The Redskins announced July 26 that they have signed 2004 third-round draft choice Chris Cooley, a tight end selected out of Utah State with the 81st overall pick.
Cooley's size and field vision make him a dangerous downfield target, and he is known for his sure hands and uncanny ability to find the ball in traffic. He has excellent blocking skills, and is a valuable contributor on special teams. Those qualities, combined with his athleticism and tremendous work ethic make him a player that can thrive in Coach Gibbs' offense.
Cooley, 6-3 and 265 pounds, finished his collegiate career with 95 catches for 1,255 yards and 11 touchdowns, adding 21 yards and a score on three carries. He led the nation's tight ends in receptions and receiving yards in 2003 and has recorded at least four catches in 13 of his last 14 college games. His blocking skills and toughness earned him the Aggies' Golden Helmet Award, given to the team's hardest hitter.
In 2003, Cooley was a first team All-Sun Belt Conference selection, as well as an All-American second team pick by The NFL Draft Report. As a senior, he was a team captain, earning a share of the team's Offensive MVP honors. He was also a finalist for the Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end. Cooley led the Aggies in receptions with 62 for 732 yards and six touchdowns. His 62 catches were the most ever by a USU tight end in a single season. He also registered 65 knockdown blocks, including eight that resulted in touchdowns.
As a junior, he finished with 31 receptions for 502 yards and four scores, and was honored as the team's hardest hitter with the Golden Helmet Award. In 2001, he played in 10 games, seeing time at tight end, fullback and H-back. He started his collegiate career on defense, playing defensive end in eight contests as a rookie, in addition to seeing time at tight end and on special teams. He registered 19 tackles, two sacks, four stops for losses, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.
A native of Powell, Wyoming, and resident of Logan, Utah, Cooley attended Logan High School where he was an All-State selection as a senior, catching 46 passes for 625 yards at tight end. He also recorded eight sacks as a defensive end. An All-American wrestler as well, he went undefeated his senior season and won the state championship. Cooley also played baseball.