Jonathan Cooper hasn’t played a game in the NFL, but he has Arizona Cardinals fans buzzing about his potential.
Cooper was picked seventh in the 2013 NFL draft by the Cardinals, and he has the potential to help turn around the offensive line. Our staff knows this, and as a result, we voted Cooper as the eighth-best Cardinal. After all, he didn’t allow a sack in 2012, and he graded 90 percent or higher in blocking efficiency in 10 games.
To put his feats into perspective, it’s always hard to play a full season and not allow a sack. And, no one graded 90 percent or higher in blocking efficiency in more than seven games.
Cooper produced on the field in college, and he’s likely to do the same thing in the NFL. At the 2013 NFL Combine, Cooper ran a respectable 5.07 40-yard dash, and he recorded an outstanding 35 reps on the 225-pound bench press. He has the strength to be an exceptional interior lineman, and he has Cardinals fans thinking positively about the line. With Cooper, Levi Brown, Bobby Massie, Lyle Sendlein, Earl Watford, Chilo Rachal, Daryn Colledge and others on the line, the Cardinals appear to be fine at the position.
And Cooper is a huge reason why.
Cooper is extremely athletic, but he is also very strong. Cooper weighs 310 pounds and displayed his strength at the combine, which led to his draft stock skyrocketing. Cooper has the speed to get in good position against lighter linebackers, but he also possesses the size to eat up monstrous defensive tackles. With his athletic gifts alone, he would be a solid player.
When you add that to a great work ethic and tremendous on-field production, you have a player with a potential to be a key cog in Arizona’s offense for years to come.
If Cooper lives up to the hype, expect him to shoot up this list in the future. He has all the physical tools, and there’s no reason to believe that he can’t succeed. The fact that Cooper was voted eighth before playing a single down in the NFL shows that he is trusted to succeed, and unless he falls victim to the injury bug, he’s likely to fulfill the lofty expectations set for him.