Keep an eye on Riley Cooper
There’s word that Riley Cooper is on the roster bubble. Now, while I don’t really buy that, I think it’s worth pointing out that Cooper’s abilities exceed his statistical production as a pro. He’s been behind some very talented receivers, so his lack of playing time is somewhat understandable and he’s done good things when given the chance.
There are situations out there that would be far more statistically fertile than Philadelphia. Here are just a few.
- Jets - He knows OC Marty Mornhinweg’s offense stone cold and is as ready to play as any healthy receiver the Jets have. Cooper could actually be the Jets best receiver unless Santonio Holmes finds health or Stephen Hill finds hands.
- Patriots - Cooper is an outstanding blocker and a very competent receiver with size to help out near the goal line. Cooper has the potential to be a staple player in the New England offense. He’d be a great late-round sleeper if he ended up there. Don’t forget, he was Tim Tebow’s college roommate. He is the anti-Hernandez, for what that might be worth.
- 49ers - His blocking would be a huge plus in coach Harbaugh’s eyes. The 49ers, like N.E. are all about blocking at every position. Colin Kaepernick will lay hits on would-be tacklers when given the chance. Cooper could take advantage if none of the youngsters step up in camp.
- Redskins - Mike Shanahan is another coach who preaches blocking at the receiver position. Why do you think Josh Morgan plays so many snaps? Cooper would give them a better, more explosive version of Morgan. He could start for that team and they know Cooper well as a divisional foe.
- Lions - They need quality options outside and Cooper could easily start for them if Ryan Broyles needs some time or if they opt to keep Broyles working out of the slot more often.
- Chiefs - K.C. needs help outside if Jon Baldwin fails to breakout, and Cooper is well versed in Andy Reid’s system. It would be an outstanding fit and would give Cooper some legit fantasy value.
There are also teams that would want Cooper more for depth. He’d be a great fit for Seattle, Green Bay, the Falcons or the Saints just to name a few. He’d help them all, but on these teams, his fantasy value would be the same as it’s been in Philly.
What are the key reasons to have faith in the former Gator?
- Size/speed. He’s 6’3” and weighs 222 pounds. Not bad for a guy who can run a 4.5 forty.
- Blocking ability. It’s the kind of skill that can lead to offensive opportunity in places like New England, Frisco and Washington. It keeps you on the field.
- Agility. He’s a much better athlete than he is given credit for.
- Intelligence. Cooper can handle any offense and any playbook. He’s a very bright player with a solid work ethic.
Cooper is a player we really liked when he came out of Florida. If he finally gets a chance to play this year, we like him as a deep sleeper with plenty of upside in 12-team leagues and larger.
But will he actually get released? Come on, Chip Kelly, make our day.