Thursday, April 25, 2013
On Cardinals' choice of Jonathan Cooper
By Mike Sando
Three pass-rushers and three offensive tackles were off the board when the Arizona Cardinals went on the clock with the seventh overall choice in the 2013 NFL draft.
That left the Cardinals with their choice of offensive guards. They went with North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper over Alabama's Chance Warmack.
This move backs up pledges from general manager Steve Keim to sink resources into the offensive line. Arizona had a greater need at guard than tackle, so there was no sense taking the fourth-best tackle over the top-ranked guard. The question for some will be whether a guard is worthy of such a high selection in any year, but Keim has said he'll take a Pro Bowl-caliber guard that early if he can find one.
Scouting reports suggested Cooper was the better pass-protector, while Warmack was more of a run-blocker.
Arizona needed help at guard after overpaying Adam Snyder in free agency last offseason. Cooper will move into the starting lineup right away, I would expect.
The Cardinals can now move forward with Levi Brown and Bobby Massie as their tackles and Lyle Sendlein at center. Daryn Colledge is the incumbent left guard. Cooper could start at right guard, solidifying the line on paper, at least.
Arizona had not drafted an offensive lineman in the first three rounds since making Brown the fifth overall choice back in 2007.