I’ve profiled three Huskies already so it’s only fair that I write one on a Coug. No promises that I won’t throw in some jabs here and there however! In all seriousness though, Tacoma’s own Xavier Cooper is really good.
Xavier Cooper Strengths
Cooper is constantly in the backfield. His burst off the line is unreal. I’ve never seen a player who can speed rush a guard from the DT spot, but he does it frequently. Watch from 3:12-4:05 in the video below. Twice he is in the backfield before Mariota finished his drop.
He has the ability to make himself small and slip the through a hole, almost like a runningback. He is a really special athlete. Cooper is good with his hands as well. Between that and his quickness, he is the hardest DT for opposing O-linemen to stick to in the draft in my opinion. He obviously can get up the field, and he disengages well to make plays against the run. He played the 1-tech, 3-tech and 5-tech in college, although he’ll be primarily a 3-tech in the NFL.
Xavier Cooper Weaknesses
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His overall strength could use some improvement, although his frame does appear to be maxed out. The only way to contain him is to have really small splits and a power running game. Against Stanford, he didn’t have much of an impact.
To become a more effective pass-rusher, he needs to improve his counter-move. As I mentioned, he can beat O-linemen around the edge, but when linemen do stifle his outside move, he just keeps going and gets ridden out of the play.
And lastly, but mostly importantly, he tends to Coug it a lot. Like, on every play.
Xavier Cooper Back To Western Washington?
Rob Rang has him rated no. 73 and NFL.com has him as a third or fourth rounder, so it is definitely possible that Cooper will be available when the Seahawks go on the clock. And Seattle could definitely use a DT, with Kevin Williams and Tony McDaniels well into their 30’s, Jordan Hill coming off a torn achiles and Brandon Mebane in the final year of his contract.
Previous reports in the Seahawks Draft Profile series include:
Photo credit for all above pictures: USA Today Sports