Former South Carolina receiver Pharoh Cooper was supposed to be taken in the second or third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Friday night came and went and Cooper was still on the board.
He stayed there until midway through the fourth round, when the Los Angeles Rams made the long-awaited call to give Cooper the good news. Cooper was finally in the NFL, even if it took a little bit longer than expected. Cooper admitted his slip to Day 3 caught him completely off guard.
“I couldn’t get any sleep,” Cooper said according to The Charleston Post and Courier’s David Caraviello. “I was banking on going second or third (round), honestly, just from hearing everything.”
But Cooper isn’t feeling bad for himself. He said the draft day process has motivated him to prove his worth at the next level.
“But this is absolutely motivation,” Cooper said, according to Caraviello. “That’s all it is, motivation, to prove I should have been a first-round pick or a second-round pick. But I ended up in the right spot, I believe, and we’re going to see how it goes from there.”
Part of Cooper’s value comes from his versatility. He was one of the few, if not the only playmaker, at South Carolina in 2015. He caught 66 passes for 973 yards and eight touchdowns, ran the ball 24 times for 111 yards and also returned punts during his junior season with the Gamecocks.
The Rams have a similar jack-of-all-trades X-factor in Tavon Austin, but there’s no such thing as too many playmakers. Cooper may have fallen in the draft, but that doesn’t change his mindset: Work hard off the field and make things happen on it.