However, is a pretty patient runner in his own right, especially on perimeter runs. Allows blocks to set up, picks his way through the line of scrimmage well and has the type of footwork and fluidity to quickly change directions. Will occasionally simply outpace defenders to the edge when bouncing the football outside, but isn't a guy who is uncomfortable running in-between the tackles. Showcases natural change of direction skills and suddenness to his game and has the wiggle to consistently make defenders miss in a phone booth and accelerate up the field.
Runs hard and isn't afraid to lower his pad level into contact. But, does expose a lot of his frame through the line of scrimmage. Has a tendency to get tripped up and brought down easily at times inside and isn't a guy who has the power or natural pad level to consistently churn out tough yards inside.
Is a really effective receiver out of the backfield. Looks natural plucking the football in the screen game and creating after the catch. Isn't a real savvy route runner at this stage, but certainly has the ability to cleanly get out of his breaks and separate vs. man. However, never really regained his form from 2009 due to a torn ACL injury he suffered in his 2010 bowl game. Will have major medical concerns, which will really hurt his draft stock.
Impression: There is no doubt this guy can be dynamic with the ball in his hands as runner, receiver and kick returner, and he could end up being one of the real steals in the draft if he can recover fully from an ACL injury that he suffered in January 2010."
Positive: One-time highly rated ball carrier who struggled to get back to prior form after his knee injury. Elusive, constantly creates yardage, and displays the ability to make several defenders miss over the course of a single run. Will pick and choose his spots on the inside, darts through the small openings of the defense, and shows a terrific burst of speed. Possesses the speed and agility to turn the corner. Keeps his feet moving up the field. Solid receiver out of the backfield.
Negative: Displayed minimal elusiveness as a senior. Not a strong runner who breaks tackles or picks up yardage off initial contact.
Analysis: Cooper rated as one of the best running back prospects in the nation until his injury. At the top of his game he justifiably reminds many of former Miami star Frank Gore with his ability to create yardage and elude defenders. Cooper looked like a shell of himself last year when he was just eight months removed from major knee surgery. He may take a while to return to form, if he ever does, but Cooper E(TM)s capable of producing at the next level if he gets his game back."
Negatives: A bit undersized at just over 200 pounds... Hasn't fumbled the ball too much, but he does carry the ball away from his body a bit which could pose a problem... Still isn't very strong when meeting defenders, gets pushed backwards at times... Poor vision, doesn't see the field well, runs into his own players... Partially tore his ACL during the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl against Wisconsin and was supposed to miss all of the 2010 season but has recovered quickly... Hasn't dazzled anyone with his numbers, splits carries in a loaded backfield... Needs to learn to run straight ahead, tries to dance too much... Projects as more of a change-of-pace back who can contribute on special teams."
In 2009 the competition got stiffer with the addition of Berry, but yet again it was Cooper leading the way in rushing yards. Unfortunately, the 2010 campaign did not start out very well for Cooper. In the first game of the year he tweaked an ankle and missed three games. Cooper has been slow to come back and through six games only has six carries.
Cooper does have some value outside of being a running back, but even his ability to return kicks has suffered this season. He needs to turn around his disappointing senior season or he could be left out of the draft. However, Cooper has proven to be a capable rusher and a dynamic returnman. He just needs to be a little more consistent and get over his ankle injury by the end of the season and show the NFL that he can be an explosive playmaker."
I am not particularly rational about Cooper. I think he brings an amazing Fusion of Fluidity, Lateral Velocity, Processing Speed, and flat out Ferocity to the Game. If I had to, I would cement off my 53rd Roster spot for a year, in order to let him complete the healing, but not let him get away. Would he be able to recapture his Game, if one GM or Coach was that smart?? Frankly, I think SO.
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