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ESPN: Cardinals guard Cooper to be top-10 lineman in 2016

The Arizona Cardinals believe guard Jonathan Cooper, whom they selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, will be a mainstay on their offensive line for years to come.

Considered to be “NFL ready,” Cooper is expected to start for the team in his first season.

And by his fourth season, which will be 2016,’s Gary Horton believes Cooper will be one of the 10-best linemen in the NFL.

In an ESPN Insider piece titled “Top 10 O-linemen for 2016,” the former North Carolina Tar Heel comes in 10th.

The more you watch this guy on film, the better you like him. He is one of the best young “space” players in the NFL. His athletic ability and range are terrific for an interior lineman. He can pull and get around the edge. He can get to the second level inside and block safeties and linebackers. He has natural bend and leverage skills. Although he hasn’t had a lot of experience at making line calls, he easily could slide to center. He can fit well in a zone blocking scheme. This guy really has a high ceiling.

Cooper is one of three guards on the list, and he joins fellow ’13 draftees Eric Fisher (2) and Lane Johnson (4) and Luke Joeckel (5) on the list.