Updated Apr 30, 2013 - 2:00 pm
Cardinals assistant: Jonathan Cooper 'will be fine' at either guard spot
With Adam Snyder released, the Cardinals have an opening on their offensive line, specifically at the right guard spot.
And look, they just drafted a pair of guards, including 6-2, 311-pound Jonathan Cooper with the seventh overall pick.
"First as a person, I think he's a great person. He's a humble kid," said offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, who also works with the O-line. "Obviously, he's a smart kid. This is a kid that played 48 games at (North) Carolina."
Cooper started those 48 games at left guard. He also made a single start at center his sophomore year.
"Athletically, I think he's probably one of the best guards that was in the draft," Goodwin said. "He can pull. He can get out in space and make blocks out in the alley and screens and stuff like that; and run blocking wise, he has power. I think he did 35 reps at the combine on the bench press."
The Cardinals have raved about Cooper's athleticism since last Thursday, when they made him the highest guard drafted since 1975.
"Some guys can get out there and pull, but they can't change direction at the last minute when the defender moves. He's able to do that," said Goodwin, a former offensive lineman at Michigan. "I think he can stick his foot in the ground and change direction and make those blocks out on the perimeter.
"The upside is there. He's a two-spot player. He can play center. He can play guard."
The question though has never been if Cooper was going to play, but where is he going to play.
Again, he spent his time in college on the left side, which is where Daryn Colledge started all 16 games last season. Colledge, according to pro-football-reference.com, has played his entire seven-year NFL career at left guard.
So, then might the Cardinals look to slot Cooper at right guard, filling Snyder's former position?
"I don't think it's that hard," Goodwin said of switching from left guard to right guard. "I don't think it's that hard at all. We just have to change (Cooper's) stance. He will be fine.
"When you're picked that high, you're picked that high for a reason," Goodwin continued. "It's going to have to play itself out. Eventually he'll land in some spot. That spot, I couldn't tell you what it is right now."
Craig Grialou, Reporter
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