Safety Corey Cooper Will Try To Be A “Hit” At Saints Mini-Camp


"Big safety. Will hit and can intimidate."

That’s the first two sentences for safety Corey Cooper’s draft profile on and it’s exactly what the 6’1, 215 lb. former Nebraska Cornhusker will try to show the New Orleans Saints at rookie mini-camp.

For Cooper it’s an opportunity to show his skill set and for the Saints it’s a chance to get a look at a player who can possibly bring a physicality to their secondary.

The journey for most rookies, more so for undrafted free agents, is to make an impression and separate themselves from the rest.

For Cooper he’ll have to compete against some other big names such as Oklahoma’s Quentin Hayes and TCU’s Sam Carter in the rookie camp this weekend.

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The Saints currently have seven other safeties on their roster with at least five being a lock for the 2015 season.

There are starters Kenny Vaccaro, Jairus Byrd, and Rafael Bush followed by Vinnie Sunseri and Pierre Warren.

Although Byrd, Bush, and Sunseri are all coming off of season ending injuries, they should be all healed and ready to go for the season.

Warren has proven his value when the aforementioned three went down last season and he was thrust into his role as a rookie.

Dec 21, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive back Pierre Warren (42) catches the ball prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

He played in the final six games of the season and registered 30 tackles, a forced fumble, and two interceptions.

After Warren there is Jamarca Sanford and Kenny Phillips taking the last two spots.

Sanford, like Warren, played in six games due to the injuries at the position but was a little less impressive with his only stats being 14 tackles.

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Phillips is trying to start his career again after being out of football for two years due to nagging injuries including patella femoral arthritis in his left knee that started back in 2009.

If the former 2008 first round pick of the New York Giants can regain his form, he could prove to be an asset registering 256 tackles, a forced fumble, and eight interceptions in four years.

While Cooper will have a list to chop down during mini-camp, he’s no slouch when it comes to the strong safety position.

Nov 9, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers safety Corey Cooper (6) goes to tackle Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Jeremy Gallon (21) in the first quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

At Nebraska he totaled 190 tackles with 7.5 for a loss, 2.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions.

While he was getting warmed up his first two years, Cooper exploded in his junior season notching 91 tackles, 2 sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception.

His senior year was as impressive and although he missed a game against Iowa with an injury, he still managed 73 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception.

The only knock on Cooper is that he said to be a liability in the passing game as far as coverage goes with his speed.

His bread and butter, as seen from his stats, is being a box safety who will come up in run support and make jarring tackles.

If Cooper can flash these skills to a 31st ranked Saints defense that missed a boatload of tackles last season, then he could prove to be a “hit” with making the offseason roster…