Between now and the draft, we'll take an up-close look at the leading candidates for the New York Jets, who own the sixth pick:
Player: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 211 pounds
Scouts, Inc. overall ranking: 3rd
The Jets should draft him because ... : He could be the Odell Beckham Jr. of this year's draft class, and they need a dynamic playmaker on offense. The Jets haven't drafted a receiver in the first round since Santana Moss, 2001.
They should pass because ... : With Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley, the Jets already have a $14.7 million investment in their top three wide receivers for 2015 -- all of it fully guaranteed. It would be almost impossible to keep all four happy with playing time. Just last week, general manager Mike Maccagnan said he'd like to see Kerley's role increased. If they were to pick Cooper, would they switch to a run-and-shoot offense? (That's a joke.) On the other hand, none of their salaries are fully guaranteed beyond 2015, meaning it would be easy to replace one or two.
Scouting report: Cooper is a complete receiver who plays faster than his 40 time (4.42), which still is pretty fast. Unlike most of the receivers in the draft, he played in a pro-style offense, so you can't say his video-game stats are the product of a wide-open, spread attack. He runs fantastic routes, knows how to separate, and can make yards after the catch. He's a reserved, highly-focused player, not your typical diva receiver. He took a pre-draft visit to the Jets.
Key stats: Playing in the tough SEC, Cooper racked up 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns. Those are his 2014 numbers, not his career stats. He dominated the FBS, finishing second in receptions of 20+ yards (26) and third in yards-after-catch (898). Not surprisingly, he was named the winner of the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's most outstanding receiver.
Red flags: There's not much not to like, but he did have 13 dropped passes over the last two seasons.
What scouts are saying: NFC Scout: "I think he's better than Julio Jones (another Alabama product)." ... ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr.: "He's not only quick, he's fast. A lot of guys are fast, not quick or quick, not fast. He's both, and he's probably the hardest working player in this draft." ... AFC scout: "He didn't come off too well in his (combine) interviews, but I think it's because he's so quiet."
In Cooper's own words: "I take good pride in the way I release off the line and coming out of my breaks. That's really the only two ways you can get open. I think that's probably what would separate me from someone else. ... I think I can be more consistent in everything that I do. There were definitely times when I didn't look the ball all the way through when I should've, which could've propelled me from maybe 200 yards to probably (a higher game total). There were definitely times when I could've high-pointed the ball, and again could've made my numbers look better."