Scouting The 2013 NFL Draft: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Continuing our look at some of the prospects that may interest the Jets this year, we move back to the offensive line and senior guard Jonathan Cooper.

Introduction

Jonathan Cooper is one of the most highly regarded prospects in the 2013 NFL draft, he is projected to be a mid first round selection. As a senior he has seen significant time at left guard for the past 4 seasons. Cooper was a well regarded prospect coming out of Hoggard high in North Carolina, earning all state honors and deciding to stay at home to attend North Carolina. He grew up a Panthers fan and majored in communications. He saw significant time as a redshirt Freshman in 2009 and continued to grow from there, becoming one of the elite.

Measurable's

Height: 6'3

Weight: 295 lbs

Position: Offensive Guard

School: North Carolina

Grade: Senior

Positives

Start as I always do, no known off the field problems and was actually awarded the teams spirit of service award for his work in the community. So by all accounts he is a good guy and as far as I am aware his team mates and coaches regard him highly. He is a very tough competitor who plays with a good attitude, almost mean. Plays through the whistle and will finish his blocks and keep driving. Excellent in pass protection due to getting set very quickly, getting hands in place and having excellent balance in his set. Stands up well to most power rushers due to his strong base and doesn't get fooled or beaten with swim or spin moves, re-sets his hands well when knocked down. Has an excellent push off the snap in the run game, keeps his feet moving and shows excellent strength. Excellent balance in the run game, works through his blocks and gets to the next level. Giovani Bernard did a lot of his best work while running behind Cooper. Picks up line stunts. A better pass protection guard than a run blocker, but his ability to move people off the ball will only strengthen his draft stock.

Negatives

Doesn't always have the best recognition when it comes to pre-snap shifts by the defensive line. Not a mauler by any means and could probably do with adding a little bulk and becoming stronger in the run game. Needs to focus on keeping his pad level down and occasionally can get stood up. Did miss three games with an ankle injury in 2009 and had a shoulder issue last Spring that prevented him from practicing

Conclusion

There is a lot to like about Coopers game, especially for a team that struggles to protect the quarterback. I like his strong base and his ability to pull around center. He really has taken a good leap in 2012 to the elite level. However he is likely to go in the first 25 picks, as such #9 is too high for the Jets and if we choose to draft down I would prefer to go with a tackle. I like Cooper and think he'll be a good to great guard for the next 10 years, so if the interior line is your biggest concern then you're getting a very talented player.

Would I Draft Him For The Jets?

No I wouldn't, see above reasons.

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