How Cooper Kupp overcame the odds to become the best wide receiver in the NFL


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Cooper Kupp celebrates with his teammates after a big play. Kupp went on to have 5 catches for 66 yards as the Los Angeles Rams beat Washington Football Team 30-10

One thing is almost certain after the 2021-22 NFL season, Cooper Kupp is the best receiver in the league by far. The journey to the top, however, hasn’t always been easy for him.

Coming out of high school in Yakima, Washington, Kupp had no college scholarship offers when his senior football season concluded. Three weeks after his final high school football game, he finally got his first offer from Eastern Washington University followed by an offer from Idaho State, both of which are FCS schools. He decided to stay local and go to Eastern Washington University.

Kupp proved all the doubters wrong as he had a tremendous college career. After redshirting his freshman year, Kupp went on to set 15 records for FCS receivers over the next four years. He also went on to win the Jerry Rice Award (given to the top freshman player in the FCS) and the Walter Payton Award (given to the most outstanding offensive player in FCS).

Despite his incredible college career, he was only taken in the 3rd round by the Los Angeles Rams. Kupp felt that he should have been taken earlier in the draft, giving him the motivation to prove once again that he was underestimated.

In his first year in the NFL, Kupp was named as the fourth receiver on the Rams depth chart. After all his hard work, he was able to become a full-time starter for the Rams by December and was named to the All-Rookie Team at the end of the year.

In the following seasons, he dealt with some injuries, but still had impressive numbers.

Then there was his most recent season where he became the first NFL player in history to win the receiving triple crown, Super Bowl MVP and offensive player of the year. The only other player to accomplish that in a career is Jerry Rice. Kupp had 145 receptions, 1,947 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns which led the league. His historical year will go down as the greatest single-season of all time.

Kupp’s ability to gain separation from the defender is primarily due to his route running. He is one of the best route runners in the game as he is able to keep defenders off balance with his impressive footwork and body movement.

Although some may argue that Kupp isn’t a very consistent receiver, the statement is not true. He actually is one of the more consistent receivers in the league as he had 11 games of over 100 yards throughout the season. Kupp’s stats in previous seasons don’t look as good as they actually are because he has dealt with some injuries. His injury struggles shouldn’t take away from the fact that he had quite impressive games in the previous seasons. For example in 2019, Kupp had four games of over 100 receiving yards throughout the first seven games of the season. He also had a game in which he had over 200 yards in that season.

Kupp is a versatile receiver as he is used in the slot, on the outside and used in jet sweeps.
Kupp’s size, offensive skill set and hardworking nature have allowed him to develop into the top receiver in the NFL. He has worked hard to get to the top of the league and I am certain that he will continue to progress in year six.