Bears Day 2 Draft Prospects: Wide Receiver
Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina (5’11 | 203 | 4.52) – Explosive slot receiver whose production was held back due to awful QB play last season. Cooper is raw as a route-runner which limited the majority of his catches to screen passes and slants. He’s so good after the catch that he was able to gain 2,109 receiving yards and scored 20 TDs over the last two seasons.
Cooper is extremely quick, but hasn’t figured out how to use his feet and hands to beat press coverage at the line of scrimmage. When he does, Cooper gets open on pure athleticism instead of route running skill. He does flash the ability to run precise routes, but most of them are sloppy and undisciplined. Cooper will need to clean up his technique in order to get open consistently against NFL corners.
His athleticism and explosiveness will play at the next level when he has the ball in his hands, teams will just have to find a way to get it to Cooper early in his career. He made someone miss on 24% of his catches last season and has the natural elusiveness that makes for a successful slot receiver. Cooper reminds me a lot of Vikings rookie Stefon Diggs, he’ll be capable of making some big plays as a rookie but will also disappear for long stretches against quality slot corners.
The potential is there for Cooper to become a dangerous weapon in the slot, but it may take a season or two before he contributes consistently. As I mentioned with Miller, the Bears could use a weapon in the slot and Cooper has the skill-set to be it. He has elite acceleration which allows him to get deep in a hurry and be a play-maker after the catch. Cooper could very well be available when the Bears pick in round three and if they are looking for a weapon in the slot, there are few with more upside than Cooper.