Sunday, April 14, 2013
Advanced scouting: Jonathan Cooper
By Calvin Watkins
North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper is a top guard, but will he be available for the Cowboys at No. 18?
To help preview who might be on the Dallas Cowboys’ board for the NFL draft, ESPNDallas.com has identified five players at five key positions that we’d like to learn more about. Along those lines, we’ve asked former Cowboys assistant coach Glenn “Stretch” Smith – the official scout of Galloway & Company – to study tape of each player and give his thoughts.
Why he’s on the radar: The inconsistent play of the Cowboys' guards in 2012 raised serious questions about the team's future at the position. There were two guards taken in the first round last year and that trend could continue with Cooper considered the top player at his position. The issue is whether he'll fall to the Cowboys at No. 18. If he's still on the board at No. 14 or No. 15, Dallas might have to move up to get him. Fixing the offensive line is a high priority at Valley Ranch and getting Cooper could help the Cowboys improve.
Projection: First round
Stretch Truths: Guard who was also a high school wrestler so he plays with excellent leverage and feel. He’s flexible for a big man with good bend and balance, which helps him in pass protection to recover. ... Has good feet to pull and get second level blocks. ... Average punch and pop. ... The question I have with this kid is size and lower football functional strength to run through contact. ... Overall opinion: He’s the fifth-best offensive lineman.