Report: Amari Cooper Was Atop Several Draft Boards

Everyone knew the Raiders needed a wide receiver, but Reggie McKenzie surprised a few when he passed on Leonard Williams for Amari Cooper. Considered by many to be the top prospect in the draft, injury concerns may have contributed to Williams’ fall out of the top five.

But Cooper is a special talent. As it turns out, several general managers had Cooper rated higher than Williams, including the Redskins’ Scot McCloughan – one of the most highly-regarded talent evaluators in the league.


According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, at least two other teams had Cooper as the top overall prospect in the draft.


While some teams graded Williams higher, Cooper was generally considered to be the top wide receiver in the draft.


Why all the love? As Raiders’ head coach Jack Del Rio put it, Cooper’s route-running and overall “polish” set him apart. ESPN’s Todd McShay had similar sentiments:

From getting off of the press, to the precision of his routes, to getting his head turned around immediately as he’s coming out of his break, to knowing where the sticks are on third downs and making sure he gets beyond them, he is just a really polished receiver. That’s rare to see in college football right now, given the spread offense frenzy. When I studied Cooper’s tape it felt like I was watching a five-or six-year NFL veteran.

Talent and potential aside, Cooper also brings the kind of character McKenzie covets. Still just 20, Cooper’s maturity stands out.


Hard not to agree with Mike Greenberg. Amari Cooper is going to be a star.