's Aaron Wilson reports.*
The 2015 NFL Draft is coming up very soon, but that isn't stopping the Washington Redskins from conducting visits with some high-profile prospects.
Check out these photos of Amari Cooper, a hard-working and big-play capable wide receiver from the University of Alabama.
Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun reports that Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper made a recent visit to the Redskins' team facility in Loudoun County, Va.
The Redskins and new general manager Scot McCloughan will have plenty of options with the No. 5 overall pick in Thursday's first round of the draft, where Cooper or West Virginia standout Kevin White are expected to be available at the wide receiver position.
Selecting Cooper, many experts believe, could turn out to be a home run for any team. As a junior last season, the Heisman finalist recorded 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns. His NFL.com profile indicates Cooper uses his elite speed to blow by defenders, but "stays there at the top of his routes."
"Consistently able to get defenders leaning before breaking them off in the other direction," the profile continues. "Owned the post route. Play speed includes a second gear. Good feel for traffic on crossers and is able to adjust and avoid the big hit. Unafraid to work the middle and secures the tough catch in traffic. Sticks it and gets it out of breaks, creating instant separation."
Not a huge target at 6-foot-1, 211 pounds, Cooper recorded at least 100 receiving yards in seven different games in 2014, including a 224-yard, three touchdown performance against rival Auburn.
He burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2012, logging 59 catches for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns and being named a freshman All-American.
Picking Cooper for the Redskins would indicate more of a "best player available" approach, rather than drafting for need. The Redskins are top heavy at the wide receiver position, where DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon and Andre Roberts occupy the top three spots, but many experts – including CBSSports.com's Will Brinson – thinks a guy like Cooper or White could still fit into the team's long-term plans.
"The idea of the Redskins grabbing a wideout with Jackson and Garcon already on the depth chart sounds crazy, but this is a best-available-player situation for McCloughan and he's got his pick of wideouts here," Brinson writes. "Look at his draft run in San Francisco: the 49ers took offensive players in the first round during 4/7 first-round picks from 2005 through 2009. If you're thinking about life post-Garcon, Cooper probably matches up best with Jackson, though there's no guarantee he'll be there forever either."