There are hundreds of stories being told during the planning and anticipation of the 2017 NFL Draft. Today we will be looking at a scouting report for red-shirt senior wide out Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington Eagles.
Kupp is a unique prospect for a few reasons. His grandfather played guard in the NFL for eleven years and his father was drafted by the league too. Then there is the level of competition he faced in the Big Sky Conference which is not considered difficult, but the wide out did perform well against bigger programs, Washington and Oregon. The rookie receiver will also be one of his classes oldest players, 24 before the start of the season, and married for two years.
Because I’m a high school football coach and educator by trade, I decided to break down what I saw in the six games I reviewed of the senior play maker: 2016 contests versus Washington State, Richmond, Central Arkansas, and Northern Arizona along with a 2015 game against Oregon and a 2014 game against Sam Houston State. All of these videos are available via draftbreakdown.com. These are my thoughts:
Cons: Even after you discount his production due to playing in the pass happy Big Sky Conference and entering the next level at 24 years old, there are some concerns. Kupp is not a fluid athlete (changing directions makes one more able to avoid getting tackled), is more quick than fast (will have a hard time running away from most defensive backs), rounds off routes, has some body catching issues, and didn’t get much separation against defensive backs in his conference (how will that look at the next level?). I didn’t see him go against much press coverage either, which is the majority of what NFL defenses play. He also dealt with a left AC joint separation in his shoulder that limited him last season and didn’t always play whistle to whistle.
Pros: The first Pro that stands out is the volume he got at Eastern Washington. In each of his four seasons he caught at least 90 balls, 16 touchdowns and 1431 yards. He is a physical, outside receiver who likes to run crossing routes in the middle of the field. Kupp uses his body to shield the ball from defensive backs, then fights for first downs with stiff-arms and leg drive along with the occasional spin or hurdle. Although the wide out is a long strider, he can use a double move, get behind a defender, track the ball well in the air, and then adjust to poorly thrown passes without slowing down to make the difficult catch. The receiver is one of the best in his class to come down with 50/50 balls by out-leaping or hand-fighting the ball into his arms. Kupp makes impressive bucket or one-handed catches in the red zone that help to make him a good scoring threat in the red-zone. He comes back to help out his quarterback and uses his vision well on short screens to read his blockers.
Overall impressions: Kupp has NFL talent, but may not be the superstar some of his supporters think he is. His physicality will give him the opportunity to play in this league, but his lack of quickness will probably limit him to lining up in the slot when his team runs three or four wide sets. On his best day he reminds me of the Eagles Jordan Matthews, but I believe he will be an adequate third receiver similar to the Jets Quincy Enunwa. If Kupp falls into a good landing spot, I’d look to draft him towards the middle or end of the second round of rookie drafts.
Thanks for reading. I will continue to discuss my scouting reports with you throughout the next week, so keep checking the site for more content. Please check out my other content as well. You can also follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley.