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Amari Cooper: Breaking Down Alabama WR's Pro Day Workout

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2015

Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Wide receiver Amari Cooper is in a battle to be the first wide receiver selected in the 2015 NFL draft, and the skilled pass-catcher bolstered his cause during Alabama's pro day Wednesday.

The 2014 Heisman Trophy finalist allowed his NFL Scouting Combine numbers to stand alone for the most part, but he truly shone when it came to showing off his skills in terms of running routes and bringing in passes.

Cooper posted a blazing-fast time of 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine, which prompted him to skip that drill Wednesday, according to NFL.com's Chase Goodbread:

Chase Goodbread @ChaseGoodbread

Amari Cooper and Landon Collins, as expected, skipping 40s. #AlabamaProDay

That was the case for most of the combine-esque drills at Bama's pro day, although Cooper did opt to partake in the vertical jump, as seen in this photo, courtesy of Alabama Football on Twitter:

Alabama Football @AlabamaFTBL

Amari Cooper completes the vertical jump at Pro Day. #RollTide #BuiltByBama http://t.co/b1c8RNdIP0

He disappointed in that drill at the combine with a height of just 33 inches, per NFL.com. Cooper attempted to better that performance Wednesday, and he did, albeit by just one inch, per Tyler Vesely of NFLDraftFever.com:

Tyler Vesely @TylerVesely

Amari Cooper 34 inch vertical #AlabamaProDay

Cooper may not have elite leaping ability, but he showed once again at Alabama's pro day that he is perhaps the most talented and polished wide receiver in the draft from an overall perspective.

As evidenced by this Vine from ESPN.com's Greg Ostendorf, Cooper looked smooth and quite sure of himself during positional drills:

Greg Ostendorf @greg_ostendorf

Amari Cooper chose not to run the 40 today, but he's still running routes and catching passes from Blake Sims. https://t.co/cktENz049p

Even when he slipped up, Cooper found a way to recover and make positive plays, which was the case in this video, courtesy of Goodbread's Instagram account:

Overall, Goodbread believes Cooper was able to thrive in spite of quarterback Blake Sims' inconsistency Wednesday:

Chase Goodbread @ChaseGoodbread

Throwing finished. Thought Blake Sims was a bit off target for a pro day setting. Made Cooper & WRs look good a lot. They didn't drop much.

Although Cooper is clearly among the best receivers in the class of 2015, he is not a lock to be the first one picked among them. He is in direct competition with West Virginia's Kevin White and Louisville's DeVante Parker for that honor.

White was dominant at the combine, which could have moved him past Cooper on some draft boards, but Cooper had the better collegiate career.

In the eyes of ESPN analysts Cris Carter and Greg McElroy, Cooper is the No. 1 guy at his position, according to ESPN College Football on Twitter:

ESPN CollegeFootball @ESPNCFB

"We believe the best receiver in the 2015 draft is Amari Cooper." -Cris Carter & Greg McElroy #LIVEonSC http://t.co/YvF4RIUGer

Carter, who is a Hall of Fame wide receiver, had nothing but positive things to say about Cooper on SportsCenter, per AL.com's Michael Casagrande.

He's dominant in the slot. You can't play bump and run coverage because he's so quick with great acceleration off the ball. He has great football speed. When he's on the football field, he's just as fast as he is in shorts doing the 40 time. He typically always makes the first player miss. If you see him against SEC competition the last three years, he has destroyed the competition and most of the time, he has been the best player on the field. (Offensive coordinator) Lane Kiffin does a good job of moving him around, so he can retain a lot of information.

Cooper essentially carried the Crimson Tide receiving corps on his back in 2014 as he made 124 catches for more than 1,700 yards and 16 touchdowns.

He may not shine in every drill, but that type of production against elite competition is something that simply can't be ignored.

Cooper is a top-five talent, and after showing his capabilities as a receiver once again at Alabama's pro day, it is nearly impossible to imagine the superstar wideout falling outside the top 10 on April 30.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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