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Amari Cooper's rookie season: Assessing the impact

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After a quiet end to his rookie season, many can be forgiven for underestimating the impact that Amari Cooper has had on the Oakland Raiders offense.

Cooper may have only scored two touchdowns in the second half of his rookie season (both in the week 15 game against the Green Bay Packers), also only topping the 100-yard receiving mark twice in that time.

But Amari Cooper has given the Oakland Raiders much to be excited about for the future and had broken some records in the process.

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The need for a Number One receiver

Taken with the 4th pick in the 2015 NFL draft, the former Alabama product was brought to the Raiders to give them the much needed true number one receiver that they had been searching for.

Oakland hadn't had a wide receiver top the 1,000-yard mark for receiving yards since Randy Moss achieved the feat in the 2005 season, and had never had a rookie achieve this mark.

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Summary of the season

Amari Cooper started his rookie season with at least four catches per game in the first half of the season. During this time, he also had four touchdowns, three 100-yard receiving games, and no game with fewer than 40 receiving yards.

The second half of Cooper's season was not quite as successful. Persistent injury problems, issues with drops commonly seen by rookie receivers and the production of free agent signing Michael Crabtree saw some of Cooper's targets diminish during the last eight games of the season.

Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs

Cooper's key statistics for the season ended as follows:

Receptions: 72
Receiving yards: 1,070
Touchdowns: 6

Record breaker

Amari Cooper's rookie performance has ensured that Oakland's long wait for a 1,000 yard receiver is over. He also goes down in history as the first Raiders rookie to hit the 1,000 receiving yard mark in a season.

Whilst there is much to improve upon for Cooper, the signs are clearly there that the youngster has the pedigree to become a true number one receiver in the NFL.

He gives Oakland a key offensive piece upon which to build their team around in years to come.

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Topics:
NFL Playoffs
Oakland Raiders
NFL

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