Raiders WR Amari Cooper a first-round thumbs-up so far

A quick observation of first-round pick Amari Cooper and how he has played through three weeks of training camp:

The Oakland Raiders chose to go with Alabama receiver Amari Cooper instead of USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams with the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft.

So far, the Raiders are not regretting that decision. Cooper has been as advertised through training camp and half of the preseason. He is smooth and he has a full arsenal of routes. Frankly, Cooper, who turned 21 in June, looks like a five-year veteran.

He is not flawless though. Cooper has had some drops, but he looks very much like the true No. 1 receiver Oakland has been craving. The Raiders haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Randy Moss in 2005. Cooper should be ready to change that soon.

It’s clear the Raiders are going to utilize Cooper from the start. The Raiders designed five plays for him in two series in the preseason opener. On Saturday night in Minnesota, Cooper had a 40-yard catch from quarterback Derek Carr to set up a touchdown. The long passing game has been deficient in Oakland.

That appears to no longer be a problem.