Our draft series takes a look at South Carolina wide receiver Pharoh Cooper and questions if he would be a fit with the Houston Texans
The NFL Draft is less than two weeks away, and most fans couldn’t be more excited. We share that same excitement here at FanSided and believe it can’t start fast enough.
To help us get through the last few days we are now taking a look at potential players the Houston Texans could draft, and our first group is wide receiver. Here we take a look at South Carolina wide out and return man Pharoh Cooper, and examine his fit with the Texans.
Weight: 203 pounds
40 yard dash: 4.63
What he does best
Cooper did a little bit of everything during his time in Columbia, South Carolina. He lined up as a receiver, running back and quarterback for the Gamecocks and also handled some of the return duties.
Where he truly shines is as a slot receiver, and our friend Shawn Spencer over at NFL Mocks has an excellent scouting report on the wide out, and his overall assessment of Cooper is quite favorable.
"Overall, Pharoh Cooper is a starting slot receiver in the NFL who can win with his vision and elusiveness. He is not a receiver who is going to break tackles or gain yards after contact. Cooper’s versatility will undoubtedly draw comparisons to Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb, who played multiple roles on offense while at Kentucky.In reality, he’s closer to Percy Harvin. Both are electric playmakers who thrive in open space, but struggle to create offense on their own. He will likely be a second day pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and can contribute immediately as a returner and third or fourth option in the passing game."
If Cooper is anything like Harvin on the field, that’s a huge plus, especially considering he doesn’t bring the headaches off the field.
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In his three years at SC Cooper recorded 138 receptions for 2,163 yards and 18 touchdowns. He added another 513 yards on 71 rushes with four additional touchdowns. He also completed nine-of-16 passes for 118 yards and four scores.
Where he fits with Texans
Cooper would most likely fight for time with another receiver that plays in a similar role for Houston, Cecil Shorts III. In 2015 Shorts operated out of the slot while also taking the role of a wildcat quarterback on a few occasions, including a game against the Jets when he threw a touchdown pass to running back Alfred Blue. Shorts is in the last year of his deal with the Texans, so Cooper could essentially save the team money should they decide he could fulfill the same role Shorts does.
In 2016 the rookie would most likely get his work as a return man, as he should provide an upgrade to the less-than-exciting Keith Mumphery who manned the position for the majority of this past season.
Is he worth a pick?
Pharoh Cooper is worth a draft pick, but only at the right spot. He isn’t a complete enough receiver to be taken in Round 1 or Round 2, but should he be there when Houston turns in their card in the third, he may be worth considering.
Taking a player like Cooper in the third is only worth it if they truly believe he can be an upgrade to Mumphery and potentially push Shorts.