Arizona Cardinals: 3 to watch at the Pre-Scouting Combine
Pharoh Cooper – WR
South Carolina – Junior
5-11, 208 Pounds
66 receptions, 973 yards, 8 touchdowns, 14.7 average
Who: My guy for the million dollar payout for the winning combine 40 yard dash is a speedster from South Carolina, one who has the wheels to burn. I don’t want to say he is the fastest in the draft (Jalin Marshall of Ohio State or Rashard Higgins of Colorado State might take the pot), but something just draws me to Cooper as an athlete. He played immediately as a freshman for South Carolina, and played very fast and very tough for his size. At only 5-11, he doesn’t have that much size to protect him, but with all the game film I watched on Pharoh, it didn’t seem as if he needed to absorb a lot of hits. He mainly ran post routes, slants away from linebacker help, and rub routes. Pharoh Cooper lived in a military household where generations of Marines occupied the family lineage, and he seems to have great character for a young man.
Why: I don’t really have a good reason for why the Cardinals would need to draft a guy like Pharoh, and honestly, I don’t care if people think this is stupid. Cooper is a smart kid with high character, great value for a young man who has played at a high level the last two seasons, and maybe a kid who could take over for Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd if they don’t resign next offseason. The Cardinals are stacked at receiver, and I mean STACKED! Michael Floyd seems like he is going to stay after the season because of the fifth-year extension, Fitz is getting older but just made the pro-bowl, John “Smokey” Brown is going to be the future of the receiving corp (gut feeling), and J.J. Nelson continues to burn the opposition. Although, Carson Palmer is about to get a lot of protection because of free agency, and I love a kid who can take the top off the defense.
When: Another instance of a kid who can be a first round selection because of talent, but if he makes it to the second round, he starts to be the biggest value for the Cardinals. I don’t want to say that he will even make it to the second round because of the possibility of Minnesota, Green Bay, and Kansas City all needing a receiver. I love this kid, he has great hands for a speedster, he’s not under 200 pounds, so he isn’t light, and he can block if he needs to. I also like that during his freshman year, he played kick/punt returner for South Carolina. Much needed when you don’t want to risk a Patrick Peterson injury.
Player Comparison: John Brown – Arizona Cardinals
Next: My combine snub