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NFL Draft Profile: Pharoh Cooper

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Pharoh Cooper emerged as one of the top receivers in not only the SEC but across the country during his time at South Carolina.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

College Career In Review:

Prior to South Carolina, Pharoh Cooper was a lightly recruited athlete from Havelock, North Carolina. He was the 2013 Shrine Bowl North Carolina Offensive MVP. Cooper was placed on the defensive side of the ball at corner but after a few practices, Steve Spurrier thought it was best for him and the team if he moved to receiver. The move ended up being the best thing for both Cooper and South Carolina. Cooper finished his career at South Carolina with 138 receptions, 2,163 yards receiving, 18 receiving, 4 rushing TDs, and 4 passing TDs and the offensive MVP of the 2014 Duck Commander Independence Bowl win over Miami.

Strengths:

The most eye popping strengths of Pharoh Cooper is his athletic ability and speed. Cooper was used in a various amount of ways including as a Wild-Cat QB. He showed his versatility early in his career that made him extra difficult to defend if you were an opponent. You hear of receivers playing bigger than their size, Pharoh did exactly that. At only 5'11'', Cooper has a wide catch radius and never feared going across the middle or going up for a ball and getting hit. On top of being as physical for his size, he has that breakaway speed you look in for a receiver. He also was a big playmaker who could score at anytime finishing his career with five 70+ yard touchdowns.

Weaknesses:

Pharoh Coopers biggest knock is his lack of formality at wide receiver. The main goal of the offense, more so in 2015, was to get the ball in Pharoh's hands the quickest and most often times as possible, no matter how. Add in that Cooper played with five different QBs during his time at South Carolina, this resulted in more simple routes for the quarterback which never really gave anyone the opportunity to get a good read on his route running ability. If it wasn't a streak pattern down the field, it was most likely a screen and quick hitch. Nothing complex enough to pin him as an elite route runner. He is someone who he and his teams relied on his athletic ability more so.

What They're Saying:

From NFL.com

"He's a good player. Scouts can't worry about how a player like Cooper is going to be used because that is the OC's job. Our job is to find good football players. He's a good football player." -- NFC South scout

Draft Projection:

I personally think Pharoh Cooper is one of the most underrated players in this draft. He has shown countless times to adapt to new quarterbacks and still perform at the highest level. His versatility along with possessing good speed should give scouts something extra to think about when evaluating him. For Cooper, the biggest issue is finding an organization where he fits that offensive style along with his route running. I think the New England Patriots would be a great location for him to land considering how they use Julian Edelman. The obvious comparison is Randall Cobb out of Green Bay who was drafted late in the second round. I would expect Cooper to be drafted in the third round, but an impressive combine showing could have some teams talking.