New York Jets should draft Amari Cooper


By the time that the New York Jets added wide receiver Percy Harvin, the team was already 1-6. Before that move, Gang Green was pretty much a one-man show in the receiving game, being offseason acquisition Eric Decker. The former Broncos pass-catcher ended up with 74 total catches for 962 yards, in an offense that was inadequate to say the least in the passing game. New York have a few solid young receivers like Jeremy Kerley and tight end Jace Amaro, but the bottom line is that they need a true number 1 target.

The Jets are obviously in the midst of big changes in the front office, but there’s a clear-cut option for the organization to select with the number 6 pick in April’s NFL Draft. Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper should be that man. New York has gone seven straight seasons without an 1,000 yard receiver. Jerricho Cotchery last broke the thousand yard barrier in 2007.

Obviously the New York Jets have various needs this offseason, including in the secondary and at the quarterback position, but no matter who the signal-caller ends up being in 2015, they’ll need another weapon to throw to in the passing game. Cooper is absolutely the answer in my humble opinion. In his 2014 season at Alabama, Cooper posted an astounding number of catches, 124. He did this, while posting an equally amazing 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns.

His accolades are impressive as well, including Biletnikoff Award winner and Heisman trophy finalist in 2014. While he’s 6’1″, Cooper is unbelievably gifted when it comes to going up and grabbing the ball at its highest point, and would make an immediate impact on the Jets or any team that drafts him. Although Decker had a very good season with New York in 2014, he isn’t a true number 1 wide receiver, and he needs someone to take the pressure off of him.

Amari Cooper is a more than capable possession receiver, but at the same time, he is very quick, causing the opposition to drop its safeties and corners back on his side of the field. He has an innate sense of where the ball is and can contort his body in very difficult positions. When watching Cooper perform, he is very similar to that of another former Crimson Tide star, Julio Jones. Despite being two inches shorter than Jones, Cooper is just as physical and wins almost every 50-50 ball in the air. Against the Florida Gators, Cooper caught two jump-ball scores, in addition to a third deep-ball touchdown.

Arguably the most impressive aspect of Cooper’s game is his speed though. Alabama used the receiver in many screen plays, and his vision is truly phenomenal. There was a particularly special play against Tennessee this year that stuck out to me. Quarterback Blake Sims had rolled out to the right and ended up dumping the ball off to Cooper at Alabama’s on 20-yard line, before Cooper took it 80 yards to the end zone. It was a defining moment for me because all he did was make one quick move to the inside, then bounced it back outside and outran the Tennessee secondary.

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