Position: Wide Receiver
Amari is a fluid athlete with and without the football. He has exceptional quickness in and out of his breaks that results in separation from most defenders. His change of direction is most evident when he gets the ball on screens and the vast majority of the time makes the first guy miss. His elusiveness is outstanding. Amari is an excellent athlete that is also very savvy in his decision making with and without the ball in his hands. His coordination enables him to keep his feet after contact consistently as well.
Section Grade: 7.8
Pride / Quit
Amari battled foot and toe injuries during his sophomore season but only missed one game. He consistently battled through the pain which was a testament to his toughness. Cooper has made some of his biggest plays in crucial situations including a 99 yd TD rec against arch rival Auburn (2013) to give them the lead in the 4th qt. Amari had a stellar freshman season (1,000 yds 11 tds), a good sophomore season (736 yds 4 tds) and has 1,215 yds through 9 games as a junior. Cooper plays with passion but is not a showboat by any means. He makes the big plays without the flamboyance.
Section Grade: 7.2
Learn / Retain
Instinct / Reaction
Amari is a refined route runner who is advanced in this regard compared to other college receivers. His instincts with the ball in his hands are exceptional. His YAC ability and ability to get open is reminiscent of Reggie Wayne. He occasionally will drop the ball typically due to looking at what he will do after the catch before actually securing the ball first.
Section Grade: 6.5
Strength / Explosion
Amari is listed at 6-1 210 on the team’s website which even if he really is 6-0 205, his size translates very well in today’s fast-paced, pass-happy league. Durability has been somewhat of an issue as he battled nagging injuries his sophomore year but nothing major. He has shown the toughness to overcome those which is what you love to see. His explosion seems to consistently be a step-ahead of his opponents and considering Alabama’s caliber of opponents, is very impressive. Cooper is shifty and quick but also has very good top-end speed that he can get to very fast. The first man rarely brings him down and he gets through arm tackles regularly. Amari has very good leg drive and the ability to stay on his feet after getting hit.
Section Grade: 6.8
Attacks the football and catches the ball away from his body with ease
8 Initial Quicks
Excellent lateral quickness with great burst
7.5 Clean Release
The level of separation he has created against quality talent is very rare through technique and very fast, coordinated foot fire
7 Release vs Jam
Rarely gets jammed at the line, his quickness is very hard for defenders to contain
8 Patterns / Routes
Refined route runner who is close to being exceptional. Isn’t far off from being great with time
7.5 Adjust to Ball
Cooper’s body control with the ball in the air is fluid and appears to come naturally for him
Cooper very rarely gets tackled by the first man, using his explosion and quickness to outclass people
7 Deep Threat
Even at 6-0/6-1, Cooper is a very good deep threat because his route running and quickness out of breaks allows him to gain separation. Also is an aggressive pass catcher with soft hands
7 Hand Eye Coordination
Down field Cooper makes difficult hand catches regularly and against SEC opponents
Not very physically imposing but shows fight. A pancake block vs Florida really stands out
6 Return Ability
6 Fumble / Errors
Although he uses his hands more than his body to make the majority of his receptions, he can lose the ball in traffic. I want to see better focus to prevent these errors
Section Grade: 7.2
7.5 ATH. ABILITY
8 PLAY SPEED
Section Grade: 7.1
Overall Grade: C 7.1
Amari is a dynamic receiver who is mature beyond his years in his route running, has excellent feet and YAC ability because of his unique quickness. A hands catcher more so than a body catcher who aggressively catches the football. Creates separation consistently against excellent competition and makes defenders pay with savvy double moves and clean breaks. Battled through injuries his sophomore year showing off his toughness.
Amari doesn’t have ideal size for a true number 1 receiver. Likely will measure in at 6-0 at the combine. He can sometimes lose the ball in traffic resulting in the occasional drop. Doesn’t have outstanding long speed. Is an “on the ground” receiver.
Amari (junior) has 30 starts in three seasons at Alabama. He finished his career with 227 receptions, 3,462 yards, 15.3 YPC 31 TD. Cooper won the 2014 Belitnikoff Award & was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year finishing with 124 receptions, 1,727 yards, 14.0 YPC, 16 TD, including an amazing 74 first down receptions.
Amari has a well-rounded frame with a very strong base and above average catch radius. Despite his average size he is very physical and strong in the run game and upon contact with the ball, often fighting for extra yards after contact. In the ’14 Florida tape he throws a DB like a rag doll on a stretch play to his side, demonstrating this perfectly. He frames the ball very well and catches the ball effortlessly (including on over the shoulder grabs), looking it into his body before making a move. He does an excellent job of tracking the football but can occasionally lose it in traffic due to what appears to be lack of concentration. He has the ability to time his jumps very well to go up and high point the ball vs equal height or below DBs. Fearless over the middle of the field and makes a living here. He doesn’t win 1 on 1’s with elite athleticism but rather very good athleticism and extraordinary savviness using double moves to set up defenders and elite quickness in and out of his breaks. Has an advanced understanding of finding openings in zone. He is primarily an on the ground WR due to his height. His best trait is his superb route running that he uses to create separation consistently. With pro coaching his route running could become elite as it is already very polished for a college player. Cooper is an excellent dink and donk type of receiver who can make the first man miss with ease on screens, digs, and crossers. He is very balanced in his cuts/jukes/off the LOS and has more than enough speed to win down the field. He will do most of his damage on short to intermediate routes in the NFL and if Cooper was 6-3 I don’t think there would be any question that he is a legitimate top 5 selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. If he goes to the right system (west coast) with excellent coaching and a chance to be a complimentary player initially, he has the tools to develop into a 10 year starter and make an instant impact as a rookie.
Pro Comp = Reggie Wayne