After the NFL combine is over, the rumors start whirling around. The No. 1 prospect at the wide receiver position is Alabama’s Amari Cooper -- why is he number one and where will he end up?
Cooper had a terrific year for the Crimson Tide. He caught 124 passes for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns and had a number of big games against top opponents like Auburn (13 receptions, 224 yards, three touchdowns) and Florida (10 receptions, 201 yards and three touchdowns).
He has proven that he has the size and speed combination that can create mismatches with the defense. He has reliable hands to make the tough catches and he isn’t afraid to go down the middle of the field to make a catch for his quarterback. He has definitely shown signs of being able to become a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. Some scouts have compared him to former Colts’ great, Marvin Harrison.
Some Mock drafts have Cooper going ninth to the Giants, or tenth to the Rams, but I don’t believe he will be available that late. With Cooper’s talent, it’s hard to believe he will fall out of the top five. The Raiders have the fourth pick and it feels like a good pickup for them, who are in need of a big-time receiver. If Cooper doesn’t go to the Raiders, another team will try to get him by trading up on the draft board. Seeing eight or nine teams passing on Cooper seems hard to believe. The Cleveland Browns at 12, the Texans at 16 and the Chiefs at 18 are all in need of a wide receiver and could try to trade up for Cooper.