Is Texas A&M Aggies linebacker Edgerrin Cooper the top prospect at his position in the 2024 NFL Draft? After a dominant 2023 campaign, Cooper’s stock is on the rise, and his athletic tools have been tantalizing NFL scouts for months on end.
Edgerrin Cooper Draft Profile and Measurements
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 230
- Position: Linebacker
- School: Texas A&M
- Current Year: Redshirt Junior
Cooper’s talent was always clear, even going back to high school. He was a consensus four-star recruit among the three major outlets, and at his highest, was ranked as the 115th-best recruit in the nation.
A top talent from Louisiana, Cooper chose Texas A&M as his college football destination. And since that fateful decision, he’s climbed on a steady upward path toward being one of the best playmakers in the nation.
In 2020, Cooper took on some special-team work while maintaining eligibility with a redshirt season. In 2021, he remained a presence on special teams but also started one game on the defensive side, rotating in more as the season went on.
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Cooper’s 2021 campaign ended up being a premonition for his rise in 2022 and 2023. The 2022 season saw Cooper rack up eight tackles for loss, an interception, and five pass breakups, and his 2023 campaign could be described as nothing short of dominant.
In 2023, Cooper accumulated 84 tackles, 17 TFLs, eight sacks, two pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. Cooper’s production earned him first-team All-SEC honors and an invite to the Shrine Bowl in Frisco, Texas.
But most markedly, Cooper’s ascent has placed him as one of the best LB prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Cooper’s Scouting Report
- Carries a lean, well-proportioned frame with efficient mass and high-end length.
- Uber-explosive athlete with instant accelerative capacity and a playmaking propensity.
- Has the elite closing speed to erase gaps and cut off running angles downhill.
- Combined length, explosiveness, and bend make him a menace in backside pursuit.
- Flashes insane hip flexibility and recovery athleticism when correcting pursuit angles.
- Energized attacker in the box, who can use short-area twitch to navigate narrow lanes.
- Has good processing and play recognition, and can zero in on screens off the snap.
- Showcase impressive adaptability as a processor correcting pursuit angles on counters.
- Flashes incredible spatial instincts when approaching blocks, flowing to cut-off angles.
- Can feel runners pressing behind blocks and position himself to wall off adjacent paths.
- Can recognize pullers and flow to the front side of runs, squaring up gaps with his reach.
- Has the control at the tackle point to splice around blocks and engage with his length.
- Actively and authoritatively wraps up ball carriers with his length as a tackler.
- Flashes decent pass-off and carry IQ in zone, and can blanket RBs out of the backfield.
- Searing explosiveness and energy make him a force as a blitzer and a QB spy.
- Lighter build and slender base can impact his ability to absorb power and deconstruct.
- Post-snap diagnosing ability and trigger quickness can run hot and cold in run defense.
- Can improve at using targeted physicality to maximize his length in close quarters.
- Too easily allows blockers inside his frame, losing leverage in contact situations.
- At times, will idle his feet at the line of scrimmage, delaying response to cutback lanes.
- Occasionally overruns lateral pursuit angles with his speed, necessitating control.
- At times seeks to side-step blocks, when he should use his length to control the point.
- Sometimes loses balance when trying to offset and engage lead blockers in space.
- Sometimes plays too tall into tackles, giving up drive leverage and opening his frame.
- Occasionally floats too far past breakdown points on tackles, giving runners space.
- At times plays too tall in coverage when attaining depth, which can delay transitions.
- Sometimes takes his eyes off the QB and doesn’t play square to routes, inviting risk.
- Still fleshing out his pass-rush arsenal, and wins mainly with speed and bend on rushes.
Current Draft Projection and Summary
Cooper grades out as a top-75 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and one of the top linebacker prospects on the circuit. By my grade, he’s worthy of early-to-mid Day 2 capital in the right role, but after testing could be a surprise Round 1 candidate.
Cooper was arguably the most consistent down-to-down disruptive force during the 2023 season — so much so that College Football Network’s Oliver Hodgkinson said: “I’ve had him on my DPOW (Defensive Player of the Week) watchlist every week.”
In a three-game span against Auburn, Arkansas, and Alabama, Cooper posted six sacks. All year long, he was a consistent playmaking presence behind the line of scrimmage. That’s where Cooper’s value lies — as an attacking linebacker with hyper-elite explosiveness, range, and reach.
Cooper isn’t just a run-and-chase LB, either. Particularly in run defense, he flashes impressive play recognition ability, and he has the short-area twitch and energy to sift through congestion and guide himself to plays. He’s also a screen eraser and provides an extra element as a blitz weapon.
Cooper — who’ll turn 23 years old in November — still has room to refine his game overall. While his instincts in congestion are solid, his take-on technique is inconsistent, which can cause him to give up leverage and control against second-level blocks. And his non-elite play strength at just 230 pounds can exacerbate the issue.
Going further, Cooper has room to improve in coverage as well. While his athleticism and length are traits that translate well, he experiences lapses in eye discipline at times and can sharpen his technique while getting depth. If his eyes aren’t in the right spot, NFL offenses will take advantage.
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Regardless, Cooper has a lot of upside, and at his size should translate well as a versatile attacking WILL linebacker. Improving his play strength and coverage consistency will be key, but Cooper should be an instant playmaking threat with his explosive range and has impact starter upside at his peak.
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