Amari Cooper works out for scouts

ByGreg Ostendorf via ESPN logo
Thursday, April 2, 2015

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --Amari Cooperhad another chance to impress scouts and convince them that he's worthy of being the first wide receiver selected in the upcoming NFL draft.

But for those hoping Cooper would run the 40-yard dash Wednesday at Alabama's pro day, it didn't happen. Despite telling the media that he has consistently run the 40 in the 4.3-second range, he stuck with his time of 4.42 from the NFL combine last month. The only thing Cooper did Wednesday was run routes and catch passes from Crimson Tide quarterback Blake Sims.

"I think I proved that I was a polished receiver," Cooper said afterward. "I felt like my routes could've been a little more crisp, but it doesn't always happen how you plan for it to happen."

So is Cooper the top receiver available in thedraft? Some say he is. Others believe West Virginia's Kevin White, who ran a 4.35 40 at the combine, has the edge. Both were finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, honoring college football's top wide receiver, and both have been projected as top-10 picks.

On Wednesday, Cooper wouldn't say who is better but admits that it would be a great feeling to be the top receiver taken.

"When you do something, you want to be the best," he said. "So I want to be the first receiver taken. But at the same time, if I'm not, it won't affect the way I go in and work or play."

Cooper finished with 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. After three seasons in Tuscaloosa, he certainly has the support of his coach.

"First of all, he's a very talented guy," Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said. "He's got great quickness, great speed. He's got really good size, very good hands and he's got some running ability after the catch. I think if you're looking at critical factors at his position, that covers about everything that's important to most people."

Of note, theNew York Giants,who pick at No. 9, sent their general manager to the Tide's pro day. The Giants, along with theOakland Raiders(No. 4) andNew York Jets(No. 6) have all been linked to Cooper.

"I don't really care who I play for," Cooper said. "I just want to play ball. I respect every NFL team because it was a dream I've had since I was a little kid. I don't care who I play for."

Alabama safetyLandon Collins, a projected first-round pick, also declined to run the 40 on Wednesday. He ran it in 4.53 seconds at the combine. Collins did go through position drills withall 32 teams looking on.

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