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|Birthdate||June 17, 1994|
|Pick||Round: 1, Overall: 4|
Cooper secured 13 of 16 targets for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys' 31-29 loss to the Buccaneers on Thursday night.
Analysis: The multi-time Pro Bowler shook off an extremely truncated preseason that was a byproduct of offseason ankle surgery to pace all pass catchers in receptions, targets and receiving yards. Cooper's elite route-running skills were on display throughout the night as he consistently got the best of the Buccaneers secondary, and his five- and 21-yard touchdown grabs both brought the Cowboys within less than a field goal of Tampa Bay. While Dallas ultimately fell just short, Cooper's performance and his clear return to full health are certainly encouraging for fantasy managers who invested some draft capital in him. The 27-year-old will aim to stay hot in a Week 2 road battle versus the Chargers on Sunday, Sept. 19.
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Amari Cooper was born on June 17, 1994 in Miami, Florida. He spent his youth growing up in a poor section of Coconut Grove, raised by his mother, along with his four sisters. Amari attended Miami Northwestern High School, where he stared not only as a football player, but basketball and track too. His senior high school season saw Cooper catch 33 balls for 722 yards and 6 touchdowns. He was teammates of the Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Cooper chose the University of Alabama as his college. He played three years at Alabama under Coach Nick Saban. He led Alabama in receiving his freshman year as Alabama won the National Championship. He had a decent sophomore season but injuries slowed him down from producing as he did during his freshman campaign. It was his junior season where Cooper truly begun to get the praise for his efforts as he broke numerous records at Alabama. His junior totals of 124 receptions, 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns all were records. He won the Biletnikoff Award for best receiver in college, he was a unanimous All-American, and he finished 3rd place in the Heisman Trophy selection. His college highlights video is available online. It was after his junior season that Cooper declared for the 2015 NFL draft.
The hopes were high for Cooper not only at the NFL Combine, but the NFL Draft. His desire to leave the combine as the number 1 receiver prospect showed as he maneuvered his way through the combine skills. Cooper measured in at 6’1” 210 pounds. He ran a nice 40 time in 4.42 seconds, a vertical of 33’, and was the combines top performer in both the 3 cone drill and 20 yard shuttle. His route-running really caught the eye of the scouts as well as his ability to catch the ball. Based on all this, the Oakland Raiders selected Cooper with the 4th pick in the 2015 draft. You can view Amari Cooper’s full draft profile here.
Sporting number 89, Cooper began his rookie season with high expectations, not only by the Raider Nation, but himself as well. Coming out of Alabama and being the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, a lot of promise followed him into his rookie campaign, especially with his size and footwork. He did not disappoint. By game 11 of his rookie season, Cooper had tied the Raiders rookie pass catch record with 44 and the following week he broke the record. That week he also broke the Raiders rookie record for yards receiving. He finished his rookie season with 72 catches, 1,070 yards and six touchdowns. Cooper also benefited from having an injury free season. Cooper signed a four year contract for $22,663,116 that included a signing bonus of $14,742,226. His base salary for 2015 was $435,000.
Coopers 2016 season came with more promise after his stellar rookie season. Once again, he did not disappoint. His pass catch totals and receiving yards both increased, with 83 catches and 1,153 yards but he saw his touchdown total drop to five. Cooper’s presence on the field caused concern for most NFL defenses but his ability to increase his totals only shows the dedication he has to his craft as a receiver. A summary of his 2016 performance is available through his 2016 highlights video.
His childhood wasn’t an easy one as he often went without, but his mother taught him how to work hard, a trait he took with him to high school, then to college, and now into the NFL. He lives a very private life and is a devout Christian, something that has helped him up to this point in his life. His twitter handle is @AmariCooper9.