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Historic season wasn’t enough for Super Bowl MVP to finish atop ESPN rankings for best wide receivers in 2022

By Evan Craig | Turf Show Times | Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Earlier this week, ESPN released their rankings for the top players at every position across the NFL. Much to no one’s surprise, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp finished in the top-five after a breathtaking campaign.

Despite a historic 2021 season in which Kupp led the league in receptions, yards and touchdowns, LA’s megastar wideout found himself behind the Raiders’ Davante Adams in the rankings.

This is also something that shouldn’t surprise Rams fans everywhere: Cooper Kupp continues to struggle with getting the recognition he deserves.

Kupp has been facing this disrespect from the moment he entered the NFL. After a collegiate career at Eastern Washington where he engulfed his opponents in an inferno of NCAA records, Coop wasn’t viewed as one of the top receivers in his draft class based on where he went to college. Due to Eastern Washington playing at the FCS level, Kupp was never going to get the looks of a player from a bigger school in the FBS like an Alabama or Oregon for instance.

It’s often said that if you can play, they will find you. Lesser-known college football conferences typically don’t play against the strongest competition compared to the “big dogs” but that doesn’t mean they should be overlooked entirely. Some of the greatest players to ever hit the gridiron have played at small schools.

Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, considered by many to be the greatest wide receiver in NFL history went to Mississippi Valley State of all places. Rice is living proof that it shouldn’t matter where a player goes to school as long as they can play the game.

This is merely scratching the surface of the Cooper critiques. One offensive coach from the ESPN article believes that Kupp might be *GASP* a system player.

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