Jonathan Cooper (OG), North Carolina
6-2 | 311 lbs.
Cooper is an interior lineman that possesses a nice blend of athleticism and strength. Solid at the point of attack and sustaining his ground, but even better when blocking at the second level or pulling to the outside. Cooper is an intelligent player who can play in almost any scheme and always seems to be scanning for a weakness in the pocket, even if he is already controlling his assignment. Initially thought of as a late first round selection, Cooper has seen his stock soar by first dominating at the combine (benching a position-best 35 reps), and then exceeding all expectations at North Carolina’s Pro Day.
A body type that is considered by some scouts to be average or even below average for a prototypical player at the guard position. Had a shoulder surgery prior to his senior season, but proved he could bounce back from injury with a stellar 2012 campaign.
Fit for the Bears:
In my opinion the Bears should do everything in their power to land one of the top two guards in the first round of the draft. The departure of Lance Louis makes the position an even greater need heading into 2013. Cooper and Alabama’s Chance Warmack are two of the most NFL-ready guards to ever enter the league; it’s just a strange coincidence that they are both doing so in the same season. Signing Jermon Bushrod to solidify the left tackle spot and inking Martellus Bennett to improve production from the tight end position was huge for the offense. On the other side of the ball, it seems like general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman are past Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach with the signings of D.J. Williams and James Anderson. Filling all of the holes that they have prior to the draft gives Emery and Trestman major flexibility when it comes time to select. If the new dynamic duo up at Halas Hall fails to land a top offensive lineman in the first or second round, it would certainly leave many Bears fans scratching their heads.