Jabril Cox has a very interesting story. After winning three straight FCS National Championships at NDSU, he transferred to LSU for the 2020 season. Once there Cox had an immediate impact. Even though the Tigers underperformed most people’s expectations that year, Cox broke out on the national stage, and although he didn’t win another championship he had impressed scouts. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to work out at his pro day to show off his athleticism due to injuries, but he should still be a higher pick. More and more scouts have recognized him as a gem. Coverage linebackers have become much more high demand in the NFL, and Cox has shown how good he can be in coverage. Even though LSU as a whole had an extremely disappointing season, Cox wasn’t to blame. He showed just how valuable he can be with the proper development, which could make him a massive steal if he falls to the later rounds.
Jabril Cox Stats And Measurables:
Weight: 231 lbs
2020 Stats(Only FBS season): 10 Games/58 TOTAL/37 SOLO/1 SACK/1 FR/3 INT/5 PD/1 TD
1. Cox’s athleticism is unreal especially when you consider his size. There’s no way a 6’4 231-pound linebacker should be able to move as quickly as he can. He quite simply is a freak of nature. Most great coverage linebackers we’ve seen have been slightly undersized (think Matt Milano of the Bills or Jayon Brown of the Titans, both are only 6’0”) but Cox is 6’4” and he is still able to move fluidly. He flips his hips incredibly fast which may be a big factor in his surprising speed and athleticism as it lets him change direction and adjust very quickly. His speed allows him to chase down ball carriers well, and it also lets him keep up with almost all of his matchups.
2. He is also a great pass rusher. Cox sometimes is able to get through the line untouched with his quickness, but when he is not able to he gets through blocks quickly. He is very fundamentally sound and doesn’t make wild moves to get away from a blocker that may put him out of position. Cox has a variety of moves at his disposal, but his favorite is probably his rip move which he does phenomenally, and even though his rip move is probably his favorite, Cox blitzes in the 5 or 6 gaps often where rips on irregular. On these blitzes, Cox uses his quick burst and excellent speed to get around blockers fast and he can usually get to the quarterback quickly.
3. As previously stated, Cox is primarily a coverage linebacker, even with his pass-rushing ability. He thrived in LSU’s heavy zone defensive scheme where he was usually assigned to either a flat, which he covered very well, or a hook or hole zone in the middle of the field. Cox was excellent at both and he would excel on any NFL team that allows him to play in these areas. His quick burst and speed help him cover up most holes, and he is able to recover quickly whenever he is out of place.
1. Although Cox shows tons of upside, he can be inconsistent. He had some very bad games at LSU. While all players have down games, the best know how to recover and not let it get in their head but Cox didn’t show this and instead continued to struggle. He had games where he would miss pivotal tackles that allowed scores, sometimes several times a game. He seemed to get cold at times which really brought both him and his team down, and sometimes it resulted in Cox being taken out of the game for a couple of drives. Even though inconsistency shouldn’t be a word that Cox is constantly associated with, he did have some very inconsistent games which he will no doubt try to fix in the NFL.
2. Cox’s reaction time is another area of concern. He sometimes takes a couple of seconds to recognize what’s happening, and by then the play has usually already developed. Although Cox did show flashes of good play recognition, he didn’t show it consistently, which is why improvement must be made. Slower reaction time cost Cox the chance to make a couple of big plays. He sometimes would let up big gains because he didn’t see what was happening quick enough. Although these flaws can definitely be patched, we’ve seen him do it in flashes, so Cox’s big focus will probably be consistency
Jabril Cox is certainly an exciting prospect. He showed great skills at LSU, even during the unexpected down season the team had. His consistency is definitely a question, but we’ve seen players overcome consistency problems to become great players and Cox has the chance to do the same. With the right development, Cox could be a star. If he does fall to the later rounds his incredible upside could turn him into the steal of the draft. Soon enough Cox will be able to prove himself as an elite NFL linebacker, and it will without a doubt be compelling to watch.