Jabril Cox Draft Profile
LSU recruits so much talent that sometimes they don’t even know how to use all of their players. This is what happened with Jabril Cox, the Tigers put him as their starting middle linebacker; however, I think he would benefit from a position change to a 3-4 outside linebacker. He has the perfect body type to be a standup pass rusher that can drop if need be. Cox is a freak athlete with major potential, but he needs to be put in the right scheme.
Jabril Cox’s athleticism makes him the perfect weapon to limit mobile quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray. At LSU, Cox did a great job at playing the read option and staying patient with his rush. If he is forced to stay in his same role as a middle linebacker, Cox would flourish in a base man coverage team. After transferring from North Dakota State to LSU, he was tasked with manning up against some of the best running backs and receivers in the SEC. Cox trusts his eyes and is instinctual. While his athleticism and god-given talent isn’t coachable, his effort is. I loved how much Cox hustled in his senior season and he never gave up on a play. There is a rare boom or bust ability that Cox brings to the game.
The worst thing about Cox’s game is that sometimes he just disappears on film. On too many plays he is just no where to be found or he is being washed out by blockers. Cox also struggles with arm tackles and taking bad tackling angles. The success of Jabril Cox relies a lot on his landing spot and how he gets used on the defense.
I like Jabril Cox’s potential, but I don’t think I could draft him in the first two rounds. Cox’s success is so reliant on system, I would rather go after a guy who I can bank on. One of my favorite sleepers in the 2019 NFL draft was Justin Hollins from Oregon. Cox reminds me a lot of Hollins, they’re both tweeners with a ton of potential but it’s hard to find the right fit. Hollins still hasn’t really found his footing; however, he has started to show some promise for the Rams. If the Broncos take a shot on Cox on day two, maybe he can be what they wanted Hollins to be. The Chargers are going to be running the same defense as the Rams did last year, so Cox could potentially take on the same role as Hollins in that defense. The Cardinals would also be a good landing spot for Cox after the depart of Haason Reddick in free agency.
Eyes + IQ 7.5/10
Strength + Hands 6/8
Pass Rush 5.5/7
Man Coverage 3.75/5
Zone Coverage 3/5
Final Rating: 74
Pro Comparison: Justin Hollins
Team Fits: Broncos, Chargers, Cardinals
Draft Ranking: Second Round Pick
Draft Projection: Mid - Late Third Round Pick