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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida native Amari Cooper was fully expected to be a top pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Those expectations came to fruition on Thursday night when the 20-year-old wide receiver was taken with the 4th overall pick by the Oakland Raiders.
Cooper made a name for himself while playing high school ball for Miami Northwestern. One of his teammates, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, is now the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings.
Before committing to the University of Alabama, Cooper had a monster senior year in South Florida, leading all of Miami-Dade County with 722 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
The impressive play continued when Cooper moved on to Nick Saban’s squad in Tuscaloosa.
He racked up 104 receptions for 1,736 yards and 15 touchdowns during his first two years in Alabama, which is quite impressive, before absolutely exploding during his final year with the Crimson Tide.
Last season Cooper made 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns, elevating himself to the top of several team’s draft boards for receivers.
Now, the Raiders are hoping that the dominance he had in high school and college translates to the NFL.
Cooper will be working in tandem with quarterback Derek Carr who had a solid rookie season in 2014. Now with Cooper at his side, Carr has a legitimate outside threat to work with.
Don’t miss CBS Miami’s NFL Draft special Fins On The Clock this Saturday at 7 p.m. on CBS4.
Follow David on Twitter (@DavidDwork)