Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp burst onto the scene in his rookie season in 2017. The crafty route-runner, who held just about every Division-1 receiving record, adjusted to the league quicker than most. However, that was no surprise to experts around the league. Kupp’s football IQ is off the charts, and everyone knows it. He runs greats routes, sits in windows, gives his quarterback lanes to throw the football, and has incredibly soft hands.
A Rookie Season To Remember
Kupp’s rookie season was quite impressive, possibly putting him in the race for OROY on a down year. In terms of rookie wide receivers, only Juju Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers could compete with Kupp.
Kupp quickly became a favorite target of quarterback Jarod Goff, who frequently looked his way on third down and goal-to-go scenarios. In total for the season, the rookie hauled in 62 passes for almost 900 yards and found the endzone five times. He did all of this on 94 targets, catching two-thirds of the passes thrown his way. The rookie, who plays like a veteran at 24 years old, even performed in the playoffs. When squaring off with the Falcons in the playoffs, Kupp hauled in eight of 13 targets for almost 70 yards and made his way in for a touchdown. First playoff game of his career? No difference to Kupp, he was unphased.
Plenty Of Room To Improve
While Kupp had an impressive year and exceeded most expectations, there is plenty of room to improve. Notable drops and miscues plagued the young wideout’s impressive first campaign in the NFL. For instance, after Goff had led his team down the field against Seattle in the final minutes he delivered a strike to Kupp in the endzone. This pass deflected off the hands of Kupp and fell to the turf, the Rams losing just one play later.
In the Rams showdown with the Minnesota Vikings, a tightly contested battle for most of the game, Kupp made a nice catch in the redzone and then proceeded to fumble on the one-yard line. He then suffered yet another uncharacteristic drop, a pass going deflecting off of his hands on third down and forcing the Rams to punt rather than extending their drive.
While mistakes will always be a part of the game, Kupp’s mistakes were plentiful and came at crucial times this past season. If the rookie wants to take the next step, he must return to the sure-handed player that the Rams drafted… ALL OF THE TIME.
So, just one season into his NFL career Kupp is already looking like a steal out of Eastern Washington. However, he can still be much better than he was last season. And, I believe that he will be. So be on the lookout for Kupp in your fantasy leagues, especially those of you playing PPR. Slot corners that can truly match Kupp’s route-running are few and far between, which should make for a field day for the second-year receiver this upcoming season. Don’t worry about his targets disappearing, he and Goff have already established quite the rapport.
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