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Brooks: Amari Cooper will be even better at pro level

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As dominant a player as Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper was in the SEC, earning the Biletnikoff Award with dizzying numbers unheard of for the Crimson Tide's traditionally ground-based offense, NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks sees Cooper being even more effective at the NFL level.

"The No. 1 receiver in your offense should be able to command a double team, and you absolutely have to double team him to contain him," Brooks said Thursday on NFL Now. "... But what I really like about him, he is a guy who is still hungry, working on his craft. I think he's going to be better as a pro than he was as a collegian."


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Cooper reeled in a trifecta of school records last year as a junior with 124 catches, 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns. Although injuries limited Cooper's effectiveness as a sophomore in 2013, he was a dominant player throughout his three-year college career when healthy. Being even better as a pro would mean Cooper would have to take the NFL by storm, but Brooks sees no flaws in the South Florida native's game.

"Because he's such a special talent, you had Lane Kiffin go down there and really rebuild that offense around Amari Cooper. The prototypical No. 1 receiver, outstanding route runner, great hands, tremendous ball skills and can make plays on the perimeter," Brooks said. "You want to put him at that Z position and feed him. I think in the right offense, he is going to be a very special player. He reminds me of Reggie Wayne and Roddy White when they were coming out of school."

Cooper declared early eligibility for the NFL draft and is a strong candidate to be the first wide receiver chosen, along with West Virginia's Kevin White.

Brooks also had some interesting remarks about two other top prospects: Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Alabama safety Landon Collins.

"When I look at him on tape, he kind of reminds me of Jamaal Charles," Brooks said of Gordon. "A guy that has the pitter-pat in the hole, has the speed, the burst, the acceleration to take it the distance, but what I'm really impressed with is the toughness he showed running between the tackles. ... This is the guy who is going to break the mold of the traditional Wisconsin running back, because I think he's going to be a star at the NFL level."

Either Gordon or Georgia's Todd Gurley, or both, could be the first running backs chosen in the first round since 2012.

As for Collins, Brooks believes the Crimson Tide safety could deliver an even better rookie season than that of his former teammate, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who made 93 tackles as a rookie.


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"I think they're different style players. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had an outstanding rookie year. I think Landon Collins is positioned to have a better year," Brooks said. "This is a guy who is a tremendous athlete, great ball skills, but has a little more size than Ha Ha. But he also gives you that thump. I think he is a guy we can already put on that All-Rookie Team already, because he is really special as a player."

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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