 21

Height: 6'0" and 7/10

Weight: 211

Arm Length: 31.5 in.

Hand Width: 10 in.

Wingspan: 76.25 in.

40-Yard Dash: 4.42s

20-Yard Split: 2.63s

10-Yard Split: 1.61s

Short Shuttle: 3.98s

Three Cone: 6.71s

Bench Press: DNP

Vertical Jump: 34 in.

Broad Jump: 10.00 ft.

SPARQ*: 121

Z-Score*: 0.5

*Note: These values were calculated by Zach Whitman of Fieldgulls.com and 3sigmaathlete.com. A higher SPARQ score means that player is more athletic. A positive Z-score means that the athlete has above average athleticism for an NFL player at his position, and a negative means that he is below average. If you want a more in depth explanation, here is my previous article.

2015 Statistics

Catches: 124

Yards: 1727

Touchdowns: 16

Strengths

Amari Cooper is one of the smoothest and most natural athletes I have ever seen. His every movement is performed with an almost unnerving fluidity, and he just makes the game look easy. Cooper is fast, but his ability to suddenly accelerate to his top speed is other-worldly. He channels his running prowess into his route-running, and has become quite possible the best route-runner I have ever seen at Alabama. He particularly excels at using double moves to find himself wide open behind the defense. Not only can he execute all the footwork of his routes, he is very nuanced with the use of his head to fake defenders, as well as chopping his arms.

Cooper is also a lethal weapon on receiver screens. He has great field vision, and a great feel for avoiding defenders. On top of that, his stop-to-start acceleration often leaves defenders flailing and falling out of bounds as they are completely eluded.

Cooper has powerful hands that can pluck the ball out of the air, even when its not close to his body. He has made numerous impressive catches over defenders in his time at Alabama, and is surprisingly very effective at red zone fades for his height.

Amari is a known gym rat who is looked up to by most of the team as someone who spends tremendous amounts of time in the weight room trying to improve himself. He is in peak physical condition, and aside from a sprained ankle his sophomore year, he has been completely injury free.

Weaknesses

The only real negative to Amari Cooper's game is that he has too many concentration drops. He makes almost all of the difficult and contested catches, but then will drop wide open throws such as screens and slants. He also does not have great leaping ability for a receiver, but tends to cover that up with his ability to gain separation from a defender with his speed at the last second. He is also not a very good run blocker, there is just no way around that.

Verdict

Amari Cooper has been criticized for being a player that does not put all of his effort into the game. I was guilty of that too, until I realized that it only looks that way because Cooper makes everything he does look so easy and natural. He is almost completely un-coverable, even when every person on the field knows he is getting the ball. He became a starter as a true freshman (he was mostly used as a deep threat), and improved every year. The Heisman Trophy Finalist is a phenomenal player that will fit in almost any offense, and has a very good chance to be one of the first 5 players drafted.

Watch this entire video, and I can promise you will not be disappointed. Keep in mind that Cooper was matched up with #1 Vernon Hargreaves III, who is widely considered to be the top corner in the SEC.