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2013 NFL Draft: North Carolina G Jonathan Cooper

We turn back to the offensive line and look at guard prospect Jonathan Cooper.


Our highlighted player this Sunday is Jonathan Cooper, a guard out of North Carolina, in yet another attempt at "throw a drafted player at the wall and hope he sticks." Just like the draft and free agency are about identifying players and increasing your team's chances of having a useful player through having multiple possibilities, thus is our evaluation even entering the draft.

Cooper's another in the growing trend of guards that push themselves into the first round. He uses good leverage against his matchup and is a very smooth athlete, even if he doesn't have the power to stand up to stronger defensive tackles when his leverage breaks down. He's also a year removed from shoulder surgery. But Cooper's intelligence, athleticism (blocks well on the move) and leverage make him a pretty safe pick.

Cooper's currently ranked as the 22nd overall prospect and second overall interior lineman. Mock drafts have him going to the Niners at 31 (Rob Rang), to the Colts at 24 (WalterFootball), 28 to the Broncos (Draftek) and to the Bears at 20 (SB Nation). WalterFootball also had the Bears taking Cooper in one of their earlier mocks.

If you're looking for interior offensive line help, how does Cooper strike your fancy?