#4, Oakland - Amari Cooper (WR, Alabama)
As a football fan in St. Louis, I find myself in the unenviable situation of being in an unstable landscape. My team is perpetually below .500 and still searching for an OL. On top of that, an outdoor stadium faces funding challenges, and I’m not sure which team I’ll be able to get season tickets for 5 years from now. Now I find myself picking for what some would call a potential future hometown team.
The Raiders have a few needs this year, and for the most part the 2015 draft is strong in most of the positions they require. Now Oakland could get help for their pass rush in the form of a player like Shane Ray, but I don’t think that is their greatest need and quality DEs will be there for pick #35 after all. The team does have a thin secondary, but the defensive backs aren’t ranked high enough on my board to go number four overall and I find myself continuing my journey.
As I shift focus to the offensive side of the ball, an immediate need jumps out. The Raiders don’t have many weapons in the receiving corps. As Rams fans I’m sure we’re all aware of the WR class this year, so with the pause for dramatic effect out of the way I now make my pick.
With the fourth pick of the 2015 TST Community Mock Draft the Oakland Raiders select Amari Cooper out of Alabama.
Derek Carr has to be begging for a great WR threat on the field and this selection delivers in a big way. At Fresno State, Derek had a good receiver in Josh Harper, throwing to him for over the 1000 yards and 13 TDs. Cooper is a more polished player than Harper with more speed to boot. He figures to immediately become the number one receiver for Oakland in his first season in the league.
Amari Cooper began his college career by rolling into ‘Bama in 2012 and immediately making an impact. In his freshman year he outperformed Julio Jones as a rookie and caught 59 passes for 1000 yards, 11 of those catches counted for 6 points. In 2013 he battled nagging injuries that limited his production, but came back in 2014 and made a statement. As a junior Amari was one of the most targeted receivers all time the NCAA, eclipsing 100 receptions and hitting 1727 yards. His 16 touchdown grabs helped propel the Crimson Tide seed into the first ever college football playoff.
Carr will finally have himself a shiny toy to play with in the NFL. Raider fans will enjoy seeing Cooper’s name in Black and Silver for many years to come.
In most mocks, I would have Amari Cooper with this pick due to the Raiders' glaring need at wide receiver. But the one guy in this draft who I would have the Raiders taking ahead of Cooper is Williams. He is the consensus best player in this draft, and with Reggie McKenzie’s insistence on choosing the best player available, he becomes the obvious pick.
It's a tough call, and one the Raiders may very well have to make between Cooper and Williams. Personally, I'm just glad to diverge from the blogger mock. From here on out, it's bound to get wacky...just how I likes it.
|Pick||Team||TSTer||TST Mock Pick||SBN Site||SBN Site Pick|
|1||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (link)||JakeM70||Jameis Winston (QB, Florida St.)||Bucs Nation (link)||Jameis Winston (QB, Florida St.)|
|2||Tennessee Titans||KENTOG||Marcus Mariota (QB, Oregon)||Music City Miracles (link)||Marcus Mariota (QB, Oregon)|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||CodyAllenFTW||Vic Beasley (OLB, Clemson)||Big Cat Country (link)||Vic Beasley (OLB, Clemson)|
|4||Oakland Raiders||Danrarbc||Amari Cooper (WR, Alabama)||Silver and Black Pride (link)||Leonard Williams (DT, USC)|