General manager Reggie McKenzie and the Oakland Raiders took wide receiver Amari Cooper fourth-overall in the 2015 NFL Draft with hopes that he would be a much-needed playmaker they desperately lacked.
And it looks like McKenzie was right. The former Alabama standout has played well in his first season, and he’s just six games into it. His play continued as he entered the record books on Sunday when he helped the Raiders beat the Chargers 37 to 29.
Cooper continues to show the NFL that he is the complete package with wide receiver, and his quarterback is building trust in him. Second-year quarterback Derek Carr threw a jump ball to him in the second quarter, and Cooper leaped up in double coverage to come down with the 40-yard reception.
"[Carr] told me after the play that he saw the safety there but he trusted in me to go up and make the play," Cooper said on the faith he's received from his quarterback.
The young receiver displayed his run-after-the catch ability when he took a wide receiver screen 52 yards for a touchdown, using a nice cutback to leave a defender on the ground.
"It was just the perfect play," Cooper said of the catch and run. "When I caught the ball I saw that I had a lot of room. I kind of started to stumble but I got my footing back. I saw the guys coming and I just made some moves on them."
With his 133 receiving yards against the Chargers, Cooper put his name in the record books. He has become just the third NFL rookie since the 1970 merger to have at least 500 reception yards through his first six games. The two others are Randy Moss and Anquan Boldin.
There’s no doubt that Cooper is a big playmaker for the Raiders offense, something they’ve lacked for so long.
He now has 519 receiving yards on the season now after just six games. The Raiders haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Randy Moss did it in 2005.