Cooper Kupp

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Cooper Kupp
refer to caption
Kupp with the Los Angeles Rams in 2020
No. 10 – Los Angeles Rams
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1993-06-15) June 15, 1993 (age 29)
Yakima, Washington
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:208 lb (94 kg)
Career information
High school:Davis (Yakima, Washington)
College:Eastern Washington (2012–2016)
NFL Draft:2017 / Round: 3 / Pick: 69
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
NFL records
  • Most yards from scrimmage by a wide receiver in a single season (1,965)
  • Most receptions in a single postseason (33)
NCAA Division I FCS Records
  • Most career receiving yards (6,464)
Career NFL statistics as of 2021
Receptions:433
Receiving yards:5,517
Receiving touchdowns:40
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Cooper Douglas Kupp (born June 15, 1993) is an American football wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Eastern Washington, where he won the Walter Payton Award as a junior, and was selected by the Rams in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Kupp had a breakout season in 2021 when he became the fourth NFL player to lead the league in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He received the Offensive Player of the Year Award and was the MVP of Super Bowl LVI.

Early years[edit]

Kupp was born in Yakima, Washington. He is the grandson of Jake Kupp, an NFL offensive lineman, and the son of Craig Kupp, an NFL quarterback. His family is one of only five in NFL history to have three generations selected in the NFL draft.[1][2]

Kupp attended and graduated from Davis High School in Yakima in 2012 where he was a two-sport athlete in football and basketball for the Pirates athletic teams.[3] A two-way All-State selection, he earned first team 4A All-State honors as a defensive back and honorable mention accolades as a wide receiver from the Associated Press, as selected by sportswriters and broadcasters. Kupp was also named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection, as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington.[4]

Kupp was a unanimous first-team All-Columbia Basin Big Nine League wide receiver and defensive back at Davis. He finished his senior season with 60 receptions for 1,059 yards (17.7 per catch) and 18 touchdowns, and scored 22 total touchdowns to set a school record. He also had 11 rushes for 122 yards and two touchdowns as he helped Davis come one game away from a berth in the Washington State 4A Playoffs.[4]

Kupp finished his prep career without a single college football scholarship offer[5] despite recording 110 catches for 2,100 yards.[4] Three weeks after the final game of his senior season, he received his first scholarship offer to play for Eastern Washington, followed shortly thereafter by an offer from Idaho State.[5]

He was also a three-year letter winner in basketball. He led Davis to a 23–2 record and won the State 4A Tournament championship during his senior year for the Pirates.[4]

College career[edit]

Kupp attended Eastern Washington University, where he signed to play for coach Beau Baldwin's Eastern Washington Eagles football team in 2012 and redshirted that year. Kupp would eventually be named Eastern's Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year.[4]

2013 season[edit]

In 2013, Kupp entered his redshirt freshman year as a starter at wide receiver. Kupp finished the season having set numerous single-season school and national receiving records at the Football Championship Subdivision Level. Kupp has set national freshman records for receiving yards (1,691), total touchdown catches (21), consecutive games with a touchdown catch (14), and receptions (93).[6][7]

On November 26, 2013, Kupp was named to the All-Big Sky Conference First Team as a unanimous selection and was also the recipient of the conference's first-ever Freshman of the Year Award.[8]

On December 16, 2013, Kupp was named the recipient of the 2013 Jerry Rice Award, given to the top freshman player in the FCS. Kupp is the first Eastern Washington player and first player from the Big Sky Conference to receive the award.[9]

Kupp was named a consensus first-team All-American, having been honored by the four major selectors at the FCS level, consisting of the American Football Coaches Association,[10] the Associated Press,[11] The Sports Network[12] and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.[13] Kupp was the first freshman wide receiver to be named as a first-team All-American since Randy Moss in 1996.[12]

On January 9, 2014, Kupp was honored by the College Football Performance Awards with the 2013 FCS Wide Receiver Award. Kupp is the second straight Eagles wide receiver to win the award, following Brandon Kaufman, who won the 2012 award.[14]

2014 season[edit]

Kupp finished his sophomore season with 104 catches for 1,431 yards and 16 touchdowns in 13 games.[15] He was named a First-Team All-American by the AFCA, AP, and TSN for the second consecutive season. He was also named to the first team All-Big Sky Conference for the second straight year as a wide receiver while also earning third team honors as punt returner. Kupp finished 18th in the 2014 Walter Payton Award voting.[16]

2015 season[edit]

In the 2015 season, Kupp finished the season with 114 catches for 1,642 yards and 19 touchdown in 11 games.[17] Kupp broke the Big Sky single-season record for catches with 114, a total that ranks ninth most all-time in FCS single-season history. Kupp was named a first team All-Big Sky Conference wide receiver for the third-straight year and was also named the league's Offensive Most Valuable Player. He was just the second wide receiver to be named Big Sky Offensive MVP in the last 42 years. In addition, Kupp won the Walter Payton Award, becoming the third Eastern Washington player to win the award and only the second wide receiver to win, after Brian Finneran of Villanova in 1997.[18]

2016 season[edit]

On November 30, 2015, Kupp announced that he would return for his senior season after speculation that he was considering entering the 2016 NFL Draft.[19] He was poised to break nearly every major FCS career receiving record mark during his final collegiate season. In the 2016 season, he finished with 117 receptions for 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns.[20] At the end of Kupp's college career, his 428 career receptions and 6,464 total receiving yards are both the most in FCS history, passing marks previously held by Terrell Hudgins, who had 395 receptions and 5,250 yards playing for Elon University from 2006–2009. Kupp's 73 receiving touchdowns also rank first in FCS history, passing the 58 touchdowns that New Hampshire's David Ball caught from 2003–2006.[21]

College statistics[edit]

Season Team GP Receiving
Rec R/G Yds Y/G Avg Lng TD
2013 Eastern Washington 15 93 6.2 1,691 112.7 18.2 63 21
2014 Eastern Washington 13 104 8.0 1,431 110.1 13.8 61 16
2015 Eastern Washington 11 114 10.4 1,642 149.3 14.4 78 19
2016 Eastern Washington 13 117 9.0 1,700 130.7 14.5 75 17
Total[22] 52 428 8.4 6,464 125.7 14.9 78 73

College awards and honors[edit]

Professional career[edit]

Kupp attended the 2017 Senior Bowl and made two receptions for 14 yards for the North, who lost 16–15 to the South.[35] Kupp's performance at the Senior Bowl elevated his draft stock.[36] NFL analyst Bucky Brooks stated Kupp was the top performer at the Senior Bowl. Kupp attended the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and completed all the combine drills except for the bench press.

External video
video icon Brooks "Kupp was the top performer"
video icon Cooper Kupp's NFL Combine Workout
video icon Cooper Kupp runs the 40-yard dash
video icon Smith: Kupp is my #1

On March 28, 2017, he opted to participate at Eastern Washington's pro day along with Jordan West, Shaq Hill, Samson Ebukam, Kendrick Bourne, and Miquiyah Zamora.[37] He attempted all of the combine drills, but opted to skip the bench press and broad jump. Kupp shortened his time in the short shuttle to 6.53s and performed positional drills for scouts and team representatives. At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Kupp was projected to be a second or third round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts.[38] He was ranked the eighth best wide receiver in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com. Steve Smith Sr. ranked him as the best wide receiver in the draft class.[39]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Wonderlic
6 ft 1+58 in
(1.87 m)
204 lb
(93 kg)
31+12 in
(0.80 m)
9+12 in
(0.24 m)
4.62 s 1.62 s 2.69 s 4.08 s 6.75 s 31.0 in
(0.79 m)
9 ft 8 in
(2.95 m)
37
All values from NFL Combine[38][39][40]

The Los Angeles Rams selected Kupp in the third round (69th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft.[41] Kupp was the seventh wide receiver drafted in 2017 and became the second highest pick in Eastern Washington's school history, only behind Michael Roos who was taken by the Tennessee Titans in the 2005 NFL Draft (second round, 41st overall).[42][43] He was reunited with Eastern Washington teammate Samson Ebukam after the Rams selected him in the fourth round (125th overall).[44]

External video
video icon Rams draft Cooper Kupp 69th overall
video icon Mayock "Kupp has great hands and speed"

2017 season[edit]

On June 9, 2017, the Rams signed Kupp to a four-year, $3.83 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $954,760.[45][46][47]

Kupp competed with Tavon Austin, Robert Woods, Mike Thomas, Bradley Marquez, Pharoh Cooper, and Josh Reynolds throughout training camp for a starting wide receiver role left vacant after Kenny Britt departed in free agency.[48] Head coach Sean McVay named Kupp the fourth wide receiver on the depth chart behind Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, and Tavon Austin.[49]

Kupp made his NFL debut in the Rams' season-opener against the Indianapolis Colts and recorded four receptions for 76 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown pass from Jared Goff, marking the first of his career during the Rams' 46–9 victory.[50] In Week 4, Kupp made five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown in the Rams' 35–30 win over the Dallas Cowboys.[51] During a Week 7 matchup in London against the Arizona Cardinals, he caught four passes for 51 yards and caught an 18-yard touchdown in the Rams' 33–0 victory.[52] Through the first seven games, Kupp led the Rams in red-zone targets with 11 and developed as Jared Goff's top receiver in the red-zone and third downs. He was fourth in the entire NFL in red zone targets behind leaders Davante Adams, Larry Fitzgerald, and Dez Bryant who were tied with 20 red zone targets each.[53] In Week 9, Kupp made his first career NFL start, catching three passes for 54 yards in the Rams' 51–17 victory over the New York Giants.[54] During Week 12 against the New Orleans Saints, Kupp posted his first career game with over 100 yards, where he finished with 116 as the Rams won 26–20.[55] In Week 14, against the Philadelphia Eagles, he finished with five receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown.[56] By December, Kupp was a full time starter at wide receiver and ended his rookie season in 2017 with 62 receptions for 869 yards and five touchdowns.[57]

The Rams finished atop the NFC West with an 11–5 record.[58] On January 6, 2018, Kupp appeared in his first career playoff game and made eight receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown as the Rams lost by a score of 26–13 to the Atlanta Falcons in an NFC Wild Card Game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.[59]

Following the season, Kupp was also named to the 2017 All-Rookie Team by the Pro Football Writers Association.[60]

2018 season: Injury-shortened season[edit]

Kupp was named a starting wide receiver in 2018 along with Robert Woods and offseason acquisition Brandin Cooks.[61] During Week 4, Kupp caught nine passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns (all single-game highs), including a career-best 70-yard scoring reception during a 38–31 win over the Minnesota Vikings.[62] A week later, Kupp sustained a knee injury against the Denver Broncos and was carted off the field. Though he returned to the field in the third quarter of the Rams' 23–20 victory, Kupp was pulled out of the lineup and missed the next two games.[63] During the fourth quarter of the Rams' 36–31 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10, Kupp went down with a non-contact injury. An MRI the following day confirmed that Kupp tore his ACL, prematurely ending his season.[64][65] He finished the season with 40 receptions for 566 yards and six touchdowns through eight games.[66] Without Kupp, the Rams reached Super Bowl LIII where they lost 13–3 to the New England Patriots.[67]

2019 season[edit]

Kupp returned from his injury in time for the Rams' season opener against the Carolina Panthers. Over the first seven games of the season, Kupp had at least 100 yards in four games and scored four total touchdowns.[68] During a 24–10 Week 8 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, Kupp caught seven receptions for 220 yards and a touchdown, marking the first time in his NFL career where he had over 200 yards in a single game.[69] Kupp's performance set an NFL record most receiving yards in an international NFL game.[70] From Weeks 13–17, Kupp scored a receiving touchdown in five consecutive games.

Kupp finished the 2019 season with 94 receptions for 1,161 yards and 10 touchdowns.[68] He led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Kupp and teammate Robert Woods gave the Rams a 1,000-yard receiving duo.[71] Kupp's ten receiving touchdowns tied with Mark Andrews for the second most in the NFL in 2019.[72] He was ranked 89th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2020.[73]

2020 season[edit]

After wearing number 18 for his first three seasons in the NFL, Kupp switched jersey numbers to number 10, his collegiate number at Eastern Washington, on May 11, 2020.[74] On September 12, 2020, Kupp signed a three-year, $48 million contract extension with the Rams,[75] including $35.1 million guaranteed.[76] He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the Rams on December 29, 2020, which forced him out of Week 17.[77] He was activated on January 6, 2021.[78] He returned for the Rams' Wild Card Round victory over the Seattle Seahawks, but suffered a knee injury, which kept him out of the Divisional Round loss to the Green Bay Packers.[79]

Kupp finished the 2020 season with 92 receptions for 974 yards and three touchdowns. He recorded three games with at least 100 yards.[80] Kupp led the team in receptions and receiving yards for the season.[81]

2021 season: Triple Crown and Super Bowl MVP[edit]

Kupp's performance throughout the 2021 season was one of the greatest statistical receiving seasons in NFL history. With the addition of Matthew Stafford in the offseason, Kupp started the season on a high note.[82] Over the season's first three games, Kupp totaled 25 receptions for 367 yards and five touchdowns in victories for the Rams. Included that stretch was a season-high 163-yard, two-touchdown game against the Indianapolis Colts.[83] Kupp was held to season lows in receptions (five) and yardage (64) in the Rams' 37-20 loss to the visiting Arizona Cardinals, but he bounced back with a seven catches for 92 yards in a 26-17 win at Seattle. In Weeks 6–7, Kupp had nine receptions for 130 yards and ten receptions for 156 yards while getting two touchdowns in both games against the New York Giants and Detroit Lions.[84][85] Kupp ended the season with a very productive six-game stretch from Weeks 13–18, averaging 118.3 yards per game and six total touchdowns.[86]

In the Rams' 12–5 season, Kupp set numerous franchise single-season receiving records, which resulted in Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro honors.[87][88][89] He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month for both September and October.[90][91] Kupp's 145 receptions for 1,947 yards were both franchise records, and his 16 touchdowns finished second to Elroy Hirsch's 17 in 1951.[92] For the 2021 season, Kupp earned the receiving triple crown, becoming the first player since Steve Smith Sr. in 2005 to lead the league in receptions, receiving touchdowns, and receiving yards.[93][94] Kupp's 1,947 yards finished second in NFL history to Calvin Johnson's 1,964 in 2012, while his 145 receptions were second only to Michael Thomas' 149 in 2019.[95]

In the Wild Card Round against the Arizona Cardinals, Kupp recorded five receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown in the 34–11 victory.[96] In the Divisional Round, Kupp recorded nine receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown in the 30–27 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[97] Kupp had a pivotal 44-yard reception to help set up the Rams' game-winning field goal.[98] In the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers, Kupp recorded 11 receptions for 142 yards and two touchdowns in the 20–17 victory, bringing the Los Angeles Rams back to the Super Bowl for the second time since 2018.[99] In Super Bowl LVI, against the Cincinnati Bengals, Kupp scored his first career Super Bowl touchdown, an 11-yard reception. In the fourth quarter game-winning drive, Kupp ran for seven yards on a critical 4th-and-1 play, and he and quarterback Matthew Stafford connected on multiple successful catches, including the game-winning touchdown which led to his selection as Super Bowl MVP.[100][101] Kupp's 33 receptions over four playoff games set a new NFL record for a single postseason, while his 478 yards and six touchdowns ranked second in league playoff history behind Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

2022 season[edit]

On June 9, 2022, Kupp signed a three-year, $80 million contract extension with the Rams.[102]

NFL career statistics[edit]

Legend
Super Bowl MVP
Won the Super Bowl
AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year
NFL record
Led the league
Bold Career high
Regular season statistics
Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2017 LAR 15 6 62 869 14.0 64 5 1 1
2018 LAR 8 8 40 566 14.2 70T 6 4 25 6.3 12 0 0 0
2019 LAR 16 14 94 1,161 12.4 66 10 2 4 2.0 6 0 3 0
2020 LAR 15 12 92 974 10.6 55 3 4 33 8.3 16 0 1 1
2021 LAR 17 17 145 1,947 13.4 59 16 4 18 4.5 18 0 0 0
Career 71 57 433 5,517 12.7 70T 40 14 80 5.7 18 0 5 2
Postseason statistics
Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2017 LAR 1 0 8 69 8.6 15 1 0 0
2018 LAR 0 0 Did not play due to injury
2020 LAR 1 1 4 78 19.5 44 0 0 0
2021 LAR 4 4 33 478 14.5 70T 6 2 5 2.5 7 0 1 1
Career 6 5 45 625 13.9 70T 7 2 5 2.5 7 0 1 1

Awards and highlights[edit]

NFL awards[edit]

NFL records[edit]

  • Most yards from scrimmage by a wide receiver in a single season – 1,965 (2021)
  • Most receiving yards by a wide receiver in a single season including postseason – 2,425 (2021)
  • Most yards from scrimmage by a wide receiver in a single season including postseason – 2,458 (2021)[103]
  • First receiver ever with 2,000+ receiving yards combined in regular season and postseason[103]
  • Most consecutive games with 90+ receiving yards – 13 (2021)
  • Most games with 90+ receiving yards in a single season – 16 (2021)
  • Most receptions in a single postseason – 33 (2021)

Los Angeles Rams franchise records[edit]

  • Most receptions in a single season – 145 (2021)
  • Most receiving yards in a single season – 1,947 (2021)

College awards, honors and records[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Kupp is the son of former NFL quarterback Craig Kupp, a fifth-round draft pick by the New York Giants in 1990 out of Pacific Lutheran University who played for the Phoenix Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys in 1991.[104] His younger brother, Ketner Kupp, also played at Eastern Washington and was signed by the Los Angeles Rams as a free agent in 2019, participating in training camp and in preseason games, but was released during the final roster cutdown.[105]

His grandfather, Jake Kupp, was an offensive lineman for the University of Washington and was drafted in the ninth round of the 1964 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He played from 1964–75 as a guard with Dallas, the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, and the New Orleans Saints. Named to the NFL All-Rookie team, he later was a five-time captain for the Saints. He was named to the franchise's 25-year All-Time Team and was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 1991.[104]

Kupp developed a close friendship with former Rams quarterback Jared Goff while living with him for a few weeks after the draft. They practiced on their own time together, watched films, studied defensive schemes, and learned the playbook.[106][107]

Kupp has been described as a devout Christian.[108][104] While a senior in high school, Kupp met his girlfriend and future wife Anna Croskrey.[109] The couple married in June 2015.[110] They have two sons.[111][112]

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