Draft Scout Snapshot: A closer look at the Cardinals' picks: Round 1/7 - Jonathan Cooper, 6-2, 311, G, North Carolina...The Cardinals ranked him as the top guard in the draft. They love his athleticism, comparing him to former Steelers great Alan Faneca. Cooper is athletic enough not only to pull but also to hit someone when he does. He can change directions to block defenders. He's smart and he started 47 games in four seasons. The Cardinals haven't decided which side he will play. - The Sports Xchange
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04/28/13 - First round pick Jonathan Cooper has drawn comparisons to great guards such as Alan Faneca, Randall McDaniel and Larry Allen. The Cardinals aren't trying to quell such comparisons; they are embracing them. "He can pull, he can get out in space and make blocks, in the alley, on screens and stuff like that," said Harold Goodwin, offensive coordinator and line coach. "Run-blocking wise, he has power. I think he did 35 reps at the combine on the bench press. The upside is there. He's a two-spot player, he can play center and he can play guard."
Cooper is aware of the pressure he's under. "Honestly, it makes me a little nervous," he said. "It's high expectations and kind of a little bit of pressure, but I also put just as much pressure on myself, and it makes me want to get to work immediately." - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - Cardinals have strong belief in Cooper...The Cardinals thought their offensive line would be adequate, and that was before the draft. Now that they've added guard Jonathan Cooper, the seventh overall pick, they think the unit could be more than just adequate. Cooper gives the Cardinals something they haven't had in years: a young, powerful, mobile guard. They had no qualms about taking him at No. 7, even though conventional wisdom has it that taking a guard that high is foolish. "I think the question was first posed to me at the combine," general manager Steve Keim said, "whether I thought seven was too high to take an offensive guard. I think that we have our answer."
The Cardinals aren't shy about their expectations for Cooper. Keim thinks he can be a "10-to-12 year pro," and a "Pro-Bowl caliber talent." Keim likens Cooper to Alan Faneca, the former Steelers great, and Randall McDaniel, the former Viking who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Coach Bruce Arians said comparisons to former Cowboys guard Larry Allen, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer, aren't exaggerations. "I think it's a very good comparison," he said. "This guy can really bring it at the point of attack, and he's got feet. When he's out in space, he looks like a fullback running around with his change of direction but then he hits you so hard." - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - When asked if Cooper would start right away, Arians smiled and said it's a safe bet. But which side Cooper will play has not been determined, or at least the Cardinals aren't ready to say. Their two current starters, Daryn Colledge (left) and Adam Snyder (right) were signed as free agents the last two years. Colledge has $7 million of bonus money left to be prorated and Snyder has $4 million.
Snyder is more likely to lose his job, even though Cooper played the left side for much of his college career. The Cardinals could spread his $4 million charge over two years, creating $3 million of cap space this year. But Snyder has value as a backup. He has experience playing every position along the line. Part of the reason for drafting Cooper is the Cardinals wanted to develop a more powerful, physical line in order to compete in the NFC West, where they face three good defenses. "We're playing some great teams," Cooper said, "but you don't want an easy road. I'm a competitor and I'm looking forward to the challenges. I'm excited to play all these great teams, teams I've looked up to since I was young. I'm ready to take it on." - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - A closer look at the Cardinals' picks: Round 1/7 - Jonathan Cooper, 6-2, 311, G, North Carolina...The Cardinals ranked him as the top guard in the draft. They love his athleticism, comparing him to former Steelers great Alan Faneca. Cooper is athletic enough not only to pull but also to hit someone when he does. He can change directions to block defenders. He's smart and he started 47 games in four seasons. The Cardinals haven't decided which side he will play. - The Sports Xchange
04/25/13 - DANE BRUGLER'S FINAL 2013 DRAFT BOARD: 11. OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (6-2, 311, 5SR)...Although he won't be an ideal fit for everyone due to strength limitations, Cooper has outstanding body control and mobility for an interior offensive lineman. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
04/25/13 - ROB RANG'S FINAL 2013 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD: 7. Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina: More athletic than Alabama's Chance Warmack and proving considerably stronger in Indianapolis than many had given him credit for (35 reps), Cooper is a legitimate top-10 candidate, whose value is only increased by his ability to play center, as well. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
04/21/13 - 2013 NFL DRAFT: FIVE BOLD PREDICTIONS: 5. North Carolina's Cooper, not Alabama's Warmack, is first guard drafted...If the 2013 NFL Draft had taken place after Alabama's demolition of Notre Dame in the BCS title game, Chance Warmack might have warranted a top-five selection. Since, scouts have had plenty of time to knock holes in the road-grader's game -- and, make no mistake, there are holes. Too much of Warmack's 317 pounds lie around his middle and while he has the quickness to get to the second level (just as Manti Te'o), he fades quickly, making him a less-than-ideal fit in the zone-blocking offense that an increasing number of NFL teams use.
Furthermore, while extraordinarily gifted, Warmack has never been characterized as the hardest worker on the team, a trend which scouts tell me continued during prep for pre-draft workouts. Jonathan Cooper, on the other hand, erased any concerns about his strength with 35 repetitions at the combine and is lighter on his feet than the All-American Warmack. Cooper, furthermore, is the more versatile player, having started at center for the Tar Heels, as well as guard. Both players are likely to wind up as Pro Bowlers in the NFL but if one of them is to slip outside of the top 15 picks on draft day, Warmack is the more likely to do so. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
04/08/13 - 2013 North Carolina Pro Day: Representatives from 28 NFL teams gathered at North Carolina’s pro day on March 26, where 15 players worked out outdoors on FieldTurf. The workout was held in 39-degree temperatures with a 15 mile-per-hour wind (the 40-yard dashes were run at first against the wind, and then a second time with the wind). Among those from NFL teams present in Chapel Hill, N.C. were offensive line coaches from the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew and Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.
Jonathan Cooper, G (6-2 1/4, 308) - Cooper stood on his numbers from the combine, but had an outstanding positional workout. Cooper is going to be a top-15 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft (my latest mock draft projects Cooper going No. 12 to the Miami Dolphins). - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
03/29/13 - 2013 North Carolina Pro Day: Traditionally, late March means the NCAA tournament at the University of North Carolina, but despite the mens' basketball team getting knocked out by Kansas on March 24, the dozens of NFL representatives on hand for the Tar Heels Pro Day on Wednesday proved that the university remains a hotbed for athletic talent.
Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley were among the key decision-makers reportedly on hand for Tuesday's workout, which featured 15 former Tar Heels, not the least of whom were two potential first-round prospects: guard/center Jonathan Cooper and defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. Also present were Detroit Lions' general manager Martin Mayhew and New York Jets' general manager John Idzik, as well as David Caldwell, the Jaguars' GM.
The 6-foot-2 1/4, 308-pound Cooper elected to stand on his combine numbers but was put through a variety of positional drills, including taking snaps at center. According to a source on the scene, Cooper looked "fantastic." - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
12/16/12 - 2012 AP ALL-AMERICAN FIRST TEAM: OG - Jonathan Cooper, senior, 6-3, 295, North Carolina...Cooper graded out at 90 percent on the season and had double digits in knockdown blocks in nine of 12 games this season. He played an important role in Carolina's running game, which averaged 193.8 yards per game, the highest per game average since 1994. - North Carolina football