Raiders WR Amari Cooper NFL.com’s Consensus Pick For Offensive Rookie Of The YearBy Ryan Ward
Oakland Raiders fans haven’t had much to cheer about over the past decade or so. The three-time Super Bowl champions haven’t even been able to make the playoffs since reaching the Super Bowl back in 2002, but times may be changing in the Bay Area.
With Derek Carr and Khalil Mack turning a lot of heads in Oakland last season, there may finally be some light at the end of the tunnel for the struggling Raiders. Oakland was also able to add another offensive weapon in the NFL Draft this year in the form of Alabama product Amari Cooper.
Although Cooper has yet to play a single down in the regular season for the Raiders, the rookie wide receiver has a lot of people around the league buzzing about his potential. In fact, Cooper is NFL.com’s consensus pick to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year with seven out of 13 analysts going with the Raiders wideout.
A lot of Cooper’s success in his first year in the NFL will depend on his second-year quarterback. The Raiders may have only won three games last season, but Carr was impressive to say the least after earning the starting job over veteran Matt Schaub in the preseason.
The worst-case scenario for Carr is suffering a sophomore slump with so many talented young players around him. Along with Cooper, the Raiders will have Seth Roberts, Michael Crabtree, Rod Streater, Brice Butler and Andrew Holmes in receiving with tight ends Lee Smith and Mychal Rivera.
Despite the veterans in the receiving corps, Cooper has been dubbed the top target on the depth chart giving him advantage of other rookies have received consideration for the award ahead of the regular season. Nelson Agholor (Philadelphia Eagles), Melvin Gordon (San Diego Chargers), Ameer Abdullah (Detroit Lions) and Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans) without a single vote for Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
As for odds to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Cooper comes in third behind Gordon (4/1) and Winston (11/2) at 8/1, according to Sportsbook.ag. Mariota and Abdullah are also sporting 8/1 odds to win the regular-season award.