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Jonathan Cooper impresses at North Carolina Pro Day

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock raised a few eyebrows when he called Alabama guard Chance Warmack the best draft prospect he has seen on film this year.

The hype that Warmack is the best college guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson came out of Michigan has overshadowed another potential early first-round prospect in North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper.

NFL.com's Bucky Brooks noted on Tuesday's "Path to the Draft" that Cooper exceeded all expectations at North Carolina Pro Day while turning in the best workout he has seen from a guard in a long time.

Brooks' evaluation meshes with that of NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell, who called Cooper the most athletic guard he has seen since he began studying college tape carefully less than a decade ago.

"Plus I love his playing personality," Cosell added last month on Yahoo's "Shutdown Corner Podcast." "He was tenacious, he was competitive, he initiated contact, he went after people, he had really light feet."

Debating the two guards on "Path to the Draft," NFL.com's Charles Davis and Daniel Jeremiah favored Cooper, while former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum went for Warmack.

The takeaway, as I see it, isn't if Cooper has a more promising NFL future than Warmack. It's that both players are better prospects than top guards of recent years, including Stanford's David DeCastro, who was billed as a special talent last April.

"If either of those players is on the board at 10," Mayock said last month, "I'd jump all over them."

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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