Cooper attended Miami Northwestern High School in Miami, Florida. As a junior, he missed much of the season with an injury but still managed to be one of Teddy Bridgewater’s primary targets and had 16 catches for 175 yards with four scores. Cooper was dominant on the 7-on-7 circuit at various college campuses before his senior season. He had a show-out performance at Alabama’s summer camp, and that quickly led to an offer from Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. In his final year, he hauled in 33 receptions for 722 yards and 6 touchdowns. He was a first team FHSAA 8A All-State selection, as well as the No. 4 player on The Orlando Sentinel’s Florida Top 100.He was also invited to play at the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game, where he had a 75-yard touchdown grab and a 93-yard punt return for a score. In addition to being a standout in football, Cooper also starred in basketball and track at Miami Northwestern.
Cooper was a consensus four-star prospect. He was listed as the No. 45 in the Rivals100, and was considered the No. 6 wide receiver and No. 8 player in Florida by Rivals.com. ESPNU listed him as the nation’s No. 7 wideout and No. 46 overall prospect in the ESPNU 150 while ranking 25th in the ESPNU Southeast Top 100 and No. 12 in Florida.He was ranked as the No. 6 wide receiver and the No. 10 player in the state of Florida by 247Sports.com, while ranking him 55th in the Top247.Also, Scout.com rated him as the No. 12 pass catcher in the nation and 86th overall prospect.He chose Alabama over Florida State, Miami and Ohio State, among others. Cooper announced his verbal commitment to the University of Alabama on September 22, 2011.
As a sophomore in 2013, Cooper played in 12 games with seven starts, missing two games due to injury. He had 45 receptions for a team-high 736 yards and four touchdowns. He had his best game of the season against Auburn, recording six receptions for 178 yards, including a school record 99-yard touchdown reception.
Cooper was considered one of the best wide receivers in the 2015 draft class, together with Kevin White. In most mock drafts he was projected to be a top 10 pick, with some having him as high as the 4th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
The Oakland Raiders selected Cooper with the 4th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Cooper was initially assigned the jersey number 19, but following the release of fellow receiver James Jones, he switched to his current number, 89. Cooper made his NFL Debut for the Oakland Raiders on September 13, 2015. He hauled in 5 receptions for 47 yards in a 33-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. In his second game against the Baltimore Ravens, he connected with Derek Carr for a 68-yard touchdown, the first of his career. Cooper also had 109 yards receiving and helped the Raiders win 37-33. Following up after his week two breakout he provided the Raiders with eight receptions for 134 yards in a 27-20 win against the Cleveland Browns. He is the first Raiders receiver with back to back 100 yards receiving games since Randy Moss in 2005. Through three games he is third in NFL history for receiving yards by a rookie with 290 receiving yards. On November 8, 2015, Cooper passed Tim Brown’s record for rookie receptions in a 35-38 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Cooper has been dealing with a shoulder injury for about three weeks, but hasn’t missed any time. He was quiet Sunday, other than a 32-yard touchdown in the third quarter, although he should have had a long score in the first half, but was overthrown. Despite some inconsistency this season, the second-year wideout established a career-high in receptions and yardage with 83 and 1,153, respectively. The Raiders missed a golden opportunity to clinch a first-round bye, so assuming Cooper didn’t suffer any setbacks, he’ll play next week.
Cooper had quite the volatile rookie campaign after being the first receiver taken in the 2015 draft. He started strong and faded late (partially because of a foot injury), but he ended up among the top 25 receivers in targets, receptions, yardage, touchdowns and fantasy points. On the negative side, Cooper dropped 10 passes, which trailed only Mike Evans for most in the league. Still, Cooper is only 22 and already a proven every-down contributor. With his high talent level and a role in a quality offense, Cooper is a strong candidate for a big step forward in 2016, making him a solid WR2 with massive upside.