We’re just a little over a week away from the event that defines our status as true NFL junkies. If you’re like me, and follow the NFL combine, you might have a problem. That’s ok, don’t feel shame, it could be worse. Our habit doesn’t involve getting harpooned in the heart by an adrenaline shot. This addiction is free of crabs, warts and foamy discharge. While it may not have the excitement of evading Vinny the goombah (and his Louisville Slugger), there’s few spectacles that match a 260 pound face plant from 40 yard sprint – the yearly combine highlight.
This year, no player could rise quicker than Cooper Kupp. The standout from Div 1-AA Eastern Washington compiled over 6,000 yards receiving, 428 receptions and 73 TD’s while looking the part of a player much too talented for that gimmicky red disaster of a field.
Despite 4 years of excellence, it could be 4.5 seconds worth of effort that catapults him into first round status.
Why Kupp could be a first round pick.
Size – Check. 6’2, 215 lb, with room to add muscle to his frame.
This play took so long, it exceeded the time limit, so I cut it into two separate gif’s. I originally was only going to post the end of the play where he muscles across the end zone, but felt it was too great of injustice to dismiss the entire effort.
Any fan of physical play can appreciate this:
Hands – Check. Probably as good as I’ve seen from a college player.
Great hands don’t make for highlight clips, it’s the routine boring catches which are sometimes the most difficult (as Raiders fans know well).
Route running – Check. There were some better plays to highlight than this one, but I’m a sucker for a big WR who punks smaller DB’s. What a fit he’d be in the slot next to the other Cooper.
Speed – ? You just really never know, but from this play, I’ve gotta think he’s at least a 4.5 runner.
*Note – if you’d really like to see what this kid is capable of, check out some of his other cut-ups. I chose to use games versus Pac 12 opponents. Oregon and Washington St provided a better opportunity to see Kupp versus higher level athletes.
If Cooper can show in the sub 4.5 time, he’ll be a first round pick in my opinion. Lack of competition at EWU means scouts are going to put him under the microscope with questions regarding how he can hold up against elite NFL athletes. A time in the 4.6 range could mean he falls to the end of the 2nd round (where Reggie should pull the trigger). This is a WR who was tailor made for Derek Carr’s ability and a compliment for what the Raiders lack at the WR position – a sure handed consistent chain mover.
Kupp would fit in well with Carr and Mack.
Cooper Kupp could have easily fit as the 3rd round pick after Mack and Carr in 2014. He’s what you would get if a mad scientist combined the two Raiders stars into a WR prospect.
Similar to Carr, he comes from a football family. His Grandfather and Dad both played in the NFL.
As Carr was mature beyond his years, Kupp is married while maintaining a 3.8 GPA while dedicating the time needed to dominate on the hideous red turf.
Just as Khalil Mack was unwanted out of high school, Kupp received just two scholarship offers.
Most importantly, just as Khalil Mack showed he could dismantle top D1 opponents (in which he left no doubt versus Ohio St), Kupp did the same in his match ups versus Pac 12 schools.
Against Pac 12 opponents
2016 – Washington State
12 receptions, 206 yards, 3 TD
2015 – Oregon
15 receptions, 246 yards, 3 TD
2014 – Washington
8 receptions, 145 yards, 3 TD
2013 – Oregon St
5 receptions, 119 yards, 2 TD
But should we?
I’ve never been a big fan of investing valuable resources into the WR position. I feel it’s a position that is devalued if a team possesses a QB such as Carr (it’s an approach that has worked for New England). Considering McKenzie used a first rounder on Cooper two years ago, I’d hate to see another first round pick spent on receiver. If, however, Kupp is available when the Raiders pick on Friday, we’d be foolish to pass up the chance to add a second Cooper to the mix.
Now only if we could find another Mack…