PROS: Has good size and nice hands. Has good speed to make plays downfield. Is capable after the catch, who doesn't hesitate to turn upfield and not shy about contact. Uses his size well to shield defender and make catch in traffic. Has good body control, laying out for the ball, and does a nice job adjusting to the throw in the air.
CONS: Doesn't consistently show the burst and quickness to get good separation. Is not a true burner and won't run past NFL corners as easily he does college ones.
OVERVIEW: Cooper has a good, although not great combination of size, speed, and hands. But he's a fairly natural receiver. Really blossomed as Tebow's No. 1 target as a senior. Started as a junior, but saw his production rise from 18 catches to 55, and 3 touchdowns to 9. Had a knack for making plays downfield, averaging 18.8 yards per reception. He missed two games as a sophomore with a broken finger. Had a few off-field issues. As a freshman, he suffered a cut on his right arm after putting his fist through a car window. Also was cited for misdemeanor resisting arrest last February, but the charges were dropped. He was drafted in the 2006 MLB draft, but opted to go ahead this off-season with his football career rather than play for the Texas Rangers who gave him a $250K signing bonus.
NFL FORECAST: Cooper reminds me of Kevin Walter because he has good, but not great speed. I think he'll fit very well as a reserve, that will be good off the bench. He has the tools to be an effective starter, but won't be a star. And will be a guy like Walter that is a capable complement to a No. 1 guy like Andre Johnson, which gives him opportunities. The only question I have is whether he has the ideal burst to consistently get separation. But if he can polish up his route-running, that concern isn't going to be major. I'm confident he'll stick in the pros as a receiver, just not sure how good he's going to be. He's either going to be one of those reliable backups or a decent starter. But I would guess his maximum production will probably be 40-50 catches each year. He'll definitely help someone's offense and at the very least add good depth. Seems like the type of player that can contribute on special teams like Finneran and Walter did early in their careers, before they were able to start to make significant contributions offensively.
ATL FORECAST: I like his chances in Atlanta to develop, because early on he's only going to be asked to play special teams, and depending on how good he is there, can immediately push Finneran off the roster as the No. 4 guy. After two or so years, he could start to move up the depth chart and potentially challenge Jenkins for the starting job. I'm not sure he'll be a better playmaker than Jenkins, but could be a more reliable guy in terms of his ability not to drop passes. Even if he doesn't win the starting job, could have a long career as a productive reserve for the Falcons.
VALUE: He's a nice pickup in the fourth round because he definitely can contribute on an NFL roster, just not sure he possesses great upside for the next level.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
AFTER CATCH: 2.5
BODY CONTROL: 3.0
Scouting Reports for the 2010 NFL Draft prospects.
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