With the top three tackles selected in the first four picks of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cardinals addressed their need for an offensive lineman by taking North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper with the seventh pick overall in the first round.
It’s interesting that first-year GM Steve Keim and new head coach Bruce Arians went for Cooper over Alabama’s Chance Warmack, who was generally considered the best interior offensive lineman in this draft class.
The selection of Cooper by the Seahawks’ NFC West rival plays into the trade the Cardinals made to acquire quarterback Carson Palmer from the Raiders. They had Palmer, but needed players to protect him – especially playing in a division that features some of the best pass-rusher in the league.
The first six picks featured three offensive tackles – Eric Fisher to the Chiefs at No. 1, Luke Joeckel to the Jaguars at No. 2 and Lane Johnson to the Eagles at No. 4; and three pass-rushing defensive ends – Dion to the Dolphins, who traded into the No. 3 spot with the Raiders, Ziggy Ansah to the Lions at No. 5 and Barkevious Mingo to the Browns at No. 6.