FRISCO, Texas — The draft process is in full swing, as the 99th annual East-West Shrine Bowl has settled into its new home in Frisco this week with 130-plus of the nation's draft available prospects.
While he isn't playing and is just participating in the interview process with teams, Texas A&M linebacker Edgerrin Cooper is one of the top prospects in attendance this week as he continues to generate first and second round love in projections for April's draft.
This week has served as a jumpstart for him in the process to meet with NFL teams and to get a full feel of the interview process before he takes part in the NFL combine in March.
"I feel like you can never get too much of a head start on anything," Cooper said. "Just seeing how the process is and using the resources with all of the college coaches and NFL teams around."
With the Cowboys having a need at the linebacker position going into the offseason, Cooper has kept an eye on the possibility of staying in Texas.
"I'm here for it," he said. "I'm here for anyone that grabs me. You won't regret it. It'd be very cool [to stay in Texas]. I get that all the time, it'd be a great experience."
The interview process – which will include a meeting with the Cowboys – has allowed Cooper to explain what he can bring to an NFL team both on and off the field if he were to be selected.
"I let them know that I'm a player that can make a big impact for them," he said. "Just being trigger fast, seeing things with my vision. Being aggressive and how powerful I am, I can bring pressure to an offense."
His senior season with the Aggies earned him an AP All-American nod after accounting for 84 tackles, including 17 for loss, and eight sacks on the season. Cooper is hoping his big year and a solid draft process can push him into the first round, but he will be happy with wherever he ends up.
"At this point, everybody wants to be a first rounder," he said. "If I do what I need to do, or that situation goes that way, I'd be blessed to have it that way. Wherever I get picked up, I'm gonna take advantage of it.