Scout: Amari Cooper lacks 'wow' factor of Sammy Watkins

Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper has done all that could be asked to establish himself as the nation's top player at his position this season, posting three 200-yard receiving games and seven 100-yard receiving games on his way way to winning the Biletnikoff Award and being named a Heisman Trophy finalist.



But while he possesses all the skills needed to succeed at the NFL level, he's not great in any one area, according to an NFL scout who spoke to NFL Media's Albert Breer.

"He's an easy route runner," the AFC area scout. "Not a lot of wasted movement, solid hands, good speed. But I wouldn't say he's elite. He does a lot of things really well. He just doesn't do anything with a 'wow' factor like (Sammy) Watkins, (Mike) Evans, or (Odell) Beckham last year. The best thing he may be able to do is run after the catch."

Indeed, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has gotten countless mileage out of screen passes to Cooper. And when defenses have loaded the box to stop the run, Kiffin often signals quarterback Blake Sims to check into a quick throw to Cooper, who routinely escapes the cornerback for solid yardage.

Cooper has yet to announce whether he will turn pro as an underclassman, although Kiffin left little doubt in a radio interview earlier this week.

As for his speed, that's a skill that will be considered elite if Cooper could match at the NFL Scouting Combine what he claimed last spring -- that he ran three sub-4.4 40-yard dashes, including a 4.31 -- following Alabama's Pro Day event in March.

Cooper and other underclassmen face a Jan. 15 deadline to declare whether they are entering the 2015 NFL Draft.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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