On Guard! Arizona Cardinals Select Jonathan Cooper in First Round


Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Offensive guard Jonathan Cooper (North Carolina) is introduced as the seventh overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals got the offensive lineman they were apparently looking for.  It wasn’t the one I expected them to take, however, with the top three offensive tackles gone and Chance Warmack slipping on draft boards everywhere, North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper was the Cards selection at number seven.  The offensive guard had been on the Cards radar for some time.  Job well done.  You’ve got to be happy they stuck with an offensive line that still needed help.

Cooper is someone who has great footwork and balance.  He also has long arms, something that offensive line coaches look for in the NFL.  This was one of the reasons OT Justin Pugh from Syracuse dropped down to the New York Giants at 19.  You need longer arms to keep the defenders at bay.  He is quick and athletic and has plenty of experience.  He started 47 games in college.

Now Cooper won’t bowl people over.  Sometimes he can get pushed back.  He also had surgery before the start of last season.  Clearly though to spend a pick at number seven, particularly for a position that doesn’t historically get much first-round love, says to me the Cards have done their homework though.  I’m not going to worry too much about any weaknesses at this point.  The consensus seems to be the Cards did well here.  Now they need to capitalize on that in the second and third rounds tomorrow night.