and he is also only 24 yrs old
The first reason is his inconsistency game to game. Sure he ends up with WR1 numbers at the end of the year, but it’s very difficult to know when. Based on ESPN’s consistency charts, he was startable (top 25 at the position) 8 times, with exactly 2 ‘stud’ (top 5) games and 5 ‘stiff’ (outside the top 50) games. Overall, he was 15th at the position based in consistency, but that is actually the best year if his career.
Additionally, he’s played very year of his career in a high volume, prolific passing attack with a top 5 all time QB. He’s now going to a team with a significantly worse QB, a new system that does not emphasize the passing game, the WR or the deep ball nearly as much. I also think he has more competition for a smaller target pie and expect those targets to be of a much lower quality. Considering allnof that, i feel very confident in a significant dip in his consistency from last year, and likely a dip in his overall production.
But above and beyond all of those things, I just don’t think he’s a real WR1. He’s a great deep threat, but doesn’t do much else particularly well. There’s a reason two of the smarter offensive teams in the league, in back to back years, decided they were ok without his services.
Full disclosure, consistency has certainly not been a strength of Cooper’s either, but outside of last season (and i buy that he was playing through significant injury), he has been more consistent than Cooks and I believe in his talent much, much more. I also expect him to get far more targets than Cooks this year. The same goes for every other player I listed above Cooks.