Amari Cooper is a safe draft pick.
Something that usually only comes up when talking about Cooper in comparison to the athletic Kevin White from West Virginia, the safety of picking a polished high-floor receiver like Cooper is often not mentioned. As the draft nears, though, it’s important to highlight a safe pick that could also be among the best in the league.
Safe picks don’t always turn out to be successful. Some of the worst players in league history were “sure things” in the NFL draft. Even the Jaguars’ own Luke Joeckel – considered by many to be the best player available in his draft class – has struggled in the NFL. Safe picks also aren’t sexy. It’s nice to say you gambled on somebody who is athletic and has tremendous upside. Whether that player turns out or not, a team can always say they saw something there and took a chance. With safe picks, you can’t do that.
Amari Cooper is considered the most pro-ready player at wide receiver. He is a Biletnikoff Award winner (for being the best wide receiver in college football). He’s managed to stay above the fray of the NFL Draft process, performing well when asked to, doing well in interviews, and continuing to show his professionalism.
For some reason,though, we look at him and think, “can someone do better?” Lance Zierlein at NFL.com asks a better question for us:
"What is the worst that happens with Cooper? He’s maxed out as a talent, and he ends up catching 70 passes for 960 yards and five touchdowns per year?"
If we as fans end up whining and bitching about 960 yards per year it is only because he’s so close to 1000 and we haven’t had a 1000 yard receiver in a long, long time.
Cooper is set to come in and work immediately. He’s set to help his quarterback look like a much better player. He’s ready to be the number one receiver for an NFL team.
To me, those all sound like compelling reasons to look at the available talent at pick Cooper from among a close group. If the worst that can happen is he is a productive receiver, then the Jaguars will be coming out ahead. It may not be sexy, but at this point the Jaguars could really just use a win.
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