2021 NFL Draft: Ohio State DE Jonathon Cooper Selected No. 239 By The Denver Broncos

By May 1, 2021 (6:03 pm)Football
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Ohio State defensive end Jonathon Cooper became the 10th Buckeye selected when he was taken in the seventh round, No. 239 overall by the Denver Broncos.

Heading into the 2019 season, it seemed that Cooper was destined to be off to the NFL level by the end of the year. But Cooper elected to take a redshirt that year and return for the 2020 campaign, coming into this most recent season with 51 tackles and 6 1/2 sacks.

In his fifth-year senior season, Cooper tallied 24 tackles, a team-high 3 1/2 sacks, a forced fumble and a pass breakup in eight games played.

In his annual draft guide, Dane Brugler of The Athletic highlighted Cooper’s leadership qualities, while saying that his energy is what makes him a solid prospect over his technique.

A two-year starter at Ohio State, Cooper lined up at left and right defensive end in defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs’ four-man front. After his 2019 season was disrupted by an ankle injury, he bet on himself by redshirting and returning in 2020, earning the “Block O” jersey for his leadership and boosting his NFL profile with his play on the field. Cooper goes full speed on every play and flashes the pop in his hands to convert his speed to power as a downhill rusher. While he plays alert and urgent, he is average athletically and plays with too much wasted motion, which will be tougher to mask vs. NFL-level blockers. Overall, Cooper rushes more with energy than sequence or skill, but his relentless, hard-charging style and uplifting locker room presence give him a fighting chance in the NFL. He projects as a rotational rusher.

Via Dane Brugler of The Athletic