Wide receiver prospects better than Sammy Watkins, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, aren't easy to find. But NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah believes Alabama has one in junior Amari Cooper. Jeremiah and fellow analyst Bucky Brooks discussed Cooper's potential this week on the College Football 24/7 Podcast.
"I had Amari Cooper ahead of Sammy Watkins and Marqise Lee (last year). The way (Cooper) played last year, being a little bit nicked up, that probably raised eyebrows, having him over Sammy Watkins," Jeremiah said. "But what I've seen from him now, I do, I think he's a better football player just all-around, just polished in everything, as a route runner, I think he's a little bit ahead of Sammy."
Cooper's productivity certainly has matched the praise. He leads the NCAA in both receptions (43) and receiving yards (655), although he'll likely fall off that perch Saturday as the Crimson Tide is idle this week. Asked in July about his pending decision whether to enter the NFL draft as an underclassman, Cooper said he wants to "stay where my feet are, and focus on today."
Said Brooks: "He looks like a No. 1 receiver should look. He can run all the intermediate routes, he can get vertical, he can catch and run, he's physical, he's a willing blocker. He's playing in a pro-style offense so it shouldn't really be a big transition for him to go to the National Football League."
"That's the closest comparison, at least among the recent guys," the evaluator said. "(Bama doesn't) use him quite as creatively as Clemson did with Sammy, but they can do some of the same things."