2015 NFL Prospect Comparisons: Amari Cooper vs Sammy Watkins

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The most controversial part Cooper’s skill set is he speed because no one wants to admit he’s a blazer. Every scouting report I could find on Cooper said that he didn’t have elite speed or at least questioned it. And for whatever the reason, the NFL was determined to be right as they could, reporting that Cooper ran an official 4.42-40.

But then, NFL Network showed a simulcam of him finishing at least even with Kevin White, who ran a 4.35. Cooper’s body was barely but clearly ahead of Whites but White, with his long legs, had one foot that might have been even with Cooper’s body. So about a week ago, Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson tweeted that the NFL informed teams they made an error and the time was between 4.35-3.38.

The NFL would have lost credibility with a lot of people so that had to do that but should have went all the way and gave him a 4.35. That made me think that they were still doing half hand-held and half electronic but it’s all electronic—it was just a reporting error. I’m going to call it a 4.35 period because he may have been slightly ahead of White on the simulcam.

The scouts say he didn’t have elite speed but not only is he in the 4.3s but he has the best top end speed in the draft and more that Watkins. In football, top-end speed is  something that came from a genius named Bill Walsh who fell in love with Jerry Rice for his speed from 15-50 yards. But in the combine the measure 20 and 40 so this is what we’re working with here.

Watkins gets from the 20-yard mark to 40 in 1.9 seconds while Cooper gets there in 1.72 seconds. That’s faster than Phillip Dorsett, who ran a 4.33-40 but finished the bottom half in 1.75 and 2015 NFL Scouting Combine 40-yard dash Champion J.J. Nelson’s 1.77. Like I said in my article comparing Cooper to White, at 20 yards, receivers are even with defensive backs (most of the time).

The one’s that are considered even and leavin’ have that top-end speed and the one’s that don’t will have to fight for the ball. And let’s dispell the myth that Watkins has world-class speed when he best 100-meter time is 10.41 seconds. World-class is 10.2 and down.