Zerrick Cooper has not received much NFL draft attention but is a prospect looking to be selected. He came into college as a four-star prospect and started off at Clemson before transferring to Jacksonville State. Cooper holds many of Jacksonville State’s passing records. The young quarterback has excellent pocket awareness and good mobility, but what other traits does he possess?
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Name: Zerrick Cooper
Jersey: No. 6
School: Jacksonville State
Class: Redshirt Senior
Weight: 234 lbs
Games Watched: NFLPA Collegiate Bowl (2022), North Alabama (2020), Eastern Washington (2019)
Major Injury History: Ankle (2020)
Arm Talent (10/15)
Cooper’s arm strength is good but not great. He can throw deep passes well but does not always get enough power behind the ball. He has the arm to get the ball there on throws to the sideline but is not always with enough force. Cooper’s arm is excellent on throws over the middle, where he gets plenty of zip on his passes.
Cooper’s accuracy is spotty. When he tries to throw into tight coverage, most of the time, he is unsuccessful. Generally, his accuracy suffers, and his decisions are not always the best. Cooper does not always hit his receivers in the right spot on short routes, causing an incompletion or limiting the play. Last season, Cooper only completed 53.8 percent of his passes.
Decision Making (5/15)
Decision-making is a significant area of concern for Cooper. While he can make various throws, he is limited by his inconsistency regarding decisions. Cooper sometimes overlooks an open receiver and chooses to make a difficult throw or put the ball on the ground and run. His inconsistency when making decisions raises concerns about his capability to read the field at the next level.
Hand in hand with his poor decision-making is his inability to move through progressions consistently. While he does spread the ball around a decent amount, he does not always see an open receiver. Often, Cooper was not forced to scan the field through multiple reads, but when he had to, he was not always successful. He is also not excellent at manipulating defenders with his eyes to free them up.
Pocket Awareness (9.5/10)
Arguably the most impressive trait Cooper possesses is his pocket awareness. When pressure comes from his weak side, he does a phenomenal job of adjusting to avoid taking a hit and can extend a play. He can maneuver in the pocket, make defenders miss, and then scramble to pick up extra yards. Cooper is not afraid to take hits but does not take as many in the pocket because of his awareness.
Cooper has decent touch. He can place his passes well on deep passes and make it easy for his receivers to catch. Cooper can fit throws over linebackers but not always with perfect accuracy. He also has inconsistency when throwing down the sideline to his receiver’s back shoulder as the throws can soar a bit far and make it challenging for the receiver to catch it. Cooper flashed the ability to anticipate when his receivers will free up but does not always see it.
Out of Structure (7/10)
On off-platform throws, Cooper is not bad. He has enough arm strength most of the time to make a throw, but his accuracy is not always great. Cooper does not always complete with great accuracy when making a throw after moving. He showed decent ability to throw off his back foot if he needed to avoid pressure and make a play.
Mobility is a good trait for Cooper. He can run when he senses the pocket breaking down and is not afraid of being hit at the end of a play. However, he should slide more to avoid the risk involved with taking a hit. Cooper’s mobility needs to be taken into account on each play and used for designed runs.
Cooper’s mechanics are decent but can be polished. His base is mostly good, and he has good footwork on his throws. Cooper could step into his throws better on some passes but is usually good at doing so. Cooper’s base can sometimes not be as broad as it needs to be. He does not have many serious mechanical errors but could refine them slightly.
Cooper has a decent arm and good mobility, which could offer some intrigue to teams, but he may not get drafted. He was inefficient in his final year of college, which can cause concern because he is a player without an elite trait. Cooper may be better off starting in a different league and then working his way up to the NFL if he improves.
Rookie Projections: Not on a Roster
Third Year Projections: Not on a Roster
Final Grade (52/100): Undrafted Free Agent
Player Comp: Trace McSorley
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