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2016 NFL Draft: Could Pharoh Cooper find a home in the Giants' offense?

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Pharoh Cooper produced wherever Steve Spurrier lined him up. Can he find a home in the Giants suddenly sparse receiving corps?

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 season wasn't just a disappointing one for the New York Giants, it was also a catastrophic one for the South Carolina Gamecocks. They failed to reach a bowl game for the just the second time since 2004, winning just three games. Though the season prompted Steve Spurrier's retirement, there were some bright spots. On the defensive side is linebacker Skai Moore, who returned to school and could thrive in new head coach Will Muschamp's defense.

On the offensive side is receiver Pharoh Cooper. Well, Cooper is listed as a wide receiver, but he really has been South Carolina's Leatherman. Could he be the same "do it all" player for the Giants? Let's take a closer look.

Measurables

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 208 pounds

40 Time: 4.50 (projected)

Pros

  • Extremely versatile. Plays outside receiver, slot receiver, running back, return man, and even some quarterback.
  • Great vision, balance, and quick feet with the ball in his hands. Can make a man miss and pick up yards after the catch
  • Powerful lower body and isn't afraid to get physical in tight areas
  • Generally reliable hands, with good body control and hand-eye coordination.

Cons

  • Shorter than preferred by NFL teams. Listed at 5-11, could measure shorter at the Combine
  • "Quicker than fast" player who has great short-area quickness, but not much long speed
  • Didn't face much press coverage so how he deals with it is a question.
  • Route running is a work in progress.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - not in top 50

Mocking The Draft - 78th

CBS - 61st

Draft Tek - 73rd

Does He Fit With the Giants?

I believe he does.

While route running is very important in Ben McAdoo's offense -- the whole passing game is built on every receiver being where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there. It is designed to create separation with routes, and route combinations -- Cooper has the kind of tools that McAdoo's offense rewards.

When he develops as a route-runner, Cooper should be able to explode out of his cuts and pick up the all-important yards after the catch. As well, his ability to play just about anywhere in the offensive formation is a valuable tool, and could make for some interesting wrinkles with Odell Beckham's ability to do the same.

Final Thoughts

Confidence isn't a problem for Pharoh Cooper, he came into the season saying that he, not Laquon Treadwell, is the best receiver in the SEC. South Carolina's disappointing -- to say the least -- season didn't help Cooper any, but he has the ability to surprise once he gets in the NFL.

He will primarily be viewed as a slot receiver, but he should eventually be able to be productive from all over the field. Physically, and athletically, he is similar to Victor Cruz, and could have a role (or roles) similar to Randall Cobb in the Giants' offense.