Amari Cooper has been increasingly linked to the Jacksonville Jaguars as the 2015 NFL Draft draws nearer.
That isn’t to say that defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. isn’t going to be the pick, just that many think that Cooper makes sense with the Jaguars if general manager Dave Caldwell wants him.
The reason behind taking Cooper, in my mind, is that he could be the definitive best at his position (much like USC defensive tackle/end Leonard Williams), whereas the group at pass rusher is relatively tight. If the Jaguars do take Cooper, they need to know that he can come in and produce immediately. He needs to instantly upgrade the wide receiver corps and he needs to give Blake Bortles a reliable option to throw to.
Fortunately for the Jags, it looks like they could do no wrong in the third overall position. Cooper looks like a top flight receiver almost guaranteed to be a star wideout.
Charles Davis wrote that he believes Amari Cooper could be a Pro Bowl player in his rookie season. Specifically he praised how pro ready Cooper is, saying, “Cooper is the complete package. He’s a polished player and a mature route runner.” That mature route running is often part of the game that is simply missing for younger receivers and having a player who knows how to move fluidly through his route and is a disciplined player (especially with a young quarterback) is important.
Young receivers are notorious for not being extremely successful in their first years in the NFL. While they can be good (some are great) based solely on athletic ability, the players who are more polished are the ones who tend to succeed on such a scale that they get voted into the Pro Bowl.
I’m inclined to agree with Davis that Cooper looks like he could get into the Pro Bowl during his first season in the NFL. I worry that his ceiling isn’t as high as a guy like Kevin White’s, but if he’s playing at a Pro Bowl level right out of the gate, what more could the Jaguars really want?
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