- The Washington Times
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is even better than most think he is, ESPN analyst Ryan Clark said Tuesday.

And Ryan has an interesting theory on why Kupp is underrated: He’s a White guy.

Kupp is White and often gets compared to other White wide receivers, the former Washington Football Team safety said as a guest on “The Dan Patrick Show.”

“If Cooper Kupp were Black, we’d all talk about him in a different way,” said Clark, who is Black. “A lot of times, we look at the color of a wide receiver and want to compare them to people who they look like more so than people who they play like.”

Clark said Kupp is too often compared to slot receivers like former wideouts Wes Welker and Julian Edelman, both of whom are White but are much smaller with different skills than Kupp.

“Cooper Kupp is a man who can play every single [wide receiver] position and he’s an excellent route runner,” Clark said. “To me, Cooper Kupp is a Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, in the conversations with those type of guys for feel of the game, route running and catching ability.”

Kupp’s 2021 season has been one of the greatest in NFL history for a wideout.

The 28-year-old flourished with new quarterback Matthew Stafford, racking up 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns on 145 catches. He led the league in all three receiving categories and nearly broke NFL records. He ended the year 17 yards short of Calvin Johnson’s 1,964-yard single-season record set in 2012 and four catches behind Michael Thomas’ 149-reception mark from 2019.

Clark referenced a route Kupp ran on the Rams’ final drive that set up the game-winning field goal to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday as an example of his skill. 

“As far as route running goes, I think he’s one of the greatest who’s ever lived,” Clark said. 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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