It seems like the 2020 NFL Draft just happened, but we move fast here at The Draft Network.
Currently going through summer evaluations for the 2021 NFL Draft class, our scouting team of Kyle Crabbs, Joe Marino, Jordan Reid, and Drae Harris are meeting up every day to discuss prospects, traits, and concepts. New to TDN is a daily scouting roundtable where we go through and identify the most important points of conversation from that day’s meeting.
On Wednesday, Harris gushed over LSU LB Jabril Cox, while Reid brought up a sleeper safety out of Alcorn State.
Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
After Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson, and countless other LSU players jettisoned to the NFL this offseason, it’s no secret that the Tigers’ roster is thinner in 2020 than it was in 2019. With Jabril Cox coming over from North Dakota State in a transfer, however, at least one big spot at linebacker has been filled.
Harris believes Cox will not only provide an upgrade on the defensive unit, but that the prospect is also good enough to garner a top-100 grade entering the season.
“He’s a very good, reactive athlete with loose and fluid hips,” Harris stated during his evaluation of the defender. “In the run game, he’s (also) solid at the point of attack (POA) and demonstrates good tackling efficiency in space. He has great athleticism and speed when he’s on the backside and does a fantastic job closing to the football.”
Playing predominantly in an outside linebacker role at NDSU, Harris went on to note that Cox was a versatile chess piece, given both his experience aligning over the slot and even playing man coverage against some wideouts at the FCS level.
“I want him at WILL (linebacker) in the NFL, but I also think he can play outside in a 3-4 too,” Harris stated. “He has some Isaiah Simmons in his game with regards to the movement skills, fluidity, loose hips, and versatility. He’s a defensive Swiss Army knife that can line up in multiple spots who will be highly coveted in today’s NFL.”
As for how Cox could improve after his big jump to the SEC, Harris stressed one key factor: violence.
“He could afford to be more violent as a stack and shed defender when he’s playside,” Harris stated. “He’s so smooth and fluid and sometimes it appears he doesn’t play with the urgency you (want to see) from your LBs.”
Qwynterrio Cole, S, Alcorn State
A small-school prospect with massive playmaking ability, Cole hasn’t gotten the attention of the national media yet, but according to Reid, it’s only a matter of time until he starts to receive the recognition of a potential draft pick.
“He’s a pretty looking dude who has a pro-ready build,” Reid stated during his evaluation of the defender. “They kind of used him (at Alcorn State) in a Kam Chancellor role. He often plays a sniffer at the line of scrimmage (LOS) and finished third on the team in tackles (86) in 2019.”
A true senior who has recorded seven interceptions over the past two seasons, Cole—a two-time HBCU All-American—has also consistently displayed prime ball skills, a key trait that Reid made sure to take note of.
“He’s truly a ‘right place, right time’ type of safety. The ball just seems to find him in some way, shape, or form,” Reid stated. “He’s been able to cause lots of turnovers and he’s a high-IQ player.”
As for concerns with the Alcorn State product, Reid noted that level of competition was an obvious one, while also pointing to questionable coverage skills as a secondary worry.
“Just him being a one-dimensional player as a strong safety,” Reid stated in regards to the negative sides of Cole’s game. “He did show he’s capable of holding up in deep zones, but I don’t think that’s an area (he can play) at the next level.”
With all of this said, Reid felt comfortable giving Cole a late Day 3 grade entering the season, which is a true testament to both his production and potential as a prospect.
“... I could see a team taking him in the fifth or sixth round,” Reid stated. “He’s a name to keep an eye on.”