The Cleveland Browns are mighty thankful that the Dallas Cowboys decided WR Amari Cooper wasn’t worth keeping on their team. His three-year, $60 million contract ended up looking cheap compared to all the contracts signed by receivers this offseason. The fifth-round pick, along with a pick swap, was also a robbery by GM Andrew Berry.
Through 11 games, Cooper is 13th in the NFL with 792 yards this season and tied for fourth in touchdowns with seven.
Cooper has also shown off some elite speed this year.
With Deshaun Watson stepping in as the team’s starting quarterback, it will be interesting to see how Cooper’s production changes. While Watson is a better quarterback than Jacoby Brissett, he may spread the ball around to other pass-catchers more than his predecessor.
Much like teammate Donovan Peoples-Jones, Cooper has been great in contested catches. In fact, looking at some of the top receivers in the league this year, Cooper is tied at the top of the list as a catcher of the football. He’s also getting the least separation of the group and at the low end of yards after catch:
one of the most impressive things of the past couple seasons in the NFL is how quickly rookie wide receivers become high-end WR1's— Tej Seth (@tejfbanalytics) November 30, 2022
this season olave and wilson are both in the top 10 in ESPN's tracking data receiver metrics! pic.twitter.com/0UFnJtpVSy
Data always needs some context but comparing Cooper to the top receivers around the league, given how little they gave up to get him, is positive.
As the Browns top pass catcher, Cooper is getting a ton of attention from the top corners on opposing defenses. That, along with the type of routes that he is running, lead to less separation in routes. Cooper’s elite hands and ability in contested catches means he’s still impactful despite defenders often near him.
Are you surprised Cooper isn’t getting separation but still making the impact he is?