Alabama in the Pros

Amari Cooper named a finalist for NFL Pepsi Rookie of the Year

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland will spend another postseason at home for a 13th time since 2002, but at least it was entertaining this year at 7-9. Part of its rebuilding was taking  ex-Alabama wide out Amari Cooper with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Cooper did wonders in Tuscaloosa, accounting for 228 catches, 3,463 yards, 31 touchdowns and a national title.

He joined forces with second-year quarterback Derek Carr and exploded for a monster rookie season. Cooper collected 72 receptions for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns. He became the first rookie wide out in Raiders’ history to post 1,000 yards and the first receiver since Randy Moss (2005) to record 1,000 yards. He put in five 100-yard receiving outings this season.

Multiple news sites have nominated the former Biletnikoff Award winner for NFL’s Pepsi Rookie of the Year, including Bleacher Report and Raiders.com. Danny Webster, a featured columnist for Bleacher Report, released an article Saturday on the five nominees for the award.

Cooper joins Tampa Bay’s quarterback Jameis Winston, St. Louis running back Todd Gurley, Seattle Seahawks wide out/return man Tyler Lockett and Kansas City’s defensive back Marcus Peters. The award will be presented on Feb. 6, 2016 during the annual NFL Honors show.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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