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Remembering Jonathan Cooper And The Lack Of Draft Guarantees

Stanton recalls how guard was dominating before rookie broke his leg

The discussion had turned to the draft on Wednesday's Big Red Rage when the importance of hitting on a high pick came up. It wasn't a next-level thought, but it does underscore the variables involved.

Former Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton came up with a tangible example of such.

"Jonathan Cooper, I can tell you, was an amazing, amazing prospect coming out," Stanton said. "Unfortunately one injury, because he's so athletic and 10 yards downfield, puts himself in a position where he snaps his leg and is never the same player again."

Cooper has been an afterthought for most Cardinals fans. He in the end was best known for being the player traded (with a second-round pick) for Chandler Jones, and for that alone he was valuable to the franchise. But it was that preseason broken leg Cooper's rookie season that changed what he could've been. I chatted with Stanton a bit off the air after the show and brought it up and he reiterated Cooper had been dominating his rookie training camp. 

Again, this is water under the bridge, a pick more than a decade ago that didn't work out. But, kind of like Andre Wadsworth once upon a time (a No. 3 overall selection), it serves as a reminder a high pick isn't always about boom or bust but instead also a third category of what might have been. 

As Stanton pointed out, you want a pick that high to be a lock. But no matter who it is, that guarantee is impossible.