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Amari Cooper: What we learned this week

Amari Cooper has performed well so far in OTAs, appearing more like a veteran than a rookie. Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders drafted Amari Cooper with visions of the rookie wide receiver hauling in pass after pass from quarterback Derek Carr. Through the first two rounds of organized team activities, however, that has yet to happen.

Carr has been sidelined with an injury to the ring finger on his throwing hand, leaving Cooper to catch passes from backups Christian Ponder and Matt McGloin.

Not that it's mattered much to Cooper, the fourth overall pick in the draft.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder, whom head coach Jack Del Rio calls one of the most polished receivers to come out of college in years, has been extraordinarily smooth no matter who has been throwing the ball his way.

After an inauspicious start to his NFL career -- Cooper slipped and fell at the line of scrimmage, then was called for a false start on consecutive plays during the Raiders' rookie minicamp in May -- the former Alabama star has looked in many ways like a seasoned veteran.

His route running continues to be crisp, and Cooper seems to be picking up offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave's playbook without much problem.

While Cooper has dropped a few passes during the workouts, for the most part he's been one of the Raiders' most consistent receivers and has shown no reason why he won't be Oakland's No. 1 receiver when the 2015 season begins.

"He adds an explosiveness to the offense," said Raiders wide receiver Rod Streater, who missed most of the 2014 season after undergoing foot surgery. "I feel like he is going to come in and make an impact right away. The more playmakers you have, the better you are going to be. He is really going to help us win."

Cooper still has work to do, however. When Carr is cleared to resume throwing passes, the two will have to get together quickly to begin developing their timing. That was an issue at times last season for Carr and his receivers, only one of whom caught more than 47 passes.

"To be a top-10 pick as a receiver means that you're bringing a lot to the table," Ponder said of Cooper. "He is a guy that works hard. He is quiet, but you can tell that he is coming in to work hard and to learn a lot. He brings a lot to this football team."