The Cardinals may have been high on Jonathan Cooper the whole time but his name really didn’t get linked to the Cardinals in a strong sense until the last few days. His name popped up in the mocks more often, and even Cooper admitted he had noticed. Even if he didn’t really want to.
“I really tried not to look at the mock drafts and things of that nature,” Cooper said after the Cards took the guard seventh overall. “When people would say that, I’d be like, ‘It doesn’t mean anything, that’s just the media.’ So I was shocked when they called me.”
Avoiding mocks in this day and age? Not so much. “For the most part I did, but my dad was kind of big on it, so he’d send me the links every now and then.”
It’s probably a good idea, to be honest. Skip the noise and wait to see what happens on draft day.
— Cooper is going to start. Who does he replace? On the left side is Daryn Colledge, who could make the case he was the Cards’ best offensive lineman last year (although in context that may not mean as much given the line’s struggles as a whole.) On the right side is Adam Snyder, who played with injuries last season but had his issues. If I had to guess, Cooper will replace Snyder. And there is a chance someone can still be released, with the cap hit designated as a “June 1” cut and spread over two seasons. We’ll see how it plays out.
— Cooper is familiar with the area, at least. He spent the last three months training at Athletes Performance Institute in Phoenix.
— GM Steve Keim must’ve really loved Cooper. Keim is, after all, an North Carolina State alum and Cooper went to North Carolina. “The hardest part of the selection was taking a Tar Heel,” Keim said. Said Cooper, “He made sure he let me know that on the phone call when he was telling me I was drafted.”
— Where to next? The Cardinals have the seventh pick of the second round, and with their two picks Friday they obviously could go in a lot of different directions. When we look at need, safety and pass rusher remain at the top of the list. Inside linebacker? Yes, I could see that too. The Cards did sign free agents like Alexander and Brinkley, but again, the idea was to avoid being forced into a pick.
— That said, going on Mike Mayock’s positional rankings, here’s what could be there for the Cards in the second round: Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien (wow, two Jonathans in two picks?), LSU inside linebacker Kevin Minter and Texas A&M DE-who-could-be-OLB Demontre Moore. There are others too, and frankly, most years, it seems like the Cards’ second-round pick comes as a surprise. I have no idea how the grades go, and like Thursday, it’s all going to come down to who goes in those top
six five picks.
— Yes, Geno Smith, Mike Glennon and Matt Barkley remain on the board. Well, since E.J. Manuel is the only QB gone the Cards could have a lot of QB options. I do not see the Cards going QB in the second round. The third? Maybe. They won’t waste a pick just to take a QB. If you don’t see some sliver of special in a QB, I don’t know why you’d burn a pick. Especially with Carson Palmer in place.
— I don’t know if Eddie Lacy will be there in seven picks. Would I take the running back? Yes, but with a caveat. If I have guys graded high at those other positions (safety, pass rusher) I am passing on the running back. If Lacy is standing out on the board, OK. But I’d rather not spend on a back that, by many accounts, isn’t necessarily special. It’s possible you could have run for 700 yards behind that Alabama offensive line. I’m not saying Lacy won’t be good. I’m just saying I would have other priorities.
— Before anyone asks again about Tyrann Mathieu, is he a third-round possibility? I could see it. His relationship with Patrick Peterson helps. The Cards could use a playmaker in the secondary like that. But I don’t know if I’d say it’s likely. Especially with an early third-rounder.
Tags: Adam Snyder, Jonathan Cooper, Kevin Minter, Patrick Peterson, Steve Keim, Tyrann Mathieu
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