Jonathan Cooper
refer to caption
Cooper with the Arizona Cardinals in 2014
No. 61, 64, 72
Personal information
Born: (1990-01-19) January 19, 1990 (age 34)
Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:308 lb (140 kg)
Career information
High school:John T. Hoggard
(Wilmington, North Carolina)
College:North Carolina (2008–2012)
NFL draft:2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:46
Games started:31
Player stats at PFR

Jonathan Javell Cooper[1] (born January 19, 1990) is an American former professional football player who was a guard in the National Football League (NFL). He was selected by the Arizona Cardinals seventh overall in the 2013 NFL draft. He played college football for the North Carolina Tar Heels, where he earned All-American honors. He also spent time with the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, and Oakland Raiders.

Early life

Cooper was born on January 19, 1990.[1] A native of Wilmington, North Carolina, he attended John T. Hoggard High School in Wilmington, where he played football and competed in wrestling and track. He played football as a guard, but also saw time at defensive end.

In his senior year, he paved the way for three players who rushed for 600 yards or more, while Hoggard won the state 4-A championship with a 16–0 record. Cooper was voted the conference's player of the year as an offensive lineman.

In addition to football, he was a standout heavyweight wrestler. He also competed in the shot put on the track & field team, recording a top-throw of 14.58 meters (47 ft 2 in) at the 2008 NCHSAA 4A East Regional, where he placed 3rd.[2]

Regarded as a three-star recruit by, Cooper was listed as the No. 21 offensive guard prospect in his class.[3]

College career

Cooper accepted a football scholarship from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a redshirt freshman, he started 10 games at left guard and saw action on 579 snaps. He sat out the Connecticut, Georgia Tech and Virginia games due to an ankle injury. Still, Cooper recorded a team-best 40 knock-down blocks on the season and owned a 73-percent grade. He was named to the All-ACC freshman team by The Sporting News.[4]

As a sophomore, Cooper started all 13 games in the regular season and played a team-high 875 snaps. For the second straight year, he led the Tar Heels in knock-down blocks with 55 on the year. Cooper graded out at 83 percent for the season, tied with James Hurst for the best mark on the team. Against William & Mary, he played all 71 snaps and graded out at a season-best 92 percent with seven knock-downs. Cooper earned second-team All-ACC honors at offensive guard.[5]

As a junior, Cooper started all 13 games at left guard. He saw action on 864 plays and graded out at 86 percent for the season, good for second on the team. He earned second-team All-ACC honors, and along with left tackle James Hurst, was part of the first Carolina offensive line tandem to earn All-ACC honors since 1993.[6]

As a senior, he started all 12 games and paved the way for the ACC's leading rusher Giovani Bernard. He was a consensus All-American selection and received the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the best offensive lineman in the ACC. He finished his college career with a school record 48 starts.

Professional career


Cooper was widely considered one of the top guard prospects in the 2013 NFL draft, along with Chance Warmack. After the NFL Combine, Sports Illustrated projected him as the No. 10 overall selection.[7] North Carolina had not seen one of their offensive lineman taken in the first round since tackle Harris Barton was selected in the first round with the 22nd overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 1987.

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 2+18 in
(1.88 m)
311 lb
(141 kg)
33 in
(0.84 m)
10+14 in
(0.26 m)
5.07 s 1.83 s 2.91 s 4.84 s 7.78 s 27 in
(0.69 m)
9 ft 0 in
(2.74 m)
35 reps
All values from NFL Combine[8][9]

Arizona Cardinals

Cooper was selected in the first round with the seventh overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL draft.[10] He was the highest selected offensive guard since Jim Dombrowski in the 1986 NFL draft. On July 28, 2013, Cooper was signed to a four-year, $14.55 million contract.[11] He was given the starting left guard position in OTAs. On August 24, in the third preseason game against the San Diego Chargers, Cooper broke his left fibula. On August 30, the Cardinals placed him on the injured reserve list. It has been speculated that he was never the same player following this injury.[12]

In 2014, he was named the starter at left guard even though he was slow to recover from his previous injury and battled through a turf toe and knee injury in training camp. The injuries forced the Cardinals to name Ted Larsen as the starter at left guard to begin the season. In week 14 against the Kansas City Chiefs, an ankle injury to left guard Paul Fanaika opened the door for Cooper to have his first career start. He injured his left wrist in the next contest against the St. Louis Rams. He was declared inactive in the last 2 regular season games and the playoffs.

In 2015, he was moved to the right guard starting position after the team signed All-Pro Mike Iupati, but he suffered a knee injury against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10. He was declared inactive in 2 games because of the injury and returned as a backup behind Larsen for the rest of the season. The Cardinals were planning to move Cooper to center during the 2016 offseason.[13]

New England Patriots

On March 15, 2016, Cooper and a second-round draft pick (#61-Vonn Bell) were traded to the New England Patriots in exchange for defensive end Chandler Jones.[14] Cooper was working as a starter at right guard into the third day of training camp, when he suffered a right foot injury that sidelined him, causing him to be passed on the depth chart at guard by Shaq Mason and rookie Ted Karras. He was declared inactive for the first four games of the season until being released on October 8.[15]

Cleveland Browns

On October 10, 2016, Cooper was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns.[16] He was declared inactive in 5 games, until being named the starter at right guard against the Cincinnati Bengals in week 14. He started three of the five games he played.

On December 27, Cooper was waived to make room for guard Alvin Bailey, who was being activated from a two-game suspension.[17]

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line vs Redskins 2017

On January 4, 2017, Cooper was signed by the Dallas Cowboys to provide depth on the offensive line for the playoffs and to evaluate his performance closely, as the Cowboys had been interested in Cooper since the 2013 NFL draft.[18][19]

On March 14, 2017, Cooper signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys to compete for the vacant left guard job after Ronald Leary departed in free agency, with La'el Collins additionally moving to right tackle.[20] He also was tried at center during Organized Team Activities. He was declared inactive for the first three games. He was named the starter at left guard in the fourth game against the Los Angeles Rams in place of an injured Chaz Green, helping to stabilize the offensive line the rest of the season. He started a career-high 13 games, but suffered a sprained left medial collateral ligament in the season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles.

San Francisco 49ers

On March 20, 2018, Cooper signed with the San Francisco 49ers on a one-year deal.[21] In training camp, he was limited with his surgically repaired left knee, while competing for the right offensive guard starting position. He was passed on the depth chart by Mike Person and Joshua Garnett.[22] He was released on September 1.[23]

Washington Redskins

On November 5, 2018, he was signed by the Washington Redskins, following season ending injuries to starting offensive linemen Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao.[24] He made his first start as a Redskin on November 11, 2018, playing left guard against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In a game against the Philadelphia Eagles on December 3, Cooper tore his bicep muscle, ending his season.[25] He was placed on the injured reserve list on December 4.[26]

Oakland Raiders

On July 15, 2019, Cooper signed with the Oakland Raiders.[27] He was declared inactive in the first 2 games of the season. He was released on September 17.[28]


  1. ^ a b "Jonathan Cooper Biography". University of North Carolina Tar Heels Official Athletic Site. Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2023.
  2. ^ "NCHSAA 4A East Regional". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  3. ^ "2008 Jonathan Cooper Prospect Ranking". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  4. ^ "Conner Vernon named to TSN Freshman All American Team". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  5. ^ "2010 All-ACC Football Teams Announced". Archived from the original on January 25, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  6. ^ "Virginia Tech and Clemson Dominate All-ACC Football Teams". Archived from the original on December 9, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  7. ^ Banks, Don (February 27, 2013). "2013 NFL Mock Draft 2.0".
  8. ^ "Jonathan Cooper NFL Draft Profile". 2013.
  9. ^ "Jonathan Cooper Combine and Pro Day Results". 2013.
  10. ^ "2013 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved May 14, 2023.
  11. ^ "Cards, Jonathan Cooper agreen". July 29, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  12. ^ "After string of injuries with Cards, Pats' Jonathan Cooper goes down". March 15, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  13. ^ "Cardinals running out of positions, time for Jonathan Cooper". March 15, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  14. ^ Sessler, Marc (March 15, 2016). "Patriots trade Chandler Jones to Cardinals". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  15. ^ "QB Tom Brady and DL Rob Ninkovich activated to the 53-man roster; Sign DL Woodrow Hamilton to the 53-man roster from the practice squad; Release G Jonathan Cooper". October 8, 2016. Archived from the original on August 21, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  16. ^ "Browns awarded OL Jonathan Cooper via waivers". October 10, 2016. Archived from the original on November 16, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  17. ^ "Browns waive OL Jonathan Cooper". December 27, 2016. Archived from the original on December 29, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  18. ^ Phillips, Rob (January 4, 2017). "Cowboys Sign Jonathan Cooper For O-Line Depth; Waive Guard Seymour". Archived from the original on February 6, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  19. ^ Archer, Todd (March 15, 2017). "Cowboys Cowboys hope to follow familiar path with Jonathan Cooper". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  20. ^ Alper, Josh (March 14, 2017). "Cowboys hold onto Jonathan Cooper". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  21. ^ "49ers Sign G Jonathan Cooper". March 20, 2018. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  22. ^ "49ers 'final' cuts: Jonathan Cooper, Jeremiah Attaochu cast aside". The Mercury News. September 1, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  23. ^ "49ers Cut 21 Players, Get Roster Down to 53". September 1, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  24. ^ Shook, Nick (November 5, 2018). "Roundup: Scherff, Lauvao, Richardson out for year". Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  25. ^ Bouda, Nate (December 3, 2018). "Redskins G Jonathan Cooper Out For Season With Torn Bicep". Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  26. ^ "Redskins Sign Josh Johnson, Three Others; Place Quinton Dunbar, Trey Quinn And Jonathan Cooper On Injured Reserve". December 5, 2018.
  27. ^ "Raiders sign guard Jonathan Cooper". July 15, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  28. ^ "Raiders release Jonathan Cooper". September 17, 2019. Retrieved August 15, 2020.