Tag Archives: Cooper Kupp

Fresno flanker’s NFL family

Fresno State doesn’t have the name recognition of other West Coast powers like USC or Stanford but one thing can’t be ignored, the Bulldogs have shown a propensity for producing NFL wide receivers.

Henry Ellard, Adam Jennings, Paul Williams, Devon Wylie, Davante Adams, Bernard Berrian, Rodney Wright… the list of receivers drafted from Fresno goes on and on.

Former Bulldog great Stephone Paige set an NFL single-game receiving yardage record in 1985 with 309 yards against the San Diego Chargers. The record stood until it was broken by Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Willie 'Flipper' Anderson in 1989 (336).

Former Fresno State wide receiver KeeSean Johnson caught 275 passes for 3,463 yards (12.6 YPC) and 24 touchdowns in his career.

The next in the lineage could be KeeSean Johnson and he doesn’t need a history lesson, he knows the guys who have come before him.

“I learned about their stats and learned what they did,” Johnson said during the week of the 2019 East-West Shrine Game. “Those type of guys come back to the school and talk to you and you have to take it all in.”

One person Johnson said he models his game after is Davante Adams, who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers before Johnson’s freshman season.

Adams went from Fresno to the NFL and worked his way into a reliable target for Aaron Rodgers, producing two Pro Bowl seasons.

Adams and Johnson also both attended Palo Alto High School, where Johnson played both football and basketball.

The 6-foot-1, 201-pound prospect said Adams' clean release off the line is what stands out to him. Johnson is a good route runner in his own right and says he also likes watching Cooper Kupp (LA Rams) and Keenan Allen (LA Chargers).

“You can learn anything from anybody on the field just by watching them,” Johnson said. “That's how I learned and that’s what helped me.”

Of Johnson's 66 career catches on third down, 47 went for first downs.

The film study has paid off for Johnson, who says he can see himself playing in either the slot or on the outside.

“Whatever team I get a chance to play for hopefully I get a chance to make an impact at wherever (position) they play me,” Johnson said.

He finished his senior season with 95 catches for 1,340 yards and eight touchdowns.

Among his other accomplishments include back-to-back nominations to the All-Mountain West second teams.

Over the last three seasons, Johnson has started all 40 games and has amassed 238 receptions, 3,126 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Three things are certain. Death, taxes and Fresno State will produce an NFL wide receiver. And if Johnson can produce like he did for the Bulldogs at the next level, look for him to return to Fresno and groom the next pup.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks, 10-7-18: In-game report

Missed tackles and poor special teams play was enough to cost the Seahawks against the Rams. Los Angeles defeated Seattle, 33-31, to remain undefeated.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

Seahawks secondary 

Prior to his season-ending injury, Thomas, pictured, had already posted 22 tackles and three interceptions for the Seahawks.

The Seahawks secondary was dealt another blow last week when Earl Thomas broke his left leg.  The losses in the secondary have been noticeable as the Seahawks now rank in the middle of the pack in terms of completion percentage against and yards per attempt, categories where they normally hover around the top of the league. Seattle has also struggled tackling on the back end, which caused them precious yards after the catch against the Rams.  A bright spot for the Seahawks has been rookie cornerback Tre Flowers (6'3, 194), a converted safety out of Oklahoma State, who against the Cardinals forced a fumble and then broke up a pass against the Rams that led to a Frank Clark interception.  Head coach Pete Carroll got his start as a defensive backs coach and he will have to continue to mold the young players in the secondary if Seattle wants to return to its defensive glory. 

Rams depth at receiver 

Rams second-year wide receiver Josh Reynolds contributed two receptions for 39 yards and rushed for a 10-yard gain on his one carry this past Sunday.

Starting receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp are currently in the concussion protocol after suffering concussions against the Seahawks on Sunday during the first half.  Head coach Sean McVay has impressed early in his coaching tenure because of his ability to put his skill players in positions to be successful. Second-year receiver Josh Reynolds and rookie KhaDarel Hodge combined to fill in for 53 yards on three catches.  The Rams should be fine in the short term because as running back Todd Gurley showed in the first quarter, he can take a swing pass and pick up 17 yards to convert 3rd down and long.  Gurley is a workhorse running back who draws so much attention that it will force the opposing defenses to cater to him leaving room for the receivers on the outside to work.  If Kupp or Cooks miss Sunday’s game against the Broncos, look for the Rams to run the ball early and often as McVay finds more creative ways to get Gurley the ball in the passing game. 

Seahawks running game 

Russell Wilson’s dual-threat ability is the foundation of the Seahawks offense.  However, in order to truly be successful on the offensive end, Seattle needs production at running back. Chris Carson and Mike Davis have stepped up over the last two weeks. Carson rushed for 116 yards on 19 carries against the Rams and Davis added 68 yards on 12 touches after rushing for 101 yards against Arizona a week before.  The Seahawks rely on bootlegs, RPOs (run-pass options) and play actions but in order to draw the defense in, the Seahawks have to establish a threat from the running back position.  Currently sitting at 2-3, the team will have to continue to groom its running backs in order to enter the playoff conversation by December.