Seeing lots of buzz on Merrimack LG Sam Cooper.— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) April 8, 2021
He's spoken w/ the #Browns a bunch. The #Dolphins & #Chiefs have shown interest. #Texans, #Giants,(met a bunch of times) #Patriots & #Vikings attended his Pro Day. Met w/ scouts from #Chargers, #Bills, #Falcons & #Eagles at an ASG.
Under-the-radar draft prospect who's been generating some buzz lately: Merrimack guard Sam Cooper.— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) April 6, 2021
He's met with the Patriots, Dolphins, Browns, Giants, Chargers, Vikings, Falcons, Eagles, Texans, Bills and Chiefs. Nine teams were at his pro day. pic.twitter.com/1dAKbdUoBJ
The 6-foot-2, 308-pound Cooper attended Maine from 2015-17, transferring to Merrimack after just four appearances. Merrimack is a small private school located in North Andover, Massachusetts. It’s an FCS program that moved up from Division II for the 2019 season, his final year of college football.
Cooper earned six starts for Merrimack in 2018 before starting 10 games in 2019 at the left guard position. He was named a team captain ahead of the 2019 season. Merrimack’s 2020 season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Cooper earned reportedly received invites to the East-West Shrine Bowl, Hula Bowl, Tropical Bowl and NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
At his pro day, Cooper ran the 40-yard dash in 5.1 seconds, had a 1.69-second 10-yard split and 35 bench-press reps, so the athleticism is no doubt there.
The Chiefs, of course, have plenty of potential starting guards to work with ahead of the 2021 season — including their clear-cut left guard of the future in free-agent signee Joe Thuney.
The area of concern for fans has more so understandably been the tackle position. But Cooper would likely go late on day three or be signed as an undrafted free agent, so this is probably due diligence by general manager Brett Veach and his team on a developmental prospect for offensive line coach Andy Heck.
However, with it now being publicly known there are many teams interested, a sixth- or seventh-rounder may be required to lock up his services.