We spent much of our time last week reminding ourselves how awesome Amari Cooper is.
Nobody would undo it, but sitting through the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft without a selection was quite boring. It was more than worth it to have Cooper both now and in the past, he’s an elite receiver after all.
When the Cowboys flipped their first-rounder for Cooper they did so because they believed him to be a far superior receiver than one they’d be able to get last week (they were right). It’s so hard to hit on anyone in the draft, a point that’s evidenced every year when players are busts for respective teams.
Just how hard is it to hit on a wide receiver in the draft, though? Specifically in the first round? Bobby Belt of NFL Network had a stat floating around Twitter that will really put in perspective for you just how much of a smash hit Cooper has been since entering the league four years ago.
There are obviously receivers who have been drafted after the first round that have had success in the league, but those picks are obviously harder to predict. It’s not a shocker that talent is found everywhere, but what this says is that the ones people most strongly believe will be good typically don’t end up being so... at least in regards to Pro Bowl selections.
Cooper made the Pro Bowl during his first season with the Cowboys, and he didn’t even play the entire thing in blue and silver. It was actually his third selection to the NFL’s annual all star game as he was selected during the first two years of his career with the Oakland Raiders.
Look at the list of the last 19 first-round wide receivers. It’s actually pretty amazing that none of these outside of Cooper have even made it to a Pro Bowl, especially considering how much easier it is to make the game what with how many players bow out due to injury and other circumstances.
Last 19 wide receivers drafted in the first round
- 2019: Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens
- 2019: N’Keal Harry, New England Patriots
- 2018: D.J. Moore, Carolina Panthers
- 2018: Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
- 2017: Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans
- 2017: Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
- 2017: John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals
- 2016: Corey Coleman, Cleveland Browns
- 2016: Will Fuller, Houston Texans
- 2016: Josh Doctson, Washington Redskins
- 2016: Laquon Treadwell, Minnesota Vikings
- 2015: AMARI COOPER, Oakland Raiders
- 2015: Kevin White, Chicago Bears
- 2015: DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins
- 2015: Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles
- 2015: Breshad Perriman, Baltimore Ravens
- 2015: Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts
- 2014: Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints
- 2014: Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers
It’s important to note that we’re talking about the last 19 receivers taken in the first round. So that means that we’re rolling backwards. As of now no receiver taken in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, or 2019 (duh) has made a Pro Bowl except for Cooper, and while some others from 2014 have the last two taken have not (Cooks and Benjamin).
This whole exercise should honestly caution front offices as to how they approach drafting receivers in the first round. Perhaps the Cowboys did and they realized that it’s more of a crap shoot to try and find one yourself so they spent the pick on a proven commodity versus a lottery ticket.
Good for them.