SANTA CLARA — Rutgers cornerback Marcus Cooper picked wisely when asked which NFL players he tries to emulate.
Cooper, who stands 6 foot 2, said he likes to watch Nnamdi Asomugha and Carlos Rogers. Luckily for him, he will now share a locker room with those veteran players as a member of the 49ers.
The 49ers used their final pick in the draft, No. 252 overall, to select Cooper, who never earned a regular starting role in college.
After mentioning Asomugha and Rogers by name, he also mentioned the two big corners for the Seattle Seahawks, referring to Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner.
"I try to look at those guys and see how they use their bodies at their height with those big receivers and try to emulate how they play," Cooper said.
Height/weight: 6 foot 2, 192 pounds
College career: He had a nondescript college career after spending his first two seasons as a wide receiver. He was never a regular starter at any point in his college career.
Scouting report: Cooper has tremendous size and ran unofficial times of 4.43 and 4.47 at his pro day. He's got the athletic ability but is not fluid in coverage and at his height it's difficult for him to change directions.
How he fits: The 49ers wanted to get bigger at the cornerback position, so they took a flier on a seventh-round pick who has a lot of untapped potential. Cooper struggled to get on the field throughout his college career, but he tested well enough to convince the 49ers to give him a look. He will also have to excel on special teams to have a chance at winning a spot on the 53-man roster. If Cooper shows enough potential, his most likely route might be to open the upcoming season on the practice squad.
In his words: "I think it's a great opportunity for me. I'm a young guy at the position and those are two guys who can learn so much from. I'm happy about the opportunity to sit back and watch what they do and try to emulate those guys."
--Marcus Cooper on being teammates with veteran cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Carlos Rogers