Cougs Cooper, Mayle making the NFL rounds

COUGAR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN Xavier Cooper was reportedly in New Orleans this week visiting with the Saints, prompting Barry Hirstius of BigEasyBeliever.com to opine that while the Saints are assumed to be eyeing edge rushers in the upcoming NFL Draft "the interior disruption that Cooper can make would potentially provide an even greater impact."

Meanwhile, in the Big D, the Dallas Morning News recently pegged Cooper as a perfect fit for what Cowboys defense coordinator Rod Marinelli likes in his linemen.

"When we discuss what sort of defensive lineman fits the profile for Rod Marinelli, maybe we don’t spell out enough of the attributes," writes Bob Sturm of the Morning News. "So, here is a brief thumbnail description of that player: Can move – needs solid times for his size group, high motor – never stop moving until the whistle, can win with his arms and quickness, and can penetrate – looking for guys who can get in the backfield. He is looking for a pack of players who can rotate and offer versatility in where you line them up, and can wear down an offensive line with relentless battle and strength in numbers.

"So, when you see a guy who checks all of the boxes, you know him when you see him from his college tape. Xavier Cooper looks like that guy to me. He runs as fast as any interior linemen in the draft, both in the 40, 10, or the cone drills. He played on a Washington State team that was often having a rough day, but he was winning his battles with consistency. I looked at his games against Utah, Oregon, and Stanford to see what this guy is all about."

Sturm said he likes Cooper's relentless motor, explosion off the snap, slip moves and awareness. On the flip side, he says Cooper has a short wingspan.

"There are quite a few defensive tackles that can help the Cowboys this spring in the crop, but the difference makers are all going to be snapped up pretty quickly. This one, though, is one of my favorites and fits the Cowboys style perfectly. I would be quite pleased to see this lightning-quick big guy end up in the fold on draft weekend," Sturm said. To read his entire story, CLICK HERE.

Cooper is widely projected to be a late-second-round or third-round pick in the NFL Draft, which runs from April 30-May 2. Rob Rang of CBSsports.com last week said Cooper could be a nice pick up for the Seattle Seahawks with the No. 63 overall pick.

ANOTHER COUGAR WHO LOOKS TO have his named called during the draft -- receiver Vince Mayle -- was reportedly in New York this week visiting the Giants.

In a story yesterday on Grantland.com headlined "NFL Draft Alternates: Six Cases When Picking Production Over Promise Will Make Sense This Year," writer Matt Hinton makes the case for Mayle over Dorial Green-Beckham.

"... Mayle quietly turned in a five-star campaign in the obscurity of the Pacific Northwest (in 2014), setting Washington State records for receptions (106) and receiving yards (1,483) in a season," Hinton notes. "Like Green-Beckham, Mayle boasts far more raw talent than polish: He never played organized football before picking up the sport in junior college, when his basketball career ran out of steam. Unlike DGB, though, Mayle has shown steady, quantifiable progress toward turning that potential into real production." CLICK HERE for the full story.

Mayle has been projected as a 5th-6th round pick.

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