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Giants have crowd of veteran guards blocking Ethan Cooper’s path

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Cooper might be fighting for return to practice squad

NFL: Combine
Ethan Cooper at the 2017 NFL Combine.
Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

The previous New York Giants regime stashed guard Ethan Cooper on the team’s practice squad a season ago. Can Cooper impress his new bosses enough to earn a spot as a backup or a member of the practice squad this time around?

Let’s look at Cooper as we continue our profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.

The basics

Age: 22
Experience: 1
Position: Guard
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 322

2017 season in review

Cooper signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent. He was cut at the end of the preseason and was signed to the Giants’ practice squad in mid-October. He stayed there for the remainder of the season.

2018 outlook

Cooper would appear to have an uphill climb in an effort to earn a roster spot. Free agent signee Patrick Omameh and second-round pick Will Hernandez are the starting guards. Veterans John Jerry, Chris Scott and John Greco are part of the roster. So, too, is Jon Halapio. A spot on the 53-man roster might not be available. Instead, Cooper might be competing with players like undrafted free agent Nick Gates and Malcolm Bunche for a practice squad spot.

Here is a note from his 2017 NFL.com pre-draft scouting report:

Cooper is tough to get a read on due to the level of competition he plays. He is good but not dominant as a run blocker, which is a little surprising based on his girthy frame. He doesn’t play with as much hip torque as you want so he will probably always have some limitations as a drive blocker. He’s a decent athlete with an NFL frame and that should help him go as a developmental Day 3 draft prospect.