Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina Tar Heels stands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) as they hold up a jersey on stage after Cooper was picked #7 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Photographer: Getty Images
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With the seventh overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft , the Arizona Cardinals select offensive guard Jonathan Cooper out of North Carolina.
And with that, the Arizona Cardinals strengthened their offensive line. At 6’2” and 311 pounds, Cooper is considered the best offensive guard in this year’s draft. He was the first guard taken in 2013 and the fourth offensive lineman in the top seven selections.
With the selection, Cooper also becomes the first guard taken in the top eight of the NFL Draft since 1982. He’s also the highest guard drafted since 1975.
The selection marks just the second time in team history that the Cardinals selected an offensive guard in the first round. The only other guard taken in the first round was Notre Dame’s Bill Fischer, taken with the tenth pick in 1949.
As a senior at North Carolina, Cooper became the first Tar Heel player to earn consensus first team All-America honors since Julius Peppers in 2001. He is the sixth guard in school history to earn first team All-America honors and first since 1989.
Jonathan Cooper is the first North Carolina player to ever be selected as a finalist for the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top offensive lineman.
During his career at North Carolina, Cooper also established a school record with 48 starts.
Here’s a short list of some of the accolades Cooper received at North Carolina:
• 2012 Consensus All-America Selection - Walter Camp, FWAA, AFCA, AP, ESPN.com, SI, Phil Steele, NBC.com, CBSsports.com
• 2012 Jacobs Blocking Trophy Winner (Top offensive lineman in ACC)
• Outland Trophy Finalist (Nation’s Top Interior Lineman)
• Bobby Bowden Student-Athlete of the Year candidate
• 2012 First-Team All-ACC (ACSMA, Coaches)
• 2010 & 2011 Second-Team All-ACC (ACSMA)
• 2013 ACC Postgraduate Honorary Scholarship Recipient
NOTE: Cooper trained for the NFL Draft at Athletes Performance Institute in Phoenix. As a boy, he was too big to play Pop Warner, so had to wait until seventh grade to start playing football. Because of his size, he acted as the water boy for his brothers Pop Warner team.
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