In his third NFL season, it can be easy to forget just how young Amari Cooper is. Dude is 23 years old. And he will be until June of next year. And yet he has two 1000-yard receiving seasons and two Pro Bowls under his belt already.
Today ESPN put out their annual (or is it more often than that? It seems more often. Anyway) Top 25 under 25 list. Coop made the list, landing at number 22.
22. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
Age: 23 years, 4 months
Cooper and the Raiders have dipped offensively this season, but he still has a shot at putting together a third consecutive 1,000-yard season out of the gates.
"He was part of the culture change and the talent change in that team," a veteran coach said. "Without a real No. 1, [quarterback] [Derek] Carr doesn't do those things. The real No. 1 allows [Michael] Crabtree to show up, it allows that average tight end they drafted from Miami [Clive Walford] to be a factor. Cooper can win one-on-one like real guys do. There are not a lot of those guys."
Among those ahead of Coop on the list include Jets DL Leonard Williams. If you’ll remember, Williams was taken two spots behind Coop and the USC product was considered the Raiders most likely selection had Coop not been available. With wide receiver filled, the Raiders went with Mario Edwards Jr in the 2nd round to fill their need along the defensive line.
The most well-represented team on the list is the Chiefs with three players — Marcus Peters (3), Kareem Hunt (14), and Tyreek Hill (15).
Coop is the only Raiders player under 25 who had any realistic shot of making this list. The only others worth mentioning are Mario Edwards Jr (23) and Karl Joseph (24).