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Stephen Cooper

OLB | (6-1, 235, 4.7) | Maine
By Pro Football Weekly

Notes: Redshirted in 1998 and has started the past four years. Leading tackler in 2000 and All-Atlantic 10 and co-conference Defensive Player of the Year in '01. Had 74 tackles, 10 for loss, five sacks, six passes broken up and two picks in 1999; 84-10-51-2-0 in 2000; and 95-18-5-2-2 in '01. Pleaded guilty to steroid possession in December '02 but was named the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. Had 121 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 91 sacks and three interceptions.

Positives: Captain, team leader and one of the best defensive players in I-AA over the last two years. Very active with good instincts. Makes plays. Can look fluid and athletic.

Negatives: Legal trouble is a red flag, if not concern enough to move down the board on draft day. Has a tendency to play too upright and lose leverage at the point of attack. Needs to do a better job of meeting and shedding blocks. Is not as tough as scouts would like. Fails to maintain a good pad level. May need to get stronger.

Summary: Cooper has some talent and may draw interest in the sixth and seventh rounds, but only if teams are willing to overlook character concerns.

* Player biographies are provided by Pro Football Weekly.