As the Arizona Cardinals move through OTAs and closer to training camp, RantSports.com will be bringing you profiles for many of the team’s players. We’ll focus mainly on new acquisitions, players in position battles, and on some players in difficult situations. In this installment for the Cardinals, we’ll take a look at first round draft pick Jonathan Cooper.
The highly sought after guard out of North Carolina was a great selection for the Cardinals. Cooper was one of the best overall players available at No. 7, and the Cardinals couldn’t really go wrong by taking a player to bolster their offensive line. In 2012, Arizona gave up a league-high 58 sacks, and 97 total quarterback hits. Even though the quarterbacks behind center were average at best, they really had no chance of success with the constant pounding they took. Cooper should help remedy that going forward.
At 6’2″ and 311 lbs., Cooper is not biggest o-lineman, but he’s more than capable of excelling in the NFL. He progressed his entire career at UNC, eventually earning first team All-American honors his senior year.
The addition of the talented guard will only help protect the team’s other main investment, Carson Palmer. Things seem to be turning around for the Cardinals, and the rookie guard will be a big part of that process. If he can help keep Palmer upright, it will only increase the number of times Larry Fitzgerald gets the ball, something that just didn’t happen enough in 2012. Everything starts up front in the NFL, and the Cardinals have done a good job in adding a solid piece to their o-line with Cooper. He should be the starting left guard for many years to come.
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