Saturday, February 2, 2013
Prospect Profile: OG Jonathan Cooper - North Carolina
North Carolina Profile:
Name: Jonathan Cooper
Height: 6' - 3"
Weight: 295 lbs.
Class: Redshirt Senior
Hometown: Wilmington, NC
Date of Birth: 1/19/90 (23 Years Old)
High School: Hoggard HS
Tar Heel Career:
2012 RSr. Year: Consensus 1st Team All-American at OG, Outland Trophy Finalist, Consensus 1st Team All-ACC and named ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy Winner, 2012 Lombardi Award Candidate. Started all 12 games at Left Guard. Consistently graded out about 85% for every start in 2012, including 10+ knockdown blocks in each effort. Helped lead RB Giovanni Bernard to over 1200 yards rushing in 2012. Helped form a pocket for the Tar Heels with a FBS 9th Best Sack Allowance of 0.92 Sacks/Game.
2011 RJr. Year: Consensus 2nd Team All-ACC at Left Guard, started all 13 games with action in 864 plays from the line of scrimmage. Graded out at 86% average for the season. Helped pave the way for RB Giovanni Bernard to a 1000+ yard season, North Carolina's first since 1997.
2010 RSo. Year: Consensus 2nd Team All-ACC at OG, started all 13 games in the regular season and showed remarkable durability playing a team high 875 snaps. Led Tar Heels with 55 knockdown blocks, his second straight season of leading UNC in that category. Showed great progress and consistency as he graded at 80% or higher for the majority of the season.
2009 RFr. Year: Named to the All-ACC Freshman Team by The Sporting News. Started 10 games at Left Guard, missing 3 games due to injury, played 579 snaps. Recorded a 73% Grading throughout the season compiling 40 total knockdown blocks as RFr.
2012 RSr, Year Highlights (#64 playing Left Guard):
2011 RJr. Highlights (#64 playing Left Guard):
2012 Independence Bowl (UNC vs. Missouri): Link
2010 RSo. Year Highlights (#64 playing Left Guard):
+ Prototypical skill set in a heavy Zone Blocking Scheme
+ Very active feet in pass pro and in space, engages well, uses his hands effectively and works hard to establish and maintain his center on defenders
+ Fundamentally very sound, shifts well laterally and rarely gets beat due to poor positioning, seals open running lanes consistently
+ Excellent on pulls, gets out quickly and into the hole very well, was almost exclusively asked to be QB's personal protector in moving pocket scenarios
+ Demonstrates good communication with center and left tackle on switches, combos and scoops blocks, rarely see Cooper out of place in a pass pro set
+ Does well at the second level, established engagement and centers up quickly quickly, doesn't overpursue and typically blocks the biggest defensive threat
+ Essentially a 4 years starter at LG, very experienced
+ Shows an affinity for getting at defenders' lower half in space and on the backside, eliminating them from plays
- Has a couple of injuries in his college career, ankle (2009) and a shoulder surgery that forced him to miss spring ball (2011)
- Will likely be limited to a Zone Blocking Scheme in the NFL, has the frame to add mass and strength to convert to the PBS in the NFL but it will take a little bit of time
- While the 4 years of college experience are a testament to his ability, it is a lot of wear and tear on an interior offensive lineman prior to entering the NFL
- Susceptible to the bull rush if he gets a little lax on his pad level
- Can be pushed and pulled by quicker more explosive defenders
Jon Cooper is clearly one of the best Offensive Line prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft. He has started for 4 years at Chapel Hill, paving the way for numerous Tar Hell backs to be drafted in recent years. Cooper had one of the most prolific senior seasons in the ACC as an offensive lineman, and is peaking at the right time. His athleticism and technique will likely make him a plug and play starter for teams in a Zone heavy scheme early in his career, and depending on his health and willingness to conform, he could add the mass and strength necessary to get into some more Power blocking in the NFL. A likely mid 1st to early 2nd Round selection, teams like Washington, Cleveland, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Miami, Seattle, Tennessee and Cooper's hometown favorite, the Carolina Panthers, could all use his services to boost their rushing attacks, and maintain an in-tact passing pocket.
Outlook as a Raider:
If Greg Knapp had demonstrated any competency as an Offensive Coordinator, there would probably be a high chance that Cooper could become a Raider in 2013. A trade down into the mid/late 1st would definitely add "Coop" to the conversation, with Cooper Carlisle and Mike Brisiel under-performing. However, with the inclusion of Greg Olson and with Darren McFadden's lack of success in the Zone, it looks more and more like it's full speed ahead in Oakland with the Power Scheme. Now. while Cooper isn't the most adept in the PBS based on his experiences at UNC, he is still a high quality lineman who demonstrates flash in the Power game and could become one of the better Offensive Guards in the AFC for Oakland should the Raiders not fully convert to a PBS, rather, running a mixed set of looks in Power and Zone. As a pocket protector, Cooper is a solid player and would definitely help Oakland maintain the pocket for whoever is taking the snaps.