When the Arizona Cardinals selected North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper as their selection with the seventh overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, he was one of five offensive linemen taken in the top 10. The pick was significant for many reasons.
- Cooper becomes the first guard taken in the top eight of the NFL Draft since 1982, when future Hall of Famer Mike Munchak was selected by the Houston Oilers with the eighth overall pick.
- Cooper became the first guard selected within the top 10 since Chris Naeole of Colorado was taken with the 10th pick in the 1997 draft by the New Orleans Saints.
- Selected seventh overall, Cooper becomes the highest guard drafted since the Colts selected North Carolina's Ken Huff with the third overall pick in the 1975 NFL Draft.
- The selection of Cooper marks just the second time in team history that the Cardinals selected a guard in the first round of the NFL Draft. The only other guard taken in the first round by the Cards was Notre Dame's Bill Fischer, who was taken with the 10th overall selection in 1949.
- Dating back to the 2012 NFL Draft, Arizona has now selected offensive linemen with four of its last six picks. The three linemen taken in '12 (Bobby Massie, Nate Potter and Senio Kelemete) all played last season, with Massie and Potter becoming starters.
- Taken by the Cardinals with the seventh overall selection, Cooper now joins Ken Huff (1975, Baltimore Colts) as the only offensive guards from North Carolina ever to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
- Cooper is the first offensive lineman from North Carolina taken in the first round since T Harris Barton was selected by San Francisco with the 22nd overall pick in 1987.
- Selected seventh overall, Cooper becomes the highest draft pick from North Carolina since DE Julius Peppers was taken second overall by the Carolina Panthers in 2002.
- Only five players in Tar Heel history were selected higher than Cooper, dating back to 1938.
2 LB Lawrence Taylor 1981 NY Giants
2 RB Ken Willard 1965 San Francisco
3 G Ken Huff 1975 Baltimore
6 DT Ryan Sims 2002 Kansas City
7 G Jonathan Cooper 2013 Arizona
- As a senior in 2012, Cooper became the first Tar Heel player to earn consensus first-team All-America honors since Julius Peppers in 2001. He became the sixth guard in school history to earn first-team All-America honors and first since Pat Crowley in 1989.
- During his senior campaign, Cooper was the only guard in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks to grade at least 90% for blocking consistency in more than seven games (he did so 10 times).
- Became the first North Carolina player ever selected as a finalist for the Outland Trophy as the nation's top offensive lineman.
- During his career at North Carolina, Cooper established a school record with 48 starts.
- In the 10 drafts prior to 2013, there were eight guards selected in the first round and five of those eight have appeared in at least one Pro Bowl.
Year Player Pick Team
2012 David DeCastro 24th Pittsburgh
2012 Kevin Zeitler 27th Cincinnati
2011 Danny Watkins 23rd Philadelphia
2010 Mike Iupati* 17th San Francisco
2007 Ben Grubbs* 29th Baltimore
2006 Davin Joseph* 23rd Tampa Bay
2005 Logan Mankins* 32nd New England
2004 Shawn Andrews* 16th Philadelphia
- 2012 Consensus All-America Selection - Walter Camp, FWAA, AFCA, AP, ESPN.com, SI, Phil Steele, NBC.com, CBSsports.com
- 2012 Jacobs Blocking Trophy Winner (Top offensive lineman in ACC)
- Outland Trophy Finalist (Nation's Top Interior Lineman)
- Bobby Bowden Student-Athlete of the Year candidate
- 2012 First-Team All-ACC (ACSMA, Coaches)
- 2010 & 2011 Second-Team All-ACC (ACSMA)
- 2013 ACC Postgraduate Honorary Scholarship Recipient
- While training for the NFL Combine, Cooper spent three months working out at Athletes Performance Institute in Phoenix.
- Growing up, weighed too much to play Pop Warner football so he had to serve as the water boy for his brother's team.
- The youngest of five children, Cooper hails from Wilmington, N.C. He attended John T. Hoggard High School where he led the team to a 16-0 record and the Class 4-A State Championship as a senior. He accomplished a rare feat that season by being voted as the Conference Player of the Year as an offensive lineman.