You may have already seen Randys story about the Chiefs "second draft," but I want to bring your attention to something specific GM John Dorsey said about Marcus Cooper:
By SAM MELLINGER
The Kansas City Star
"He can be as good as he wants to be. He has a lot of ceiling. He can turn and track the vertical throws and catch the ball. Hes got ideal length .. thats the ideal press corner."
Now, of course youd expect a GM to be positive about his guy. Especially this GM and this guy, because in a lot of ways Cooper is the best example of shrewd GM-ing that Dorsey has in Kansas City: pulled off the NFLs equivalent of a flea market just before the season, cut from a good organization, the Chiefs see something the 49ers didnt and now Cooper is playing like a star.
But think about the specifics of what he said there. As good as he wants to be a lot of ceiling ideal length ideal press corner.
Thats more than typical praise. I talked about this a little on the Amateur Hour, but if you could create a profile for hidden star it would sound exactly like Cooper:
- came to the position late, so NFL teams didnt have a lot of tape on him.
- played at a non-traditional power, so he didnt have some superstar coach to vouch for him to scouts.
- gets drafted by a loaded team that probably doesnt give him many looks in training camp.
- picked up by a team with a need, and a system that fits perfectly for his strengths.
Thats Marcus Cooper and the Chiefs, guys. I wrote specifically about his interception against Tennessee, and if you read it you see a terrific display of what makes for a good football player: the work ethic and discipline to arrive prepared through video study, the natural instincts about when to make a move, the physical gifts to rip the ball away from a very good receiver, and the balls to do it at a critical point in the game.
This is all a long way of saying that Marcus Cooper is real. This is not a fluke, a comet through the sky.
If youre into these things, the advanced metrics agree on Cooper. Pro Football Focus, for instance, has Cooper tied as the ninth best cover corner in the NFL entering this weeks games. Everyone else in the top 10 (Sean Smith ranks fifth, by the way) has far more snaps than Cooper, too. If you assume Coopers same production in a similar number of snaps, hed be in the top five.
You can wait for Cooper to turn into a pumpkin. But youll probably be waiting a long time.