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If we draft a WR early, it should be...

Discussion in 'NFL DRAFT / COLLEGE FOOTBALL' started by jrry32, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. jrry32

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    Had to build some suspense. The answer is:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWZLQSBeV40


    I think very highly of Zay Jones, Chris Godwin, Juju Smith, and Evan Engram, but Kupp is my pick if we go WR somewhere in the second or third round. Why? There are three things I want to highlight: 1) production, 2) physical talent, and 3) technical skill.
    Production
    Kupp's Career Stats
    Four-year starter (52 games)
    428 catches
    6464 receiving yards
    15.1 yards per catch
    73 receiving TDs
    *Holds every career receiving record across all divisions of college football

    Kupp's Per Season Averages Over His Career

    107 catches
    1616 receiving yards
    18 receiving TDs

    Kupp's Career Production vs. the Pac-12
    4 games (Oregon, Washington*, Oregon State, and Washington State)
    40 catches
    716 receiving yards
    11 receiving TDs
    *Against Washington as a sophomore, Kupp posted 8 catches for 145 yards and 3 TDs. His three TDs were a 7 yard TD against Marcus Peters in zone coverage, a 41 yard TD against Marcus Peters in man coverage, and a 26 yard TD against Bubba Baker in man coverage. Peters is one of the NFL's best CBs. Baker is a projected late-first to mid-second round pick this year.

    Physical Talent
    This is where you might see people knock Kupp. Kupp measured in around 6'2" 205 at the NFL Combine. He posted a 4.62 40 yard dash, a 31 inch vertical jump, a 9'07" broad jump, a 4.08 short shuttle, and a 6.75 three cone drill. His 40 and jumps were below average at best. People will latch onto those, but the agility drills are what should stand out. They match the tape. Kupp's quickness, change of direction ability, burst off the LOS, and fluid hips all stand out as special attributes on tape. The Patriots are known for putting a heavy emphasis on the three cone drill. There are not many 6'2" WRs who move like Kupp does. It makes it very difficult for CBs to stay in his hip pocket.

    Technical Skill
    Kupp's father played QB in the NFL and his grandfather played OG. You can definitely tell that he was the kid of a pro QB. He's a well-schooled player who's technical skills are beyond advanced for his age. As a route runner, Kupp changes speeds to keep CBs on their toes and earn him separation on deep routes. He understands how to use leverage, subtle fakes, and body control to tilt CBs to gain extra separation out of his breaks. He displays tremendous body control and balance throughout his routes using his phenomenal agility and cutting ability to separate at all levels of the field. You can also tell that he studies his opponent's and understands how to attack each player he lines up against. When he comes out of his break, he works aggressively back to the QB to cut off defenders paths to the football. And even when he isn't the primary receiver, he runs his route in such a way to draw defenders away from the primary read and is always ready to find open spaces when his QB scrambles. He's absolutely lethal against zone coverage because of his football IQ, fearlessness, and quickness. He finds the soft spots of the zone quickly, settles, and makes catches in traffic with no regard for his safety. His releases against press coverage are also gorgeous. His footwork and hand usage are textbook, and his quickness/burst make it absolutely unfair at times. He embarrassed Oregon's CBs in 2015 when they tried to press him in the red-zone.

    That all said, I don't even think route running is his best skill. His best skill is his ability to catch the football. Kupp's grip strength and hand technique are both outstanding. He snatches the ball away from his frame when the situation calls for it, he bodies it when the situation calls for it, and he attacks the ball in the air when the situation calls for it. He also tracks the ball over his shoulder with ease. Kupp is the type of player who makes the hard catches look so easy that you want to call it a drop when he actually fails to make one. He has a large catch radius, rarely ever drops the football, and can be counted on to come down with the ball when bodies are around him.

    Oddly enough, Larry Fitzgerald is the name that keeps coming to mind for me when I watch Kupp. It's not because they have similar body types or the same style of play. Kupp isn't the dominant 50-50 ball WR that Larry is. It's because Kupp, like Fitzgerald, makes playing WR look easy despite not having vertical speed. He catches anything and everything you throw his way. He always seems to find a way to be open no matter the coverage when you need him. And even when he isn't open, he finds a way to make a key catch if you throw it his way. Kupp isn't Larry Fitzgerald, but he has that same sort of naturalness to his game. Whether he's in the slot, at split end, or at flanker, he's going to find a way to be an absolute headache for the opposition. In 52 games as a starter, Kupp was held under 50 receiving yards only twice during his career. Simply put, nobody could figure out how to stop the guy. I expect him to continue to produce on Sundays.
     
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  2. CGI_Ram

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    I get excited about guys like this. Can he get consistent separation at this level?

    Speed makes up for a lot of flaws, so I do like that he creates separation in ways outside of pure speed. And... there are times he appears plenty fast (the 2:00 mark in the video).

    The rest of his game is pretty polished which is often the hardest part scouts have to project.
     
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  3. den-the-coach

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    What's not to like about this kid? He also was an economics graduate with a 3.63 grade point average, so picking up the scheme will not be an issue, so I believe it might come down to Kupp, Smith-Schuster, Evan Engram or a CB that slips like Gareon Conley of The Ohio State University.
     
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  4. Relwolf91

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    No offense, but I think he will be another WR3 and we have enough of those already. He reminds me of Nelson Spruce. I would rather draft Engram or Njoku if he miraculously falls to us.
     
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  5. DaveFan'51

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    I would also consider Robert Davis in with this group of WR's!
     
  6. jrry32

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    Where are they hiding? I haven't seen any of our holdover WRs show the ability to consistently catch the ball or run routes well.

    I strongly disagree with the people who try to pigeon-hole him, but even if he is a slot WR, we don't have a proven player at that position.

    Engram is also a WR3. He's a big slot WR.
     
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  7. A.J. Hicks

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    Woods - Kupp - Austin - Cooper - Thomas/Spruce

    Honestly I like it!
     
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  8. Merlin

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    I have Kupp ahead of those other guys too, in a normal draft he's a late round 1 guy IMO. Think he's going to be lacking a bit in value in this particular draft when the Rams are on the board, but Kupp is one of those players who is likely to outperform his draft spot so I'd be fine with it. I suspect there's a good chance some team will take him before the Rams for that same reason and it won't surprise me in the least.

    As to where I'd play him with this bunch: X. Z is ideal for him tbh, but since Tavon and his baby arms would be corralled by most CBs on the LOS he'll be there. Kupp has the size, strength, and instincts to be a solid guy out wide for us. If he's the guy you line him up at X, Tavon/Coop at Z, and at Y mix in Coop/Higbee. That's a solid young corps of weapons tbh, not perfect but respectable and one that would put up some points assuming Goff plays as well in year 2 as I think he will.

    Kupp's basically a bigger Jerry Rice to my eye. Similar work ethic, sneaky long speed, short area suddenness and change of direction, etc. He's gonna do some good stuff in this league.
     
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  9. jrry32

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    My assumption is that Woods will typically be the X because of his run blocking ability. I expect that we'd see Tavon and Kupp alternate between the Z and the slot.
     
  10. Merlin

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    Crap forgot about Woods already, need to stop posting this late. Kupp would probably be a revelation anywhere on this offense tbh. If they draft him someone else will be sitting by midseason, pretty much take your pick.

    Woods is a great team guy and all, and they paid him to solidify the position, but depending on how well Tavon and Coop take to this new offense and who they draft he could find himself squeezed for playing time. Yet another reason why we're gonna see a DB drafted at round 2 lol.
     
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  11. Corbin

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    My question is when is this guys projected to go in the draft? I have found conflicting reports.
     
  12. StealYoGurley

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    Here's what Reception perception has to say about Kupp:
    https://www.thefantasyfootballers.c...roviding-context-cooper-kupps-nfl-projection/

    Viewing the NFL Draft as anything but a process would be a mistake. Yes, it culminates in a singular event where the teams “put pen to paper” and select college players to join their organization, but there is so much that must play out to get to that moment.

    Prior to the three days that stretch out from the end of April into the early days of May, there are many pivotal points in the draft process that take place and create peaks valleys and crests to the outlook of the players to be selected.

    There’s the college football season, where prospects put on film what NFL scouting departments will judge them by. The declaration process comes next, where underclassmen join the pool of seniors and create movement in all the stocks of all involved. During the All-Star circuit, especially at the Senior Bowl, the few granted the privilege to be there get to take the first step in the pre-draft circuit to show off their abilities ahead of the rest of the class. At the NFL Scouting Combine, the majority of the rest players destined to get picked in the draft join those already featured at the Senior Bowl, and there, they’ll all be subjected to putting hard data behind the athleticism each possesses. After that comes pro days, team visits and the ever ongoing exercise of scrubbing every nook and cranny in the name of gathering information on all these young men.

    To strongly overreact to just one of the many events on the pre-draft calendar is to ignore the realities of the natural ebb and flow when working with incomplete data. It’s not all about the Senior Bowl, the Scouting Combine or the film; it’s about the puzzles pieces fitting together throughout the process as a whole.

    Something of this ilk appeared to take place with Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp in the early goings of the postseason. After a dominant statistical run at Eastern Washington, Kupp traveled to Mobile, Alabama and by many accounts, put on a show at the Senior Bowl. His week there sent ripple effects throughout the draft world, causing many to place him among the top-five wide receivers in this class and perhaps even elevate his stock to that of a late Round 1 to early Round 2 prospect.

    In my opinion, that seemed brought on by an overreaction to a singular event in the process, whereas the on-field players already profiled for Reception Perception like Chris Godwin and Carlos Henderson are clearly superior. Those players are in the midst of getting their dues as more analysts tune into Henderson’s tape and Godwin woke the world up with his combine.

    At that same combine, Kupp tested in the 23rd percentile for the broad jump, the seventh percentile for the vertical and the 14th percentile for the 40-yard dash, per MockDraftable. Seeing his lack of athletic ability in comparison to some of his peers should cause the football world to ask if they put “the cart before the horse” on his NFL projection.

    The key to understanding Cooper Kupp’s evaluation is in the art of contextualizing his projection with what he’s capable of offering an NFL team. Reception Perception can help us achieve that goal.

    Alignment and Target Data
    Games sampled: Washington State, North Dakota State, UC Davis, North Colorado, Portland State, Youngstown State

    Let’s get right down to the most crucial reality of Kupp’s evaluation: he’s a slot receiver, through and through. In the six games sampled for Reception Perception, Kupp took 78.6 percent of his snaps from the slot. Over the last two draft classes, the prospect average is 20.1 percent of snaps taken on the interior. The only receiver sampled in that span who lined up in the slot more was UNC’s Ryan Switzer with 86.9 percent.

    If his collegiate team didn’t even believe Kupp’s best position was as an outside receiver, what can we possibly base a belief that he will be anything but a big slot receiver in the NFL? His lack of measurable athleticism shown at the NFL Scouting Combine gives us a clue as to why that’s his most likely pro position. This is not to be taken as a negative, but it helps us put a value on the player.

    As clear as it is that Kupp must be a slot receiver at the NFL level, it’s just as apparent that he’s one of the most reliable players in the draft class. Eastern Washington’s quarterbacks targeted Kupp on 29.2 percent of his 212 routes run in his Reception Perception sample. He caught a pass on 23.6 percent of them. His 5.6 percent differential between those two metrics was the lowest number of any prospect charted this year, showing that he was proficient at turning usage into production. In addition, his 1.6 drop rate was also the lowest in this class.

    Success Rate vs. Coverage
    It feels awfully aggressive to pigeonhole a receiver into a role before he’s taken an NFL snap. However, Kupp’s Reception Perception Success Rate vs. Coverage scores bear out that reality.

    Naturally, as an inside receiver, Kupp faced far more zone coverage than he did isolated man-to-man defenders. Kupp registered 124 attempts against man coverage in his sampled games and did a solid job at getting open. His 77.4 percent success rate vs. coverage when facing zones is within the two-year prospect average. Kupp shows an ability to sift through zones and will assist his team as a chain mover against that brand of coverage in the NFL.

    The struggles for Kupp come when asked to beat tight man coverage, and it is within these metrics we find the questions about his success as an outside receiver at the pro level. Kupp’s 59.1 percent success rate vs. man coverage is just above the 23rd percentile among prospects charted the last two years. Similarly, his success rate vs. press coverage of 52.3 percent checks in below the 27th percentile.

    It’s a stretch to believe a player, no matter how productive on paper they may be, that struggled to consistently beat man coverage at a low-level of collegiate football will be able to transition to the outside in the NFL. Technical prowess is essential for most wide receivers to win as route-runners in the league, but even the most proficient technicians can be rendered moot when they lack the tangible athletic gifts of an average NFL receiver. After the scouting combine, we know Kupp falls into that group.

    Route Data
    As with most slot receivers, Cooper Kupp came with a narrow route portfolio at the collegiate level. He was primarily asked to run short to intermediate routes with the design to get him into open space.

    [​IMG]

    The four routes that Kupp ran above the two-year prospect average were the screen at nine percent, the slant at 25.9 percent, the dig at 8.5 percent and the flat at 14.2 percent.

    Outside of those patterns, Kupp has little exposure on out-breaking patterns or in the vert game. Kupp’s post route percentage was right at the two-year prospect average, but he rarely ran the nine or corner route. Observing how often he ran each pattern helps add a needed extra layer of context to his route success rate vs coverage chart.

    [​IMG]

    Despite running the slant and flat routes at a rate that was above the two-year prospect average and making up around 40 percent of his route run, Kupp did not manage to post an above average success rate vs. coverage score on either pattern. If Kupp is to become a reliable chain-moving receiver out of the slot at the NFL-level, he will need to perform better as a separator on those two patterns. Players like Jordan Matthews, who operate in a similar role to Kupp’s best-projected usage plan, do their best work on those routes.

    Outside of the screen, the only route that Kupp posted an above average route percentage and success rate vs. coverage score was the dig. His performance on that pattern is crucial as it will assist him in picking up chunk yardage in the intermediate areas of the field. The same can be said for the out-route, which he ran at a rate in line with the two-year average.

    His above average success rate vs. coverage scores on the nine and comeback should come with an asterisk, considering how infrequently Kupp ran those routes. His comeback route percentage was less than one percent.

    None of the route or success rate vs. coverage data from Reception Perception is to say that he’s a worthless NFL projection or a player who cannot function at the next level. What this does is provide some sobering context to a draft stock that seemed inflated coming off a strong Senior Bowl week and give some clarity to his future outlook. Nevertheless, there are two areas where despite his lack of separation ability, he can help an NFL team.

    Ancillary Metrics
    Cooper Kupp posted an 81.8 contested catch conversion rate over his Reception Perception sample, the same figure Alshon Jeffery posted through his 2016 NFL season. It was a superior rate to that of Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams, who is widely regarded as a dominant catch point wideout.

    Kupp’s frame and strength are complementary to his excellent hands. He is a strong receiver in traffic who can pluck the ball away from his frame even when well covered. His vertical jump illuminates the reality that he isn’t an elite leaper, but he offsets that by an ability to shield defenders.

    Another area where Kupp showed up in a positive fashion was his solid ability after the catch. His high usage rate on flat and slant routes frequently put the receiver in space, totaling 11.3 percent of his routes in whole. He broke a single tackle on 54.2 percent of his “in space” attempts, which was the highest rate among all wideouts charted this year. The spectacular plays were in short supply, as he broke multiple tackles one just 4.2 percent of his “in space” attempts but he’s clearly a threat to make the first defender miss.

    Moving Forward
    It’s fair to say that the hype on Cooper Kupp’s NFL projections certainly got out of control in the weeks following the Senior Bowl. His lack of ability as a separator and a player that can win outside are clearly illuminated in his Reception Perception evaluation. He must be confined to a big slot receiver position at the pro level, no more and no less.

    However, he does bring some attributes to the table, such as his ability to win contested passes, overall reliability and solid skills at breaking tackles after the catch. With those in tow, he can slide into a spot as a role player for the team that selects him in the NFL Draft. Yet, with below average athleticism and questions about his ability to separate from coverage, he’s a selection best made on Day 3. With that context blanketed over his stock, he becomes a much more tenable pro prospect.
     
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  13. StealYoGurley

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    Another metric to consider is Age Adjusted Production. Basically this metric gives more weight to prospects who produce at a younger age. Proponents of this metric argue it is more impressive seeing an 18 or 19 year old kid being highly productive against prospects who are the same age or older than him than it is seeing 22 or 23 year old dominate teenagers. To be clear I am not saying we shouldn't draft Kupp because he will be a 24 year old rookie. It is just one of many things to consider when evaluating a prospect.

    With Snead as GM based on his own statements and the age of the players Rams have drafted early Snead puts at least some credence into this line of thought. He stated Goff being 21 and Wentz being 23 being one the factors they consider in their decision process. He also highlighted Greg Robinson and Brocker's age when they were drafted. Greg Robinson and Ogletree were 21 when drafted, Michael Brockers was the youngest player in his class, Donald and Tavon did the traditional 4 year college experience and were drafted at age 22 both especially Donald dominated as teenagers.
     
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  14. Elmgrovegnome

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    #14 Elmgrovegnome, Mar 27, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
    I wouldn't mind Kupp, but prefer Godwin. I think that the first pick in round 2 will be defense though. Seems there will be a better corner or Pass rush OLB (or maybe TE) than receiver. I really would love a seriously talented receiver though.
     
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  15. LACHAMP46

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    You don't put a kid out wide with numbers like this.

    Man, I like this kids game...can't lie. And he didn't look slow on film...Didn't appear slow at the senior bowl practices. And I love the way he gets open....

    But

    We have 2 slot wr's on the team...Cooper...and Tavon should be if he got his head outta his....well...and we'll probably use a TE in there as well...

    This position could turn into the SS position...over-drafted.

    I think he could fall to the 4th round...probably 5th...this is a deep draft.
     
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  16. Boston Ram

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    Tavon had 200 yards from the slot last year and Cooper has shown little (I know he is a rook lol)....I would ask, do you think we really have a slot receiver? I like Kupp alot but if we are looking WR in the 2nd I prefer Chris Goodwin.
     
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  17. LACHAMP46

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    Tavon, Marquez, and Cooper are slot receivers. So is Nelson Spruce. TE's are typically used in the slot as well....We are loaded up to the yazoo, in guys that work out of the slot.
     
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  18. StealYoGurley

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    People disagree on Tavon's best position, but that has been discussed in depth in many other places. McVay also likes Woods' ability to play inside and the slot. I agree the Rams aren't lacking potential options in the slot.
     
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  19. Boston Ram

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    I get it, my point is as loaded as we are.....there is no production coming from, therefore no true slot guy. Personally I think Spruce is the best fit but dont know if he can get or stay on the field.

    Also its seem like there has been some rumbling that McVay could use Austin the way they used D. Jackson. This I would like to see.
     
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  20. rams24/7

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    @jrry32 if we wanted Kupp do you think we need to grab him at the top of the 2nd, or does he project as more of a late 2nd-early third round WR?