Ole Miss offensive tackle Fahn Cooper took a roundabout route to Oxford, but it paid off for the Rebels and it could pay off for Cooper in next week’s NFL draft.
Cooper, who is from the northwest Chicago suburbs, was a lightly recruited high school prospect who signed with Bowling Green. After redshirting as a true freshman in 2011, he started all 13 games at left tackle for the Falcons in 2012. He had higher aspirations than MAC football, so he moved on to the College of DuPage, a junior college in the Chicago area. He signed with Ole Miss in 2014 and started all 26 games of his Rebels career – 17 at right tackle and nine at left tackle, including seven starts last season when Laremy Tunsil was suspended.
Gridironnow's Amanda Borges looks at the pros and cons of Cooper as an NFL prospect.
Cooper (6 feet 4, 303 pounds) is a "try hard" guy who squeezes everything he can out of what he has. He is a good run blocker in tight quarters, and if he gets locked on a defender, he has the strength to steer him. He is physical and aggressive, and was considered a team leader with the Rebels. He performed admirably when Tunsil was suspended in 2015, turning what could have been a big negative for the team into a positive.
Cooper isn't overly athletic and that hurts him as a pass blocker, even as a right tackle. He struggles blocking in space and needs technique work. Edge rushers give him trouble, and he has issues with balance when trying to deal with them.
While there are flaws, Cooper is a draftable lineman; given his work as a run blocker, a potential move to guard could be in the offing. He is a third-day prospect whose work at left tackle last season for a powerful offense gained him some cachet among analysts.
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