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2013 NFL Draft results: Arizona Cardinals find their lineman in North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper

Steve Keim and the new Arizona Cardinals front office pick safe, take the agile Cooper to play guard.


The Arizona Cardinals came into this year's draft knowing that they wanted to improve their offensive line and their pass rush. With the seventh overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cardinals do just that by drafting guard Jonathan Cooper out of North Carolina.

It was long supposed that Chance Warmack would be the first guard taken off the board, but instead it was Cooper, who has been rising in stock because of his athleticism.

It is the first time since 1997 that a guard was taken in the top 10.

At the NFL Scouting Combine, Cooper had second best bench press among the 48 OL (32 reps); also in top 10 in 40,standing broad jump and 3-cone drill.

According to Mocking the Draft, Cooper is a special talent.

Cooper is one of the smoothest athletes I've seen at the guard position. He has excellent technique when pulling. His footwork is clean and he maneuvers across the line of scrimmage efficiently. Cooper is highly regarded for his athleticism, and it doesn't take long to notice it when watching him. He moves very well and shows outstanding body control in the open field. He has no trouble getting to the second level of the defense and engaging his blocks.

Cooper also shows impressive balance both in his stance and in his movement. He doesn't end up on the ground very often at all. He's also a very experienced player with more than 35 starts under his belt for the Tar Heels. That experience helps him quickly pick up multiple blocking assignments as needed on any given day. He plays the game with tremendous leverage, which makes him dominant at times in the running game.

Cardinals fans, you have been heard. The team is okay with their tackles, but said they would address the offensive line. They have done so.

What do you think?

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