Raiders receiver Amari Cooper didn’t think his rookie season was worthy of a Pro Bowl selection.
Cooper was added to the roster when New York Jets receiver Brandon Marshall backed out of the NFL’s annual all-star game, which takes place Jan. 31 at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii.
Cooper was asked last month if he thought 72 receptions for 1,070 yards (14.9 yards per reception average) and six touchdowns, and 2015’s No. 4 overall pick didn’t consider it worthy.
“Making the Pro Bowl is something that I’ve thought about. I’m sure every player does entering the NFL,” Cooper said on Dec. 22. “I don’t think I’ve earned it, if I’m being honest with myself. I think a lot of other receivers have played really well this year.”
Cooper earned a lot of fans among players, coaches and the general populace, which voted him in as an alternate. After Marshall bowed out, Cooper stepped in.
The Alabama native joins quarterback Derek Carr as an alternate added to the roster this week. They join edge rusher Khalil Mack and safety Charles Woodson, who were originally voted in.
Cooper burst onto the scene with several strong games in the season, with two triple-digit receiving games in the first three weeks. Cooper was electric after the catch, and proved to be an excellent route runner on par with some of the league’s best.
He struggled as the year went on and a foot injury and quad ailment become a greater hindrance. He also struggled with drops, leading the league with 18 over the course of the year.
Cooper is a quiet, yet confident player with an insatiable work ethic ready to build on a strong open salvo as a rookie.
Cooper set franchise rookie records for receiving yards and catches, and became the first wideout to exceed 1,000 yards since 2005.