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Wideout prospect Ricky Pearsall models tempo for route running after Amari Cooper

Pearsall participated in the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine ahead of NFL Draft

Ricky Pearsall 3.1

INDIANAPOLIS – Ricky Pearsall has followed Amari Cooper's NFL career as he watched football growing up.

 As he's done so, he's taken elements of Cooper's game and implemented it into his own – specifically when it comes to putting tempo into his route running.

"Just watching his film and knowing the success that he's had and really nitpicking and seeing the tempo that he uses in his routes I think is something that is really elite," Pearsall said on Friday at the NFL Combine. "And being able to put that into my game is really important."

Over his nine-year career, Cooper has a caught a total of 667 receptions for 9,486 receiving yards and 60 touchdowns. In his last two seasons with the Browns, he finished with back-to-back seasons of over 1,000 receiving yards – becoming the first Browns players to record back-to-back 1,000 receiving yards. His 1,250 receiving yards for the 2023 season was also the third-most by a Brown in a season.

Now, Pearsall is in a similar position that Cooper was about 10 years ago, just beginning his NFL career and participating in the 2024 NFL Combine with the hopes of being drafted in April. With a strong group of wideouts in the draft class, Pearsall has been working to showcase who he is interviews throughout the week with teams across the league.

"I'm a student of the game," Pearsall said. "Being able to go in there and identify certain things and go over film with them, and just talk football with them. At the end of the day, we're just talking football. It comes simple to me; I've been doing this since I was little. So, going in there and seeing the personality that I have and introducing myself and having them get to know me."

Pearsall spent three seasons at Arizona State University, finishing his time with 61 receptions for 794 yards and five touchdowns. His best season at ASU was the 2021 season when he caught 48 passes for 580 yards and four touchdowns. He then transferred to Florida and spent two seasons with the Gators, totaling 98 receptions for 1,626 yards and nine touchdowns.

NFL prospects speak at their media availability at the 2024 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Pearsall believes he can play both inside and outside in the NFL and can get open for a reception. In order to do so, he developed his route craftsmanship and ability to tempo routes through trial and error throughout his playing career. Yet, he's also looked to improve other elements of his game, like the use of his hands at the line of scrimmage.

"I think my fluidity in running routes sticks out," Pearsall said. "Nothing that gets thrown at me throws me off guard in my route. So, I think that's really important. There's a lot of moving pieces when you're running routes, you got to run routes with your eyes, seeing everything change and all the coverages change. Obviously being a technician too as well – release point, top of the route, all that. So, there's a lot that goes into it. Film watching is really important when it comes to that – studying your opponent, seeing what's ahead of you."

He's a prospect that could be in play for the Browns if they look to draft a wide receiver. The Browns' first picks of the NFL Draft will come on the second day of the draft. They have a second-round pick at No. 54 and a third-round pick at No. 85. ESPN's draft analyst Jordan Reid said on Cleveland Browns Daily that a wideout could be an option for the Browns with the depth of the wide receiver group in this year's draft class.

"I would love to see the Browns add another wide receiver, just because they do have some weapons," Reid said. "Amari Cooper was phenomenal last year, but outside of that, Elijah Moore was a little bit up and down last year. But I would like to see them add another weapon to the room. Maybe somewhere on Day 2 or Day 3 they could look to add one."  

Pearsall was also a prospect on Reid's list that could stand out at the NFL Combine. Wide receivers are set to participate in drills on March 2.

"He's one name that I like quite a bit," Reid said. "Transferred over from Arizona State to Florida, and he was an instance impact type of player. I'm sure you've seen this highlight – you probably didn't notice it was Ricky Pearsall – but he had a miraculous one hand catch against UNC Charlotte down the seam. I think he's going to be able to make those types of plays on the next level."

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