Today we're going to look at one of my favorite 2013 NFL Draft prospects when we look at University of North Carolina guard Jonathan Coope as part of our series of prospect profiles.
Not everyone is on to just how good Cooper is yet. He's a player that is a top 10 value for me, but is likely to be available when the Giants pick because there are two terrific guards in this class. Cooper is not at the Senor Bowl (declined invitation) and is likely to impress athletically at the combine, so there's not much to learn about him between now and the draft.
Cooper has good size for a guard at 6-foot-3, 295 pounds and is an excellent pass protector because of his quick feet, athleticism, and ability to mirror defensive linemen. Cooper more often than not wins the leverage battle. Cooper has very good athleticism to effectively pull and trap at the NFL level, and get to the second level. Cooper is a former wrestler, which shows up in with the use of his hands. He has a good initial punch with his hands and does a good job drive blocking and playing to the whistle. A physical player with a mean streak.
Cooper has good height and length, but does not have terrific strength and bulk. He might struggle against the bigger defensive tackles in the league (but it's not a huge concern) unless he gets stronger.
Player comparison: Ben Grubbs, NFL.com
Does He Fit With The Giants?
I think so. Cooper should immediately be a terrific pass protector in the NFL and he has the athleticism to be a guy who could be a very good blocker out in space. He'll need to hit the weight room. Some see him as strictly a zone blocking system guard. I think he'll be a very good pass protector, and if the Giants are going to start doing more screen passes and plays where the guards get out into space for David Wilson then he could be a terrific selection. The question is do you take a guard at 19th overall? He's not likely to be available in the second round.
Mel Kiper Jr. has mocked him to the Cowboys and they clearly need help on their offensive line so we might be seeing him in the NFC East as friend or foe.
Big Board Rankings
CBS Sports - 16th
Big Blue View Board - 10th
National Football Post - 24th
SB Nation - 20th
Cooper is a very athletic guard who was asked to play at a lighter weight this year, which he did effectively. Now he needs to put some strength back on. He's a first-round value, but guards rarely go in the top 20, and with Chance Warmack also available it's possible he lasts until the second round. Cooper could be a guy the Giants could even consider trying to move down a bit and get a little later in the first (though that's not their style).
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