Should Cooper Capitalize on his Soaring Stock; Leave Texas A&M Football for Draft?
This is another one that seems like it might be a foregone conclusion at this point. Cooper came into Texas A&M football as a very high-upside linebacker, the type of which we had not seen the Aggies sign for quite some time. His size and length, as well as his ability to fly from sideline to sideline, gave the Maroon and White faithful the impression that this was a monster waiting to be molded. While Cooper showed some big time flashes here and there throughout his first three years, he never seemed to put it all together consistently—until this year.
In 2023, Cooper has played like one of the best linebackers in the country, bar none. He’s notched the most tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks on a ferocious defense for Texas A&M football, and is among the tops in the nation in all of those categories. This has truly been a renaissance year for the young man, and his value on draft boards continues to shoot up with every game he plays.
For those reasons, I find it extremely likely that Cooper will be headed to the draft after this year. He could potentially play one more year due to his participation in the COVID season, but I find it likely he foregoes that opportunity in favor of capitalizing on the draft stock that he has well earned this year. The switch from Santucci to Durkin has done wonders for Cooper’s play, and if the latter is retained, I could see a small chance—5 to 10 percent or so—that Cooper decides to stay. But it’s still very unlikely, in my opinion, that he does not enter the 2024 NFL draft.