Amari Cooper has been a consistent playmaker for the Oakland Raiders ever since the team drafted him in 2015. Heading into the 2017 season with back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns under his belt, the wide receiver is expected to take yet another leap.
At least that’s what Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is hoping for.
“We’re definitely hoping that he takes a big leap,” he said during an exclusive call with Season Ticket Members earlier in the week, per the team site. “He started off really good last year, and at the end we kind of fell off a little bit, but we’re expecting huge things from Amari this year. He’s doing great, he’s coming into his own, and I think he’s definitely going to put himself among the best of the best by the end of this season.”
Cooper, a product of the Alabama Crimson Tide, was the first receiver off the board in 2015. He lived up to the hype as a rookie alongside quarterback Derek Carr as the wide receiver brought down 72 passes for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns in his first year of service. He avoided the sophomore slump and tacked on another 1,153 yards on 83 catches in 2016.
Should Cooper take yet another stride, that’s bad news for AFC West defensive backfields. The Raiders aerial attack morphed into one of the better units in the league to the tune of 26 points per game, which ranked No. 7 in the NFL.
Oakland finishing atop the league in offense in 2017 is a realistic possibility with the weapons it has.