2015 NFL Draft: Browns select DT Xavier Cooper with No. 96 pick
By Paul Noel
The Cleveland Browns have completed a trade with the New England Patriots, to move back into the third round of the draft and they selected defensive tackle Xavier Cooper with the No. 96 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-3, 293-pound Cooper is a player born to play in the AFC North Division.
According to his draft profile at NFL.com, “(Cooper’s) Quick, lateral footwork for plus penetration. Active hands create separation from blockers against the run and help him gain advantage as pass rusher. Rarely gives offensive linemen a static target to strike and it’s hard to land a solid, sustained punch on him. Times snap well and fires off the ball. Has ability to sync quickness of hands and feet for early wins along the line of scrimmage. Can transition fluidly from playing the run to rushing passer against play-action. Played defensive tackle and defensive end.”
Just wait there’s more.
According to CBSSports.com, Cooper “Naturally large man with broad shoulders and thick limbs. He shows good initial quickness off the snap to penetrate. Surprising acceleration and balance for a man of his size. Passionate player who frequently pursues laterally and downfield – attributes which will intrigue teams looking for a five-tech defensive end or as a penetrating defensive tackle. He showed improved strength in 2014, including good initial pop to stun and shed would-be blockers and make plays at the line of scrimmage.”
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Cooper was a bit of a square peg in a round hole in the 3-4 scheme that Washington State employed in 2014. He possesses impressive overall athleticism for a man of his size, which could make him especially valued by traditional 4-3 clubs looking for an interior rusher. While scouts might have preferred that he return for his final season to get stronger, Cooper’s blend of length and athleticism is intriguing enough to warrant top 75 consideration. Cooper shows good initial quickness off the snap to penetrate. He possess surprising acceleration and balance for a man of his size. Passionate player who frequently pursues laterally and down-field – attributes which will intrigue teams looking for a five-tech defensive end or as a penetrating defensive tackle. Cooper fits the mold of a player that played both inside and outside in college and could be converted to a 3-4 defensive end/ outside linebacker. He has the size and speed, as well as the wheel to get to the quarterback, running an impressive 4.37 20 yard shuttle. The 20-yard shuttle gives you a great idea of how they accelerate in a short distance, which on the line and coming around the edge is relatively short yardage. Cooper also showed off his strength at the NFL scouting combine while putting up an impressive 29 reps on the bench press of 225 pounds. Cooper is an ideal player to pair with Danny Shelton and Phil Taylor in the middle of the Browns defensive interior. Also I would like to point out I predicted this trade (Only Bold prediction I got right), but regardless I am thrilled the Browns landed him.
The Browns will be back on the clock with their fourth round pick at No. 115.
What do you think of the selection of Xavier Cooper?