With every new job comes new expectations.
But few step into their first career out of college being compared to two of the greatest in their profession.
Welcome to Jonathan Cooper’s world.
The massive yet nimble former University of North Carolina All-American guard has been to compared to Hall of Famers Larry Allen and former Arizona State standout Randall McDaniel.
Through it all he’s simply trying to stay focused on the task at hand.
“Honestly, it makes me a little nervous,” Cooper told the assembled media at the Cards Tempe headquarters Friday afternoon. “It’s high expectations and kind of a little bit of pressure, but also put a lot of pressure on myself, and it makes me want to work immediately. It’s now time for me to prove to myself that I’ve earned that and I deserve that high praise.”
High praise is something the Cardinals have received after selecting the 6’2, 315-pounder with the seventh overall selection. Arizona was excited Cooper was still on the board after a run of offensive linemen were taken in the top five, including the first three.
“Not only do we feel Jonathan Cooper is a complete football player, we think he’s a complete person,” general manager Steve Keim explained. “He is a talented young man. He is extremely sharp.”
The Red Birds were also attracted to his versatility. Cooper’s nimble enough to pull on sweeps, as well as strong in pass protection. He could slide into multiple positions along the front line.
“I think it’s very important to play multiple positions and excel doing that,” Cooper said. “I feel like it will help me wherever I begin at. Also, if there’s a need on the team that needs to be filled, then I could also pick up that slack and do that role as well.”