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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: S Qwynnterrio Cole

  • The Draft Network
  • January 29, 2021
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Qwynnterrio Cole is an extremely well put together safety prospect that’s chiseled and one that already possesses a readymade body structure. After playing in a reserve role during his first season for the Braves, Cole has been the patrol cop on the back end of the defense since that point. A true ball-hawk type of safety, he has recorded seven interceptions since stepping into a starting role as a sophomore (2018). A prospect whose length looks exactly as his measurables indicate, the team has used him all over the field. He has highlight plays of getting off of the hash in deep zones and he is also often used as a sniffer around the line of scrimmage where he finished third on the team in tackles (86) on his way to becoming a two-time HBCU All-American and SWAC All-Conference First-Team player. He is truly a right place, right time type of safety that’s been able to cause many turnovers. Cole is a high-IQ football player that has been utilized in multiple roles. He shows lots of physicality and it’s evident when tackling. A sure wrap-up tackler, he’s often able to bring ball-carriers to the ground with minimal help, all while demonstrating proper techniques for consistency when targets are within his sight. There are concerns about true top-end speed and if he’ll ever be more than a one-dimensional player as a strong safety. While showing that he’s capable of holding up in deep zones when rotating to the roof of the defense, it isn’t a role that he will find as a true landing spot for the future. Best served as a strong safety or one that can spin down to become closer to the box, he will need to show more comfort with playing in other neighborhoods in order to expand his reliability as a versatile third level piece. 

Ideal Role: Developmental strong safety that will need multiple years in order to develop into a contributor.

Scheme Fit: Low safety in a Cover 3 scheme.


Written by Jordan Reid

Games watched: Alabama State (2019), Jackson State (2019), Southern (2019), Prairie View A&M (2019), North Carolina A&T (2019)

Best Game Studied: Southern (SWAC Championship 2019), Prairie View A&M (2019)

Worst Game Studied: Jackson State (2019)

Football IQ: Playing as both the high and low safety in Alcorn State’s defensive scheme, he was able to display lots of different aspects of his game. With natural instincts as a strong safety, he was highly aware with diagnosing run concepts but maintaining his discipline in his run fits. No matter the surface that he starts from prior to the snap, his ability to read, react, and attack remains consistent.

Tackling: Even though Cole is aggressive with attacking the first level, he remains consistent with coming to balance and making tackles. A sure tackler, he puts his frame to good use by being a fundamental tackler. Used often around the line of scrimmage, it’s not surprising that his tackle numbers were always high each season of his career.   

Versatility: Throughout his career at Alcorn State, Cole has been interchangeable with his responsibilities. Spending time at both the high and low safety spots, his best plays have come when at strong safety. That's the position he’s best suited for at the next level, but Cole has the ability to play on the roof during split safety coverages. Using him as a single-high player where he’s the lone player on the roof of the defense isn’t a favorable spot for him. 

Range: His aggressiveness with running the alley when coming downhill has enabled him to reach exterior locations in an instant. Also having a similar effect when playing as the strong safety, he has the strength levels in order to withstand contact prior to making tackles. Cole has adequate range from multiple spots on the field. 

Ball Skills: One of the better parts of his game is the value that he brings with turnover-worthy plays. With 10 career interceptions, he has high-end ball production for any defensive back. A ball-magnet during his collegiate career, Cole had a knack for creating turnovers in big moments. In addition to the interceptions, he’s often seeking to force fumbles when engaged with ball-carriers. 

Run Defending: Cole has a quick trigger when coming up in run support, but his momentum helps him create action against roadblocks. When pullers or tight ends are headed in his direction, he’s been able to weather the storm of their contact, slide off, and make plays on runners frequently. Hardly ever making his body available for square hits, he protects himself by preparing for contact but also remaining in a position to brush it off and make plays. 

Functional Athleticism: In coverage, there is some hip stiffness that limits his ability to flip his hips and run in certain spots. Man coverage isn’t a strong suit as he has some challenges with altering his directions quickly in order to stay with targets. His willingness to match route physicality will help him during battles with tight ends and bigger matchups in the slot. 

Competitive Toughness: A pure alpha, Cole is a loudmouth player that isn't afraid to bark at the opposition. There isn’t much toning down of his competitive notches, as the dial is usually turned up to its highest level frequently. Even though he isn’t afraid to let his voice be heard, he backs it up with his play. His junk talking leads to an infectious type of energy throughout the entire unit.

Flexibility: Still needing work in this area overall, there is some stiffness in his hips. Because of his body frame and the way it's constructed, he experiences some struggles with turning and running when desired. Improving his overall body flexibility and fluidity could take time, but it is an area to monitor as he continues on his path to improve in man coverage. 

Special Teams Value: There isn’t any documentation or film (that I could find) of Cole playing special teams. Considering his position and draft range, he will be required to play special teams on the next level. Because of his athleticism, physicality levels, and mindset, teams will see him as an ideal option on most units.


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Jordan Reid: 69/100

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