After hearing from coach Bruce Arians at the NFL owners meeting Wednesday, though, it's clear that the Cardinals firmly believe Cooper will eventually develop into a solid starter after serious injuries ruined his first three years in the NFL.
"He's still the athlete that we drafted," Arians said, via the Patriots' official website. "He was in a spread zone scheme (in college). And it was so much to learn as a young offensive lineman in the NFL. Putting the weight back on was one. Strength issues. Then the bad luck of one leg injury after another, but I still think he's going to be one heck of a player."
Arizona general manager Steve Keim finally started seeing Cooper's lateral quickness, speed and range return toward the end of the 2014 season.
For as much as Cooper's athleticism has been praised, coach Bill Belichick touted Mason as one of the most athletic offensive linemen he has seen in five decades as an NFL coach.