By: Nic Brown (Twitter: @nicosaurus31)
Player Analysis: Cooper Kupp
Alright, let’s start off with a comparison. Those are fun, right?
2 of the three are established (albeit still young) NFL receivers. One is a 2 time Pro-Bowler, one is coming off a decent-but-not-spectacular season, and the other was drafted #69 overall this past April.
Player A: Stefon Diggs
Player B: Cooper Kupp
Player C: Jarvis Landry
Did you get them all correct? You did not, liar.
“Stats to know: Kupp averaged a very high 3.32 yards per route run last season, and his 89.3 overall grade would’ve ranked second among all FBS receivers.” Cooper Kupp PFF
Cooper finished his 4 year college career as the NCAA FCS/FBS all-time leader in career receptions (428), yards (6464), and touchdowns (73) and was drafted in the 3rd round. Let that sink in. Absolutely criminal.
Why so much hate? Slow 40 time? He shaved over half a second off at his pro day, clocking a 4.56. Lack of competition? Over his career, he played 4 games against the Pac 10 (a Power 5 Conference). In those 4 games, he caught 40 passes for 716 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 18 yards per catch. Against UW and their loaded secondary (Sidney Jones, Buddha Baker, Kevin King, Marcus Peters) he went off for 145 yards on 8 catches with 3 scores. Maybe the hate stems from the red turf he played on? I can’t defend that.
Even before the draft, he had been working out in California with Jared Goff because they both are represented by Rep1 Sports. Goff was hoping Kupp would fall to the Rams after their training sessions and as luck would have it, that’s exactly what happened. The two build a relationship that could pay big dividends as early as this fall.
Aside from a handful of other teams, Kupp landed in an optimal spot for him to get massive exposure and playing time. Tavon Austin is the only locked in starter. After that, it’s wide open. The team signed Robert Woods, but he has yet to break 700 receiving yards in a season. Next. Pharoh Cooper? No. Nelson Spruce, Bradley Marquez, Josh Reynolds? C’mon bro. It’s Kupp City. He’s going to start for LA, most likely in the slot, but the coaching staff said they could move him outside in some packages.
It’s only minicamp, but he’s already stolen the show. Coaches and analysts are heaping praise on him for his approach to the game. His hands are elite. His intelligence (2014 2nd team Academic All-American, 2015 & 2016 1st team Academic All-American) helps him process the playbook and make the most of his film study. He’s got an NFL pedigree, his father and grandfather both played in the pros. The kid is ready for this.
Cooper, all 6’2 and 205 lbs of him, isn’t going to lead your squad to the championship this year but he’s going to put up serious numbers for a guy being drafted so late. A 60-catch season is not out of the realm of possibility, given that Jamison Crowder played the slot in a Sean McVay offense and caught 67 passes with 2 solid wrs ahead of him last year. Now I’m not saying Cooper is going to go HAM this year and set the world on fire, but given his lack of receiver competition in a passing offense with a QB that might be on the run often and looking for quick reads, I’d say his chances for producing solid numbers will be high.
His current Startup ADP is 163 overall (WR 68), going after ArDarius Stewart and Carlos Henderson, and ahead of Kenny Stills and Malcolm Mitchell. His current Rookie ADP is 23 overall (WR9) and is going after Henderson and ahead of Taywan Taylor. Give me Kupp ALL DAY over any of those guys.