clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is Cooper Kupp best route runner in NFL? NFL Analyst says no.

One NFL analyst doesn’t think Cooper Kupp is the best route-runner in the NFL.

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Despite just one year removed from being the first player in over a decade to win the triple crown, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is continually underrated. After winning the triple crown and leading the NFL in receptions, yards, and touchdowns, the media was still hesitant to label him as the league’s best wide receiver. Coming off of an injury, he’s only continued to fall down wide receiver rankings this offseason.

When it comes to Kupp, his biggest strength outside of blocking, is his route-running ability. He’s arguably the best, if not the best route-runner at the position in the NFL. Very few players, if any, are able to replicate his nuance when it comes to the detail in his routes.

Andy Benoit of the 33rd Team ranked the NFL’s nine best route-runners heading into the 2023 season. At number two, behind Justin Jefferson, was Kupp. Here’s what Benoit had to say,

“Mentally, few players have a scholarly understanding of how a defense’s coverage concept and matchup rules relate to the overall design of the play. Physically, few players are as nuanced with body lean as Cooper Kupp – especially on short and intermediate routes. And while Kupp certainly can separate from defenders dramatically, he’s arguably at his most unguardable when aiming to separate just enough. Some of his best “contested catches” are a product of subtle, supremely timed route-running excellence. At the top of his routes, he’s peerless when it comes to friendlily presenting himself to the quarterback.”

In 2021, Kupp had a 91.7 percent success rate vs. zone coverage according to Reception Perception. This was the second-highest mark in Reception Perception history behind only Antonio Brown’s 2014 season.

The Rams offense as a whole fell off in 2022, but Kupp was still on pace for extremely high numbers. Had Kupp remained healthy, he was on pace for 1,533 yards. This would have been good for third in the NFL.

There’s no shame for Kupp to be ranked behind Justin Jefferson. Jefferson is the best, young wide receiver in the NFL. With that said, Kupp should remain the standard when it comes to route-running with NFL wide receivers.

Kupp will be one of the many Rams players who will have a chance to redeem themselves after a down year in 2022.