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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Apr 26, 2013 - 3:12 pm

Cardinals GM: Jonathan Cooper one of 'cleanest' players in the draft

Arizona Cardinals first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper is introduced on Friday, April 26, 2013, at the Cardinals' training facility in Tempe, Ariz. Cooper was selected seventh overall in the NFL football draft. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim is confident in the selection of Jonathan Cooper at number seven overall.

"The one thing I've come to the conclusion of is you're not going to make everybody happy," he told Arizona Sports 602's Doug and Wolf Friday. "Some people are going to say this pick was too high for a guard, some people are going to think we should have taken a pass rusher, some people think we should have traded out.

"At the end of the day, as the general manager, I have to be comfortable with the pick, our coach has to be comfortable with the pick, Michael Bidwill has to be comfortable with the pick. And we felt like Jonathan Cooper was the best player for our football team for many reasons."

Cooper, a guard from North Carolina, comes to the Cardinals with the expectation of sliding right in and starting from day one. Keim, who just completed his first draft as a general manager, is very comfortable with the choice.

The guard is the first offensive lineman to be drafted by the Cardinals in the first round since Levi Brown in 2007, was also the first guard to be selected within the top 10 since Chris Naeole was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 1997.

But the 6-foot-2, 311-pound player who was a consensus first-team All-American as a senior was just too good a fit for Keim and the Cardinals to pass up, even if he may have been selected a little sooner than some people thought he should have been.

But that doesn't matter, not now. Cooper is a Cardinal, and Keim hopes -- and expects -- him to be a mainstay on the offensive line for a long, long time.

"We stack our board one through 120 on players we think are the best, not only for us, but will make the most impact for us," he said, noting how Cooper fits with what the team wants to do schematically. "Jonathan Cooper is not only a tremendous player, he's a tremendous person with great work ethic and intangibles.

"Really thought he was one of the cleanest players in the draft when you look at his overall makeup."

About the Author

School: University of Arizona

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: Fall 2008, right before Cardinals Super Bowl run

Favorite sports memory: Being at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with my dad

Favorite all-time athlete: Larry Centers

Favorite sports movies: The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, Jerry Maguire

Most crushing sports moment: Grew up in Arizona and went to UA from 2002-06. In short, there are too many to name just one.


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