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2015 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Xavier Cooper, DT, Washington St.

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The Giants need to get back to an interior pass rush. Can Cooper provide that?

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier Cooper is a player who has steadily gone under the radar in the buildup to the 2015 NFL Draft, probably because he plays for Washington State. That's not fair to him because his play is something that should not be under the radar at all. He's a speedy three technique who will pressure the QB quite a bit.

Goodness knows that the Giants need to take some pressure off Johnathan Hankins as their biggest interior pass rusher and give him some help. Let's see if he fits Steve Spagnuolo's scheme:

Pros

- Tremendous short area quickness and agility

- Explosive first step that is consistent.

- Violent hands with swift, nasty punch

- Plus athleticism

- Good hip flexibility

- Versatile, can play 3 technique and 5 technique

Cons

- Frame and length are issues. Only 295 pounds with 31.5-inch arms.

- Needs more functional strength, cannot anchor

- Pad level rises when rushing at times

Does He Fit With The Giants?

Yes and no. Schematically as both a 1 gap shooting three technique and a closed end five technique, he fits what the Giants will want to do on defense. From a build standpoint, he's got short arms and he's very light, which I know definitely the Giants won't like. So there's an argument for him and against him, and knowing how the scouts operate, there's more going against him, even though there shouldn't be.

[NOTE: No video because the one originally posted here was deleted from Draft Breakdown]

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - Not in top 100

Mocking The Draft - 76

CBS Sports - 62

Draft Tek - 55

Final Thoughts

In a way, he reminds me of a poor man's Aaron Donald. He doesn't have the same length as Donald, he isn't as consistent as Donald, and he didn't go up against the same level of competition as Donald, but otherwise, they look very similar. On all the tape that I've watched of defensive tackles, no player was more consistently disruptive than Xavier Cooper. Of course, that doesn't always translate to the NFL, but it's definitely a positive. I like him much more than most, but I definitely see that his length will hurt him, despite his impressive athleticism (he ran a 4.86 with a 1.68 split at 293 pounds! Not to mention a 7.23 3 cone. That's freaky!). I've got him as a mid to late-second round pick, and would be thrilled if he were a third-round pick for the New York Giants.