One can measure the size and speed of an athlete, but there is no measure for heart. NFL prospects that come from FCS schools have the cards stacked against them and most of the time for good reason. The competition is weaker and the teams are laced with 1 and 2 star recruits, but that’s no reason to overlook a special talent. Names like Jerry Rice, Jared Allen, and Randy Moss come to mind – even though Marshall was only a Division I-AA school for Moss’ freshman season.
The NFL is littered with FCS talents today and most recently, a running back from Northern Iowa by the name of David Johnson took the league by storm. In this past draft, Carson Wentz, the former QB of the reigning FCS national champs, was drafted number 2 overall. There is definitely talent in college football’s lower division; we just have to find it. That brings me to my next prospect:
Here’s another clip from the Oregon game which shows Kupp fighting for every yard in an attempt to score a TD, which was eventually overturned and downed at the 3-yard line. This is the kind of heart that I like to see from a WR, his every yard mentality paid off for a huge gain because he didn’t want to take the easy road and run out of bounds.
It’s safe to say that Kupp plays like a man amongst boys at the FCS level. He is an absolute playmaker who can play both inside and outside. He can beat you with power, technique, and agility; he has the tools of a top prospect. I am looking forward to his senior season and more touchdowns like this:
Although Kupp is a dominating force at the FCS level, I don’t want to crown him just yet. Nevertheless, he is very special and shows you everything you want to see in a player coming out of that division. The production and technique are there but I want to see more. EWU starts off the season against an FBS opponent in Washington State but after that it’s back to FCS ball. On film, Kupp does look to have decent football speed, but I’m not sure how he will test when the combine comes around. He’ll have a target on his back this year and should see even more double coverage. I’m interested to see how he responds and if he can beat it on a consistent basis.
Kupp can beat press coverage with his footwork and agility although, I haven’t seen him use his hands properly and that could become a problem against the bigger corners in the NFL. To this point, Kupp has compiled a ton of explosive plays in college but I’m not sure how well it will translate in the pros. He is quick and agile but he might not possess the breakaway speed you want to see against faster and stronger opponents. Ultimately, one of the biggest areas he will need to work on is speed. However, a ton of shifty WR’s with great route running have made a killing in the NFL so I’m not too worried. I have seen him make a ton of body catches but only when the situation called for it. This year will be very telling as to what Kupp really is and I’m looking forward to watching more film as it’s released.
All in all, I can see Kupp being a dangerous slot WR in the NFL. Right now, I wouldn’t call on him to be my top guy at the next level, but he definitely looks like he can develop into a great ball player. I currently have him rated as my WR6 in the 2017 class and a huge sleeper in Devy leagues. More than likely, no one will be after him right now, but his stock will be trending upward come the end of this season. In my most recent Devy, I needed a QB, WR, and a TE. I had very little money for the auction so I set my sights on a few guys I could obtain towards the end. At WR, I set my sights on Jehu Chesson and Cooper Kupp. When the time came, I ended up going with Chesson in hopes that I will be able to get Kupp in the 2017 rookie auction. He is someone to look out for and with his awareness, route running, and understanding of the game he can come in and contribute right away.
Thanks for reading. You can follow me on Twitter @pacificscouting.