2024 Atlanta Falcons Potential Draft Pick Profile: LB Edgerrin Cooper

Edgerrin Cooper could supplant Nate Landman as the starting linebacker in 2024 if the Falcons draft him.
Sam Houston v Texas A&M
Sam Houston v Texas A&M / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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The Falcons could be in the market for a linebacker in the 2024 draft, and Edgerrin Cooper could be a great fit in Atlanta's new defense under Jimmy Lake. He's the kind of linebacker that would improve any defense he ends up on. Atlanta could easily start him at linebacker over Nate Landman or Troy Andersen and have one of the best linebacker groups in the league. The question is whether they feel they need to bring in a linebacker or not.

Edgerrin Cooper

Texas A&M University

Linebacker


Athletic Comparison and Numbers

Athletically, Edgerrin Cooper is one of the better athletes at the position in the draft. He's got great long speed and should have an easy time fitting into special teams units. He has sideline-to-sideline range, and his agility shows up in his coverage play. His explosion also shows up on film. The only negative to Cooper's athleticism is that he's underweight. Adding some weight and strength will only help his long-term play as an inside linebacker in the NFL.


Stats and Awards

2023: 12 Games Played, 84 Tackles, 17.0 Tackles for Loss, 8.0 Sacks, 10 QB Hurries, 2 Fumbles Forced, 2 Pass Deflections, First-Team All-American, First-Team All-SEC
2022: 11 Games Played, 61 Tackles, 8.0 Tackles for Loss, 5 QB Hurries, 1 Interception, 1 Fumble Forced, 5 Pass Deflections
2021: 12 Games Played, 58 Tackles, 5.5 Tackles for Loss, 0.5 Sacks, 2 QB Hurries, 1 Interception, 1 Pass Deflection, Freshman All-SEC
2020: 10 Games Played, 2 Tackles


Highlight Reel


Scouting Report

Strengths

Teams will love how Edgerrin Cooper improves every year and has developed his game. He's an intense player who will blow up any offensive player in his area. He's a good intermediate and short zone player who can cover flats, curl/hook and short crossing zones effectively. Cooper explodes to the hole against the run and can stack-and-shed blockers with ease. His specialty on defense is as a quarterback spy, and with his speed, he can chase down nearly any quarterback. This also shows up in his ability to blow up screens whether going around the blockers or through them.

Weaknesses

Teams will need to see Cooper play with better leverage through his block shedding and tackling. While he understands run fits, he needs to get better technically against the run. He's more of a coverage linebacker than an all-three phases linebacker at this point in his career. As he cleans up his technique, Cooper could be a great linebacker, but even early in his career, with mediocre technique, he should be a solid player. He just won't take it to the next level without good coaching that improves his technical weaknesses.


Intangibles & Off-Field Red Flags

Edgerrin Cooper is a leader within the Aggie defense and has shown that he's a hard worker who plays hard snap-to-snap. Teams will have him high on the board for his off-field intangibles. He also stayed relatively healthy for a linebacker at the college level with very few injuries. Teams will love that he will contribute to the team in any aspect. Early in his career, he showed that he can be a core-four special teams contributor meaning he would play on kickoffs and punts both ways—something most NFL teams will ask him to do early in his career.

NFL Stylistic Comparison: Bobby Okereke

Much like Edgerrin Cooper, Bobby Okereke came into the league as a coverage and blitzing linebacker who needed to work on his run fits. Okereke was able to develop his game as an undersized speedy linebacker and become one of the better linebackers in the league. If the Falcons can have Cooper become Okereke, they would have a top-level linebacking corps that could take the defense to the next level. Cooper may not be a high pick, but he should still have a big impact.


How does he fit in with the Atlanta Falcons

If the Falcons wanted to bring in Edgerrin Cooper, they would need to likely take him in the second round of the draft, unless he slipped to the third out of luck. The Falcons would have him compete with Nate Landman and Troy Andersen for a starting role at inside linebacker. If he wins the job, the group's depth would be insanely good. Even if he doesn't win the job right away, Kaden Elliss only has two years left on his contract and Landman only has two years of team control left. Adding Cooper could be a move that enhances the defense all the way around by giving them a linebacker who can cover and make it to where they don't have to play guys like Andre Smith or Tae Davis in 2024.

All advanced stats are courtesy Pro Football Focus or Football Outsiders. All traditional stats are courtesy of official team websites, NFLGSIS or CFB Stats. All RAS and athletic testing numbers are courtesy of DraftScout.com and Kent Lee Platte's RAS Football website.