The Arizona Cardinals had an important choice to make in the 2013 NFL Draft Thursday, and the team decided to upgrade its offensive line by selecting North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper with the seventh overall pick.
But taking a chance on the Tar Heel wasn’t an easy decision for the Cardinals.
According to ESPN college football analyst Mark May, the selection came down to picking between Cooper and Alabama offensive guard Chance Warmack.
“It was going to be one of those two players, so there wasn’t a lot of pressure in making a pick as much as there was in making the decision between whom you like more,” May told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo.
May said at the end of the day, Cooper had more to offer in terms of satisfying Arizona’s specific needs.
“I think Cooper is a little more athletic; Warmack is more of a road grinder,” he said. “Cooper can get out in space and make things happen when you’re in a hurry on quick screens; he’s the type of athlete that can do it.
“He’s a very mature guy, stayed four years and a very smart guy; he was on the dean’s list. So this was almost a can’t-miss, safe pick for the Arizona Cardinals. It’s a need filler, it’s something they need to fill and they got their player.”
No matter which of the guards the Redbirds ultimately went with, the team could not have gone wrong, the analyst said.
“I thought either or could come in and start for this football team and do extremely well as long as they stayed healthy,” May said. “I’d love to have both of them on my team.”