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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Apr 26, 2013 - 3:41 pm

Jonathan Cooper welcomes expectations, wants to make ‘immediate impact'

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)

Larry Allen, Alan Faneca and Randall McDaniel.

They are three of the best offensive guards to ever play in the NFL, with a combined 32 Pro Bowl appearances and 25 All-Pro selections.

Allen and McDaniel are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Faneca, who retired two seasons ago, is almost assured of his own place in Canton, Ohio once eligible for induction.

Jonathan Cooper, the Cardinals' 2013 first round draft pick, has drawn comparisons to each one.

"Honestly, it makes me a little nervous," Cooper said at his introductory press conference Friday. "It's high expectations and kind of a little bit of pressure, but I also put just as much pressure on myself, and it makes me want to get to work immediately.

"There are some guys who kind of bask in that hype, but I can't allow myself to do that," he continued. "It's now time for me to prove to myself that I've earned that and I deserve that high praise."

Cooper was the fourth offensive lineman drafted and one of six selected in the top 11 picks during the first round Thursday.

"I feel like we really represented this class and showed that we are important to teams and we play pivotal roles in teams' success," he said.

"They always say you don't need a guard until you need one, and that's when you can't find one. I'm grateful to be part of this class and I feel like we showed that we are very important."

Well before the draft, the Cardinals said they expected whomever they took with the No. 7 overall pick to come in and play right away.

Cooper, who wisely wore a red tie, expects the same thing.

"I expect to come in immediately and compete, and also contribute to this team," he said. "They did spend a number seven pick on me, so I feel like I have to come and make an immediate impact."

About the Author

School: Syracuse University, '96

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: December 1, 1999

Favorite sports memory: Game 7, 2001 World Series

Least-favorite sports memory: Game 1, 1988 World Series

Favorite all-time athlete(s): Larry Bird, Don Mattingly

Favorite sports movies: Hoosiers, Field of Dreams


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