Edgerrin Cooper and Packers picked as a ‘favorite fit’ in 2024 draft

The Green Bay Packers used the 45th overall pick in the second round of the 2024 NFL draft to select Texas A&M’s Edgerrin Cooper, the first off-ball linebacker taken in the draft class.

The Packers are transitioning to a 4-3 base defense under Jeff Hafley and needed another off-ball linebacker to pair with Quay Walker after releasing veteran De’Vondre Campbell.

ESPN’s Matt Bowen picked Cooper and the Packers as one of his “favorite fits” in the 2024 draft. Bowen, a former NFL player, used “impact in Year 1, factoring in traits, scheme, playcalling tendencies and coaching” as criteria for picking his ideal landing spots for a select few prospects.

Here’s Bowen on Cooper and the Packers:

Under new coordinator Jeff Hafley, the Packers’ defense will be more aggressive in coverage and pressure. That means Cooper is a great fit due to his three-down ability and playmaking upside. Hafley can scheme him as an off-the-ball/edge blitzer while also maximizing his second-level range in coverage. Plus, Cooper can get to the perimeter in the run game and track down ball carriers.

Bowen sees Cooper as having the “speed and talent” to thrive in a “system that will create impact opportunities.”

The system is now Hafley’s. At least stylistically, the first-year defensive coordinator will have the Packers looking more like the 49ers and Jets in 2024, and linebackers with speed and talent have become impact players in both locations.

Cooper ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds (with a 1.56-second 10-yard split) at 230 pounds. He was a playmaking force for Texas A&M, especially during an All-American season in 2023. He finished first in the SEC in tackles for loss (17.0) and sixth in sacks (8.0) and led Texas A&M in total tackles (84) over 12 regular season games.

The goal for Hafley and the Packers will be getting Cooper to be a second-level playmaker early in his career. Together, Cooper and Walker could be a fast-flying linebacker duo who can play all three downs, play sideline to sideline and disrupt the quarterback and passing lanes.

Others picked by Bowen include receiver Rome Odunze and the Chicago Bears and quarterback J.J. McCarthy and the Minnesota Vikings, two first-round picks for division rivals.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire