The Arizona Cardinals came into the 2013 NFL draft with a massive need at offensive line. Despite the top three tackles going off the board in the first four picks, Arizona found its man, taking North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper with the seventh overall pick.
SB Nation's Cardinals blog Revenge Of The Birds assumed that Chance Warmack would be the first guard off the board, so their reaction is mild surprise. Here's what RedC had to say about the pick:
It was long supposed that Chance Warmack would be the first guard taken off the board, but instead it was Cooper, who has been rising in stock because of his athleticism.
It is the first time since 1997 that a guard was taken in the top 10.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Cooper had second best bench press among the 48 OL (32 reps); also in top 10 in 40,standing broad jump and 3-cone drill.
And here's what Mocking The Draft's Matthew Fairburn thinks about Cooper:
Cooper is the type of athlete that teams will covet early on in the draft. Despite his lack of positional value, Cooper should make an impact from day one and deserves to be drafted in the first round. He moves so well for the position and is technically sound as well as football savvy. Teams can't ask for a much more out of an interior lineman.Cooper was a consensus All-American and Outland Trophy finalist this season for a reason.