Analyzing Xavier Cooper from Steelers' view

THE PRO FOOTBALL outlook for Washington State defensive lineman Xaiver Cooper will become clearer after the upcoming NFL Combine, but at least one analyst thinks he has a pretty good sense of the impression coaches and scouts will come away with.

Chris Nicolaou of SteelersDepot.com is out with his anaylsis of Cooper's pros and cons, complete with game-tape breakdown.

"Cooper has the explosive first step and the lateral movement that should open some eyes. He gets in the backfield quickly but tends to leave some plays on the field," he writes. CLICK HERE for the full story.

In addition to the explosive first step, Nicolaou lists 10 other Cooper strengths, including violent hand use, endless motor, and versatility. He lists six cons, including trouble finishing tackles and an occasionally rising pad level.

Cooper is widely forecast as a fourth- to seventh-round pick in April's NFL draft.

He elected to bypass his fifth and final year of eligibility at WSU in order to make himself available for the draft.

Cooper will be one of three Cougars in Indianapolis for the Feb. 19-23 NFL Combine, which features 300 of the top pro prospects in the nation working out for and interviewing with NFL coaches, scouts and general managers. Receiver Vince Mayle and quarterback Connor Halliday also will be on hand, though Halliday isn't expected to take part in drills as he's still rehabbing the broken leg he sustained late this past season.

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