Cleveland Browns: Undrafted Free Agent That Is Impressing the Most in Camp
Wide receiver Josh Cooper may be an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State University, but his odds of making the Cleveland Browns' final roster are better than anyone else in his class.
Cooper hasn't let the golden opportunity of playing with his college quarterback, Brandon Weeden, go to waste. He has emerged as the most impressive free agent in camp, and the built-in chemistry with Weeden has reportedly served him well.
According to ESPNCleveland.com's Tony Grossi, Cooper is ahead in a competition with fellow receiver Jordan Norwood for the last spot at the position.
The fact that the Browns have one of the thinnest receiving corps in the league is also a huge advantage for Cooper.
Here is a breakdown of how he can make the team.
Cooper may not clock a dazzling 40-yard dash time, but he makes up for it with solid route running and exceptional hands. Look no further than this catch in last week's preseason game against the Detroit Lions.
For a player who's meant to be a slot option, Cooper's size is a plus. His 5'10", 190-pound frame is slightly more equipped to take a beating than the tantalizingly speedy yet undersized fellow rookie Travis Benjamin.
Some may argue Cooper's productive college career was mostly due to the dynamic Justin Blackmon lining up on the outside for the Cowboys, and of course Weeden.
Will Josh Cooper make the Browns' final roster?
However, that wouldn't have been totally true if Cooper has been this impressive so far.
His ProFootballWeekly scouting report indicates his ability to get off the line quickly and find soft spots in zones, which will serve well in the West Coast offense.
At best? The No. 1 slot option and a possession receiver Weeden can look for on third down when the Browns need to move the chains. Any way to move the ball on offense will be welcomed with open arms in Cleveland.
The other extreme is that Cooper doesn't make the final 53-man roster when the final cuts are made on August 31st.
Considering his familiarity with his college quarterback and reliable hands, though, that doesn't seem likely. It is a low-risk, high-reward scenario if the Browns decide to keep Cooper on the active roster.
There also isn't much mention of fellow UDFA wideouts Bert Reed and Jermaine Saffold, which is a good sign for Cooper.
Chances of Making the Roster
Cooper's chances of hanging around for Week 1 are very high, and he will probably end up somewhere between No. 4 and No. 6 on the receiver totem pole.
If he does stick, Cooper is likely to join fellow rookies Benjamin and Josh Gordon, veterans Mohammed Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs, and Greg Little, the team's leading receiver in 2011.
With Trent Richardson likely to be the focal point of the offensive attack, teams will likely bring a lot of pressure and stack up the box. The Weeden-to-Cooper combo could be very effective against the blitz.
That potential alone is promising enough to keep Cooper. After all, the receivers are a group littered with inexperience and uncertainty.
To briefly break it down: Gordon joined late and is learning on the fly, Cribbs is less involved, Benjamin is in his first year, Massaquoi is inconsistent and has battled injuries, and Little is prone to drops.
No matter who the Browns keep at that position this season, it will probably be inconsequential.
Barring a breakout performance from Carlton Mitchell, that is.
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