After this past spring’s NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns took a hard look at Brandon Weeden’s second favorite target at Oklahoma State University, Josh Cooper. Signing an un drafted rookie free agent contract, Cooper showed he could catch the ball in training camp and the pre season. Despite playing well during the exhibition games, Cooper did not make the 53 man team and was signed to the practice squad.
For a team that was near the top of the league in dropped passes, this was a puzzling move to Browns fans. One unfortunate thing about the NFL, is injuries. Over the past few weeks, injuries have struck the Cleveland receivers. Mohamed Massaquoi, Travis Benjamin, and Jordan Norwood have all suffered significant injuries. All of the sudden, Cooper has found himself on the game day roster.
In his first professional action against the division rival Cincinnati Bengals, the former OSU Cowboy posted 2 receptions for 39 yards, including an awesome 28 yard rope that his teammate/friend whistled to him for a third down conversion. On that play alone, Cooper showed why his hands are “sticky” as he adjusted his body to the ball and caught the pass above his head.
In a handful of analysts’ minds, the 23 year old is comparable to New England Patriots slot receiver, Wes Welker. Facets of their game is very similar as both run crisp routes and catch the ball with their hands. The potential is super high for no. 88.
In these last ten games, we should expect to see a lot of Cooper. Look for Weeden to continue to look his way on crucial third downs. There is no doubt the two have carried chemistry over from their college days, but the time is now to produce the same results. With Greg Little struggling, Massaquoi injury bugged, and Norwood out for the season, Cooper could become the key factor to Weeden’s success the rest of the way. Since Cooper’s chance is finally here, it’s time to show everyone what he’s made of.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
Please Follow Me on Twitter @ryanpruiz24