New York Jets: Making a case for wide receiver Amari Cooper


The NFL Draft is right around the corner, and for the New York Jets, that means a decision has to be made with what to do with the sixth overall pick in the upcoming draft.

There are plenty of good options for the Jets in the first-round, as they have a shot at quarterback Marcus Mariota, one of many pass-rushers, and maybe even an elite wide receiver.

One intriguing player that the Jets could draft is wide receiver Amari Cooper from Alabama. The Jets have one of the best receiving corps on paper that they have had in years, but that may not stop them from drafting someone who can be elite at the position.

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Last offseason, the Jets signed Eric Decker to a five-year, $36.25 million contract, and then this offseason they traded for Brandon Marshall in a deal with the Chicago Bears. Decker is still relatively young at 28-years-old, but Marshall is 31-years-old, which is getting up there in age in the NFL.

Decker and Marshall will likely both be very productive for the Jets the next few seasons, but if the Jets believe Cooper has elite potential, they should consider drafting him.

In his three seasons at Alabama, Cooper was a beast, and a threat since his freshman year. As a freshman, Cooper took the SEC by storm with a 1,000-yard season, which is very rare feat. In three seasons, Cooper totaled 228 receptions, 3,463 receiving yards, and 31 receiving touchdowns.

Last season at Alabama, Cooper finished in third in Heisman voting behind Mariota and running back Melvin Gordon. In 2014, Cooper totaled 124 receptions, 1,727 receiving yards, and 16 receiving touchdowns. The 124 receptions ranked first in NCAA, and the 1,727 receiving yards was second-most in NCAA.

Despite being the best wide receiver in college last season, Cooper may not even be the first wide receiver taken in the draft. West Virginia’s Kevin White had a fantastic NFL Combine, and that has moved him ahead of the talented Cooper in the eyes of many experts.

Dec 6, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Missouri Tigers safety Braylon Webb (9) forces Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) out of bounds in the first quarter of the 2014 SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome. Alabama beat Missouri 42-13. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

When the Jets are on the clock, if Mariota hasn’t been drafted yet, Jets will almost certainly have to select the quarterback. However, if Mariota has been selected, and the Jets don’t trade up for him, adding a wide receiver like Cooper would help an offense that is still lacking a bit.

Next season, the Jets will still have a lot of question marks regarding the quarterback position, as Geno Smith is still on the team, and they traded for Ryan Fitzpatrick in the offseason. Fitzpatrick probably has the edge to start over Smith, but no matter who the quarterback is, another weapon wouldn’t hurt.

Having a wide receiver corps of Marshall, Decker, Cooper and Jeremy Kerley sounds like something out of a video game, but it could greatly help the Jets’ offense. Over the past few seasons, the Jets have had poor production from the quarterback position, and if they can’t find themselves an elite quarterback in the next few seasons, having an elite wide receiver corps would certainly help improve things.

Next: Who was the best first-round pick by the New York Jets?

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