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Arizona Cardinals

Updated May 7, 2014 - 11:17 am

A look back: The Arizona Cardinals' 2013 draft class


Steve Keim

"We truly feel like this guy could be a 10 to 12-year pro and…a Pro Bowl-caliber talent. He has a unique skill set, maybe one of the more athletic offensive linemen I've done in the 15 years I've been in the business. He has tremendous feet, bend, athleticism, space skills, and the ability to pull and play on the perimeter. When we had an opportunity to talk to him in Indianapolis in our interview, you could tell that he was extremely articulate. Education was a major key, and his background, when I went and talked to several of the staff members at North Carolina, they made it clear that this guy was a once in a lifetime type of student-athlete. Doing our homework, everything that we saw on this player really showed us that he was our kind of guy."

Bill Polian, ESPN Commentary

"Jonathan Cooper is an outstanding football player. He's about as athletic a guard as we've seen come into this league in years. He can do everything you want him to do. He can pass protect. He can anchor. He can drive block. He can pull. He can counter pull. He's got everything you want athletically and from a football temperament standpoint, and once more, I think in time he will move over to center and become the leader of your offensive line, because he has that kind of football IQ and temperament. This was a home run pick for the Arizona Cardinals."

2013: Missed his entire rookie season after he was placed on injured reserve on Aug. 30 with a broken leg suffered in a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers

2014: Expected to immediately step in and start at left guard, as he was penciled in to do a year ago; he fills the position vacated by the release of Daryn Colledge

Round 2, Pick 45 - KEVIN MINTER, ILB, LSU

Steve Keim

"Starting with his instincts, he is not the longest athlete, but he is a squatty, explosive player that, on impact, he has some natural explosiveness in his hips. He reminded me a little bit as a player of Curtis Lofton when he came out of Oklahoma, not only from the size and movements standpoint. He is a talented guy. 130 tackles in the SEC I think says a lot about his production, his nose for the football. Bruce (Arians) and I have talked about this quite a bit, when he strikes, you go backwards. He is a physical downhill player and has much better range than most people give him credit for."

Jason Cole, Yahoo!

"He's a very good player who will likely start from Day 1."

2013: Played in 13 games primarily on special teams and recorded four special teams tackles

2014: Expected to compete at the inside linebacker spot next to Daryl Washington, especially given the departure of Karlos Dansby; could see an even greater role should Washington be suspended for any length of time after he pleaded guilty to charges he assaulted his ex-girlfriend last year

Round 3, Pick 69 - TYRANN MATHIEU, S, LSU

Steve Keim

"He was a player that we have done our due diligence on. Our scouts have gone to the campus at LSU and probably have talked to every staff member that has come into contact with Tyrann in his time there. We spent time with Tyrann himself. We flew him into Phoenix and we had dinner with him. We spent time with him and Patrick (Peterson) together. At the end of the day, there is always an element of risk to any of these picks, but with the structure that we have in place and the agreement with not only Tyrann and his representative, that we are going to take the necessary measures to make sure that he walks the straight and narrow. We felt comfortable with the risk that is involved."

Alex Marvez,

"When it comes to Mathieu, they are hoping: A) He can convert to safety after playing cornerback at LSU; B) The presence of close friend Patrick Peterson can help keep him away from the off-field trouble that has plagued him."

2013: Played in 13 games with 11 starts before suffering a season-ending knee injury; named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for October after he totaled 21 tackles, 2 TFL, a sack, an INT and five passes defensed

2014: Not expected to be ready by the start of training camp, though don't tell him that. When healthy, he'll start at safety alongside Rashad Johnson and can also line up in the nickel corner position against slot receivers

Round 4, Pick 103 - ALEX OKAFOR, OLB, TEXAS

Steve Keim

"He is a talented edge rusher. A guy that was very productive there with 12.5 sacks his senior year. I think most of you saw probably some of the highlights, 4.5 of those came against Oregon State in the bowl game. Okafor, as some would probably see, has some similarities to Sam Acho coming out. A little different style player, Okafor is a little bigger. He's almost 6-5, 260 pounds. He's long. He's got good athleticism. He does have a natural knack for rushing the passer."

Pete Prisco,

"Texas defensive end Alex Okafor was once considered a potential first-round pick. He had some big games as a pass rusher, so to get him in the fourth round is great value."

2013: Played in one game and had one special teams tackle before suffering a season-ending biceps injury

2014: Depending on health, he'll provide much-needed depth at outside linebacker, a position that took its share of hits last season with the injuries to Sam Acho and Lorenzo Alexander. Plus, current starter John Abraham is not getting any younger


Steve Keim

"We brought him into Phoenix (for a visit). We spent quite a bit of time with him. He is a tremendous athlete. He is a small school guy who has played against some of the top competition, his junior year versus North Carolina, his senior year versus Virginia Tech, and he played extremely well. He is a guy that reminds me a little bit of Reggie Wells when he came out of Clarion, except at the same stage, I think this guy has a little more natural power and explosiveness through his hips."

Rob Rang,

"Much of the pre-draft focus nationally was on Arizona's tackles, but the interior was the scarier spot for the Cardinals, assuming left tackle Levi Brown returns to health. Jonathan Cooper's athleticism and versatility makes him a safe, solid pick, as was fellow guard Earl Watford three rounds later."

2013: Active for three games during the season but did not see action

2014: Expected to compete with Paul Fanaika to be the starter at right guard and provide depth at both guard spots on the offensive line


Steve Keim

"Extremely productive running back at Stanford University; three consecutive years with over 1,000 rushing yards. Not a burner with tremendous top-end speed, but a guy that runs with balance, strength and fits Bruce's offense very well with his ability to protect in pass protection situations."

Vinnie Iyer,

"Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor can be a short-term feature option with Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams trying to shake off injuries."

2013: Played in all 16 games and totaled 115 yards on 36 carries and had eight receptions for 71 yards. Also had two special teams tackles

2014: Expected to see his playing time increase given the retirement of Rashard Mendenhall; continue to contribute on special teams

Round 6, Pick 174 - RYAN SWOPE, WR, TEXAS A&M

Steve Keim

"A guy that B.A. and I have had our eyes on for quite some time. We were extremely excited that he started to slide. He is a guy that not only can stretch the field vertically, but has some underneath quickness. He kind of reminds me of Brandon Stokley a little bit, someone you're probably familiar with when he came out of a small school in Louisiana. He's had a nice NFL career. He's a reliable pass-catcher. He had I believe over 1,000 yards his junior year and this past year he had 900-plus receiving yards. He does a nice job working the middle, can play slot, can play the outside, and will also be able to help us on special teams."

Vinnie Iyer,

"Texas A&M quick slot receiver Ryan Swope is a good late-round flyer."

2013: Placed on the reserve/retired list (concussions) the day before the start of training camp

2014: Married, working commercial real estate in Dallas


Steve Keim

"I feel like we got great value at this pick. Both Bruce and I had talked, and obviously after taking Stepfan Taylor, we did not anticipate taking a back at this time, but sticking to our board and staying true to it, we wanted to take the best player available. The fact that most likely we are going to keep four backs on our roster, we feel that Andre is a guy that can bring a different style to the table. He is obviously different; his run style, his elusiveness, his play speed and athleticism, is different from the other top three backs on our roster. We feel very good about Andre moving forward."

Pete Prisco,

"I love the choice of Andre Ellington in the sixth round. He has speed. He is elusive and he's an air back."

2013: Played in 15 games with one start, totaling 1,023 scrimmage yards (652 rushing, 371 receiving), becoming the 5th rookie in team history to surpass 1,000 yards from scrimmage in a season; his 5.53-yard rushing average led all NFL players with a minimum of 100 rushing attempts

2014: Expected to be the featured running back given his success a year ago and the retirement of Rashard Mendenhall; will also see significant time lining up as a wide receiver

Round 7, Pick 219 - D.C. JEFFERSON, TE, RUTGERS

Steve Keim

"He's an interesting guy, went to Rutgers as a quarterback. One of the most highly sought-after quarterbacks in the country, I believe it came down to LSU and Rutgers coming out. He chose Rutgers and decided to stay close to home. Big frame, started to add some weight and ended up being moved to tight end. This is a guy who has a lot of untapped potential. He has really not started to scratch the surface yet but he has tremendous size, strength, and athleticism. He has a great catching radius, great range, and we really think he can play on the line of scrimmage and help us create a little bit of a running game with his size and strength at the point of attack."

2013: Played in four game and was inactive for four other games before he was released on Nov. 4 after team signed TE Jake Ballard

2014: Signed as a free agent by Carolina Panthers

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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