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Steve Keim: "We have huge expectations" for Jonathan Cooper in 2015

The former No. 7 pick "has to stay healthy."

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals guard Jonathan Cooper has had a very unfortunate start to his NFL career. In his first preseason game his rookie year he broke his leg. After coming back from that, he suffered turf toe in the 2014 preseason. He couldn't crack the starting lineup, but got a chance to play for a couple of games, only to suffer a broken wrist.

But looking ahead to 2015, there is a lot expected of Cooper, as general manager Steve Keim said while in the studio as a guest for "Newsmakers Week" on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

Keim, who compared Cooper to linemen like Alan Faneca when he drafted him, wonders "it is bad luck" with Cooper and all the injuries.

Cooper never before had suffered a significant injury. His recovery time and subsequent injuries, though, cause Keim to say "you have a lot of questions" about him.

Keim is optimistic, though, because of what he saw as the season progressed in 2014.

"You were concerned for a while because after the injury, you saw him limping around a little bit," Keim explained on the air. "By the middle of the season, you started to see his natural bend, his athleticism, his speed -- the reason why we drafted him. You saw that coming back."

Cooper has to overcome his wrist injury, but, at least this time, he will have completely healthy legs and feet entering offseason workouts.

The team badly needs him to play well in 2015.

"He's a guy, like Kevin Minter, who has to step up," said Keim. "He has to stay injury free and we have huge expectations for him. He has got to stay healthy."

If he doesn't, he just might be lumped into the pile of highly drafted offensive linemen (Levi Brown, Leonard Davis) the Cardinals have had and not panned out.