2013 NFL Draft rumors: Lions 'love' Jonathan Cooper

US PRESSWIRE

The Detroit Lions are reportedly big fans of North Carolina offensive guard Jonathan Cooper. Is he a candidate for the No. 5 overall pick?

It's impossible to tell what's legitimate information and what's nothing more than a smokescreen at this point. We're a little more than 24 hours away from the first round, and there are rumors swirling about trades and multiple players that the Detroit Lions "love."

Earlier on Wednesday, the Lions were said to "love" BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. Now NFL.com's Ian Rapoport is reporting that they also "love" North Carolina offensive guard Jonathan Cooper.

Cooper seems to be one of the backup plans if the top tackles are gone when the Lions go on the clock with the fifth overall pick. I suppose Cooper could be an even more realistic option for the Lions if they are able to trade down. Then again, a lot of people don't think the top guards will make it too far past the top 10, so it'd probably depend on just how far the Lions move down if they do make a trade.

I know many of you are squarely against the idea of an offensive guard with the fifth overall pick, but I could get on board with someone like Cooper if the top tackles are gone. The Lions need to upgrade their offensive line, and if Cooper is someone they feel is going to be a sure-fire Pro Bowler, who cares when he's picked? His versatility and ability to play center could come in handy once Dominic Raiola departs, and he seems like a big upgrade over any of the guards the Lions currently have.

Of course, this could all be one big smokescreen, so take this report with a grain of salt. The Lions have been connected to Chance Warmack as well, but there's no telling if they are truly interested in drafting an offensive guard in the first round or if this is all just misinformation.

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