Scouting Report: Pharoh Cooper, WR

How would fans react if the Patriots took another undersized Wide Receiver early in the draft?

How would fans react if the Patriots took another undersized Wide Receiver early in the draft?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

What do the Patriots need? Who will the team let go, resign, or pick up in free agency? There are so many questions that have to be answered before the picture will become clear. When it comes to the Patriots and the Wide Receiver position, the picture is very tough to decipher. Will Brandon LaFell and Danny Amendola be back? What about former 2nd round pick and often injured Aaron Dobson? We always hear, watch what the Patriots do, not what they say. Well, when the new league year begins, we should start to get a better idea of whether or not the picture is going to stay the same or if we will be looking at something new this year. If they do decide to clean house and bring in some new blood, one player that might fit the mold of a Patriot’s Wide Receiver is Pharoh Cooper. Here are my thoughts on what I saw from him on tape.

Name: Pharoh Cooper (#11)

School: South Carolina (Jr.)

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 208 Lbs.


For a Gamecock team that was not very good, Cooper was asked to do just about everything. Not only was he the teams leader in receptions, but he also ran the ball, played Quarterback in the wildcat formation, and was the teams punt returner. To say he was the teams Swiss Army Knife would be an understatement.  On tape, Cooper shows great burst off the line, getting to top speed quickly. He shows great quickness and agility in his routes and does a nice job of finding openings in the coverage and making himself an open target.  Despite his size, he shows good toughness in traffic and a willingness to take a hit to secure the catch. Cooper has good hands and athleticism to high point the ball and make contested catches.  He uses his quickness and agility to make defenders miss and is a threat to make any play into a big gain.  Cooper attacks defenders and is quick in and out of cuts which helps create separation on intermediate routes like comebacks and outs.  He is difficult to bring down in the open field and has great change of direction skills.


Cooper’s route tree was very limited in college and will need time to develop his route running skills. He mainly ran quick screens, comebacks, and vertical routes. He lacks experience having to set up defenders for more complicated routes. Cooper will need coaching on his footwork to create separation rather than relying on his quickness. Cooper also lacks ideal size for the position, not just in height, but in bulk as well. He can easily get rerouted by defenders and must get stronger to fight through man coverage. Cooper is quicker than fast and is probably going to live in the slot at the next level.


I feel bad for Cooper. He played on a team with some pretty horrific Quarterback play this past year. Despite that, you could see Cooper’s talent on tape. He was asked to do a lot for the Gamecocks and he stepped up and made plays week in and week out.  He was the guy to stop and most teams couldn’t do it.  He is really shifty and with his agility and change of direction skills, he is a threat to score on any play.  Cooper is the type of guy you design plays to get him the ball.  In college, he was never asked to run a lot of complicated routes, in fact, most of the time his catches were no further than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage.  He will come into the NFL as a gadget receiver and a punt returner. If he can improve on his route running skills and bulk up to handle being pushed around by defenders, then he could be a very explosive piece to an offense. In a bubble, he has second round talent and I think that is where he should and will be drafted.  When I look at him from a Patriots perspective however, I don’t think I would take him that high.  For what the team needs now, I just don’t think he could make a big enough impact on offense to warrant using the teams first pick on him.

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26 Responses to “Scouting Report: Pharoh Cooper, WR”

  1. Russell says:

    With Mayo retiring (soon to be LB coach) the Patriots save some Cap Space. I’m projecting Coach Belichick trades DE Chandler Jones to the 49ers for their 3d and 4th picks this year. This will open more cap space. Then I think the Patriots go after WR Mohamed Sanu from Cinny.

    2nd (#60)- LB Joshua Perry
    3d (49ers)- DE Bronson Kaufusi
    3d- TRADED to New Orleans for 4th and 5th
    3d (comp.)- TE Nick Vannett
    4th (49ers)- S/CB Sean Davis
    4th (Saints)- OL Parker Ehinger
    4th- LB Antione Williams
    5th (Saints)- QB Kevin Hogen
    6th (Houston) – WR Alex Erickson
    6th(comp.)- DE Dean Lowery
    7th (Houston)- OL Joe Gore
    7th(comp.)- OL Tyler Friend
    7th- RB Keith Marshall

    • steve earle says:

      It’s a nice mock but built on lots of if’s and maybes. Maybe Jones is traded, or not. Then your hoping Kaufusi will slide to the 3rd. I really would be surprised if that happened. Then our 3rd for a 4th and 5th, again sounds to good. Yea I suppose it could happen but those are a lot of if’s.

  2. J H TARBORO says:

    2x Pro Bowler Jerod Mayo retires after 8 seasons. He will be missed!

  3. J H TARBORO says:

    With the shear number of kids not invited to scouting Bowls, or the combine, UDFAs this year will have some unfound diamonds.

  4. Mike Gerken says:

    Someone posed this question to me on another forum. Who would you rather have, Sterling Shepherd or Pharoh Cooper?
    I chose Shepherd because I think he is more advanced in his route running and his speed. Although they are similar in size, I could see Shepherd being used on the outside more because of that speed.

    • Russell says:

      If those were my choices I’d go with Shepard. Shepard looks like early 3d round to me, while Cooper late 3 early 4th.
      I doubt Coach Belichick drafts a WR until the 6th however, I like Alex Erickson.

      • steve earle says:

        I disagree that Bill waits until a 6th for a WR given all the difficulties there this past season as well as the very real possibility that Dobson, LaFell and Amendola will be released. I do agree with you and Mike that Shepherd could be a target for our 2nd rd pick. It is after all near a high 3rd. I would only hope he slides down to us there at #60.

  5. J H TARBORO says:

    JC Coleman-Virginia Tech 5’7 195 4.35 40yds. He is a clone of Dion Lewis, but faster. We may need Dion Lewis insurance, that was his 2nd major injury in 4yrs. and who knows how he will bounce back from his injury, we should have a just in case!

    • steve earle says:

      Coleman sounds interesting but I just can’t find anything about him except he wears a gold watch during games.

  6. J H TARBORO says:

    2) RB Alex Collins-Arkansas
    3) DT Vernon Butler-LA Tech
    3) DE/OLB Jordan Jenkins-UGA
    4) WR Roger Lewis-Bowling Green
    5) TE Jerrell Adams-S.Carolina ( possibly the most dangerous weapon Brady could receive, based on what Brady does best, throwing down the seam.
    6) OT Alex Smith-Nebraska
    6) RB Devon Johnson-Marshall
    7) SS KJ Dillon-W.VA
    7 CB Cre von LeBlanc- Florida Atlantic ( nickel corner ) E/W Shrine game standout, has value as a PR/KR and plays scrappy like our own Malcolm Butler.
    7) FB/ST Soma Vainuku-USC ( QB and RBs really needs a player like this.)

  7. Russell says:

    Here is another LB worth a look; Stephen Weatherly 6’4″ 255 lbs runs a 4.77 40yd.

  8. Mike Gerken says:

    I think a team will fall in love with his quickness and ability to make people miss. He also is a good down field blocker which I failed to mention. The athletic tools are there to warrant a 2nd round grade, but like all of you have said so far and I agree, for the Patriots, he would get a later grade.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      Teams will fall in love with his speed and talent, I’ve been watching tape comparing Cooper, Lawler, Caroo, Higgins, and Roger Lewis. Roger Lewis is sneakily rising to the top of my list.

      • Mike Gerken says:

        I still need to do work on Higgins, Lawler and Lewis. Regarding Carroo and Cooper, they are different. Carroo is more of a possession receiver that has great hands and runs really good routes. I think he would be a great replacement for LaFell if the team moves on from him. He is what Aaron Dobson was supposed to be. Cooper could play the Edelman/Amendola role and Sterling Shepherd could play a role similar to that but I think has the ability to be a threat in that intermediate and deep range as well.

  9. Russell says:

    Thanks to all that check out my articles at, I just went over 10,000 readers for ONE article!!!!!!

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Congrats Russell! Which article was it? I can only dream of getting those type of numbers. That is awesome. Thanks for being such a great contributor on here as well. You and the rest of the commenters have made doing these reports worthwhile.

      • Russell says:

        I’m not sure why ??? I’ve done better articles. get to my page lower left are my best viewed articles. Thanks for all your work Mike!!

        • Russell says:

          I’m the only Russell on the site, look under Patriots logo.

        • Mike Gerken says:

          I am over there reading your stuff regularly. I was just wondering which article it was that generated the hits. I most likely read it as I try to hit your site up on a regular basis.

        • Russell says:

          Thanks Mike for reading my articles!!! The article is listed under my Top Posts, “Patriots Sign Two Free Agents” which I did in Nov. I believe.

  10. Russell says:

    I’ve watch a lot of Coopers tape as well as live. I doubt he is drafted before the 4th round. He does have some qualities the Patriots like for sure, but the Patriots are fresh off the Boyce and Dobson failures. Not sure…..

  11. Jeff says:

    Sounds like a nice option if he falls to the back of the third, but not the type of guy you’d want to extend for in the second round.

  12. steve earle says:

    Thanks for the nice breakdown on Cooper. You confirm what I was thinking.Currently have him with my 3rd rd prospects though I doubt he will come as far down as where the Pats will be picking barring some kind of trade. Still he could be a nice addition if Amendola parts ways.

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