LB Jabril Cox, Louisiana St. (6’4”, 231)

Background:

Played quarterback and a little bit of everything in high school. Originally attended North Dakota St., where he redshirted and then converted to linebacker. Posted 91-9.5-4.0 in his redshirt freshman year, then had a similar season in 2019 (92-9.5-5.5) before transferring to Louisiana St. Was immediately eligible as a graduate transfer, and put together a line of 58-6.5-1.0 with three interceptions and five breakups over ten games.

Positives:

Was productive over three seasons at the college level, although just one came for a major program. Tall linebacker with impressive length. Played both inside and outside at Louisiana St.; was often lined up as either a Mike or Sam when the team used three linebackers during the games reviewed, but would stay on the field in the sub packages as the Mike. Gets good extension with his arms to lock out blockers when defending the inside run. Shows the ability to disengage and make tackles, with an impressive radius. Smooth, flexible athlete who can flow sideline to sideline. Very effective coverage linebacker who can play in both man and zone. Has the type of physical/athletic profile teams look for in man coverage on tight ends. Diagnoses well when working in zone and is capable of sniffing out screens and working through traffic to make the stop. Long-strider who looks smooth when carrying opponents downfield from shuffle. Demonstrated very good ball skills this past season. Shows impressive closing burst when he has a lane to the passer, although sack production fell off with the Tigers.

Negatives:

Probably needs to add a little bit more bulk, especially if teams view him as a potential strongside linebacker. Would like to see him do a better job of keeping his shoulders square and holding his ground against blockers in the run game. Smoother than he is explosive in terms of overall movement skills. Can be a little bit slow to read keys in the run game; sometimes looks more reactive than anticipatory. Has some inefficiencies to his angles, working around blockers and giving himself more difficult angles. Not an overly physical player; would like to see him drive through more ballcarriers.Can struggle to maintain balance through contact. SHas some apparently minor issues with missed tackles.

Summary:

Has only been a full-time linebacker for a few years, but started producing immediately once he stepped onto the field. As a smooth athlete with excellent size and length, his value as a potential asset in the passing game, whether in zone or man, should make him an attractive candidate for teams seeking a modern linebacker to improve their coverages. Still not quite instinctive or physical enough in the run game, but with a little bit more experience and some time in a pro strength program, could develop into an every-down starter.

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