Fletcher Cox

DE/DT Miss ST 

6-4, 298, 34.5" Arms, 30-Reps,

 S-1.63, (U) 4.79-4.85, 4.79,

4.53 SS, 7.07 3-C, 

26" Vert, 8'7" Broad

 

 

 

Nice Mix of Smarts, Leadership, and Athleticism. 

By TOM

What Cox does better than most is he gets three or four yards into the backfield better and quicker than anyone in this draft. He does it in so many different ways that it is amazing. I have never seen anything like it. His most amazing talent is that he gains a shoulder of O-Linemen seemingly at will, and rides them into the backfield with amazing consistency.

He has that flash that drags your eyes to him on Tape. I watch a Miss ST game for all of one minute early in the season before I was going wow. I didn’t know who he was, but he flashed off the screen like lightning. I quickly did some research on him and saw he was a junior who could come out. He seemed to get into the backfield on almost every play.

However, it was strangle. He would get 3 or 4 yards up field and stop. It seemed every other play he would burst up field unstoppable, and the then stop 3 or 4 yards into the backfield. Or, he would get 3-4 or yard deep and do nothing. I have never seen a guy get into the backfield so consistently, and then not always do anything with it. I have to question his instincts. He has the smarts, and can read plays sometimes. He gains the shoulder of the OG, and charges upfield. So when the play is on the opposite side he sometimes Seals himself. However, he also is a great hand fighter and often fights his way out of the self-Seal. 

He doesn’t always do nothing. He sometimes slips the block completely and gets to the QB. Plus, he will often affect the Quarterback, just by bursting up field towards him and forces him to throw too early, badly, or throw it away. There is value and disruption in bursting 4-yards up field, even if he does touch the ball carrier most of the time. You can see that he makes QBs very nervous. As a D-Tackle he is very adept at making the QB’s feet panic. However, when he lines up as a 5-Technique he is very adept at hitting the Quarterback.

I think one of the problems he faced he is that he was so clearly better than any of his mates on defense that teams paid more attention to where he was than any other defender in the SEC. However, when he lines up outside as a 5-Technique, he seems to be a little more free. He uses that space and his great burst to put a lot of pressure on QBs. When he is inside. He gets caught up in trash and traffic a little too much. When he is at 5-Technique he is a beast. He is the best 5-techinique prospect in this years Draft, period.

And now back to our regularly schedules program: Cox Vs 

This is what makes him special. Here he is bursting up field. He gets the OG shoulder seemingly at will. He burst to his inside shoulder gets 3-yards up field in a flash, and gets hauled down in what should have been a Holding call (:04). That burst and knack for gaining any O-Guards shoulders seemingly at will is what is going to make a top 15 pick. See how he comes off at an angle, and is Ripping past the OG before he can even get his hands on him. Then the Hold (:12).

Here he is at LDE in Miss ST hybrid 3-4. They bounce in and out of Odd and Even fronts regularly. So on the second play of this tape you can see he is scheme diverse. He comes off a little slow, as he Twists inside the blitzing LB. He gets about four yards up field (okay about seven;-), and just stops (:18). He bursts inside the LB, as the OG shifts his weight to block the LB (:24/25). Cox has him dead to rights. He has his inside shoulder with him off balance (:27). He drive him back with a great punch, which forces the QB to shift to the outside (:28). He doesn’t make the play when he gets the OG at a disadvantage, but causes the QBs’ feet to panic and forces him out of the pocket.

This is a real nice play. He catches the ORT retreating too much and pops him off balance and zips around him. His blend of burst, quickness, and power is very enticing. This is why I have him as the top 5-technique in the Draft. He gets lost sometimes inside, but seems to be able to Turn The Corner with his burst, quickness, and hands on the outside (:36). See how he hits the OG with his helmet and hands, and shifts past him almost too quick to see. He hops to the outside so quickly he almost gets lost in the traffic of the ORT and the RB as they try and stop the outside blitzer. The outside blitz forces the QB to step up, and he is waiting to give him a nice hit. He didn’t get the Sack, but he might have stolen a half sack from 97 (:43). Then he shows he's got some meanness and intimidation in him, as he has a few words for the QB and uses his gut to get up (:48).

Back at LDE. He gets 4-yards up field in a flash. He does what he should by destroying the puny Runningback trying to block him. He doesn’t hit the QB, but forces him to throw the ball too early. He force the incompletion with his burst up field from the 5-Technique (:52). Back to the 4-3, and he switches sides. This is a perfect example of what I was talking about. Boom, he is 3-yards up field in a flash, but has no effect on the play. He burst through the inside shoulder of the O-Guard misreading the play-action. Plus, he ends up on the wrong side of the OG for a Self-Seal. Even if the RB had the ball, he wasn’t making that tackle. However, look at the rest of the D-line, they are all already out of the play, while he is alone in the backfield (:43).

He stays at RDT. He burst up field a couple of yards, but again shows his lack of instincts as he gains the wrong shoulder of the O-Guard. Maybe he is being coached to go inside the O-Guard on every play at D-Tackle, and teams have figured it out. Anyway he makes another great burst inside, and the play goes outside, and he can’t get back into the play (1:06). He stays at RDT. He gets stuffed by the brutal double team. He almost burst through, but stops dead 3-yards up field. Again, not a bad a play, but not a great play. There is a LOT of clay to work with there (1:21). He burst 2-yards up field into the double team, and gets crushed by the OLT. However, he holds his position and forces the RB to bounce into the hole vacated by the OLT, and a few of his mates make the play. That is a real nice play on short yardage by Cox. He held the Point Of Attack that stopped the first down run, and even got in on the tackle (1:18). 

Here is lined up at L-DT. Okay, another example of what I was talking about in the introduction. He gets about 4-yards up field, and stops. He makes another great burst up field and combos it with a nice inside shoulder club. He gains the inside shoulder of the O-Guard. It is amazing how he seems to do that on every single play at D-Tackle. It is truly amazing. However, his inside moves drives him right into the OC’s double team. Which really stops him 3-yards into the rush again. However, watch how he shifts back outside, and uses his long arms to keep the two blockers off his shirt. (I have never seen a guy who could equally impresses me and disappointments me on so many plays 1:27;-). You can really see the hand fighting here. He holds off the O-Guard with one arm, and gets his right arm under the arms of the punching OC, and counter punches him off his body, and uses that momentum to hop to the outside shoulder of the O-Guard (1:35).

He stays at LDT. He burst into the O-Guards outside shoulder, and allows him to Seal him. However, you could also say he set the edge, and forced the RB inside. Then he somehow makes the tackle. This play looked like a disaster at first, and he turned it into one of his best plays of the game (1:40). He is so good and getting into the OG’s body, and then using his long arms to push him off, and redirecting.

Back at RDT on 4th and inches. This might be his worst play of the game. He gets blown off the line by the double team, and RB runs right through his gap for the 1st Down. It is a little starling, but is goes to show how rare it is for him to get pushed back  (1:49).

Here is on the Nose. Not his best position. I think his lack of instincts in the phone booth hurt him sometimes at DT, and really hurt him at NT. He bursts 4-yards up field in the wrong direction so fast that he doesn't realize he is all alone until he spins back around (1:57). He gets 3-yards up field and then stops (2:05). RDT. He burst past the O-Guard so fast that he goes untouched into the QB. Great play (2:14). It looks like a called Shotgun run for the QB. But Cox blows it up (2:28). L-DT. He gets 4-yards up field in a great burst, and the ball is gone (2:34).

Okay, here he is at LDE in the 5-Technique. It is a little tough to see. They rush three and he Sacks the Quarterback. Showing why he is the best passrushing 5-Technique in this years Draft (2:42/43). Watch this great burst to the Corner in the 5-Technique. If that wasn't a called Shotgun run, he hits the QB again (2:51). Back were he should have lined up all game, at the LDE. He gets low and bulrushes the OLT almost into the feet of the QB (2:58).

I guess he was playing to well, so they moved him back inside to LDT. He shocks the OG with a great punch off his great burst. They try to run at him for some reason and he stuffs it (3:05). It doesn’t get any better than this. He lines up as a 3-T. He shots the gap. Gets a nice Spin move. Moves laterally following the QB and then redirects again for the Sack (3:12). This is nearly a 300-pound D-Tackle here. Watch his amazing agility and quickness inside on this Sack. I know this was more of a Coverage Sack, but from an NFL stand point, there aren’t a lot of 300-pounders who can make 2 of the 3 moves he makes on this play. This play probably shows his NFL potential more than any other. He burst to the Inside shoulder of the O-Guard. Then spins out of his block as the QB waggles to the opposite side, showing some nice instincts that I have been questioning. Then he cuts back against the blocker to make the Sack (3:24).

He is at LDE and he does what he normally does as a 5-Technique. He burst up field to the Corner and scares the carp out o f the quarterback (3:33/34). Here is at RDT fighting to get to the RB. Hard to see again (3:40). RDT, he burst up field on the O-Guards outside shoulder and over rushes the play (3:47). RDT, watch the burst and punch that shocks the O-Guard. He has such great violence in his hands. He litterially snaps the O-Gards neck back with a shoulder punch. Then showing his great agility, he turns and tackles the RB as they try to sneak him underneath him again (3:52).

Here he is at LDT. He jams the double team back 6-yards up field and forces the QB to run (3:58). Back at 5-Technique. Do I need to say anymore? He rushes the QB from the 5-technique better than anyone else in this Draft (4:05). He even gets of the snap a little slow (for him;-). He gets low and brings his arms up (4:12). She how he is Fork-lifting the ORT up. He has already defeated the Offensive Right Tackle (4:14). The O-Gurad comes over to double him, but the ORT is already on skates and heading into the QB’s feet. Notice the RB trying to triple team him! He tosses the ORT aside and hits the QB. That is as good as it gets (4:15).

They keep him at 5-technique, but on the opposite side. The run a Draw, and double team him out of the play. But he still almost gets through the double (4:17). They keep him at 5-technique, but switch sides. Now it’s getting exciting. He just embarrasses the O-Guard. He burst right past him, then shows his astounding suddenness and agility as he somehow dances back inside around the OG and makes the play (4:30).

Well, it was getting to good, so they move him back inside to RDT. This is what puzzles me when eh is playing D-tackle. He splits the double. Gets 4-yards up field, and then cuts off his own rush (4:29). RDT, he gains the OG’s inside shoulder and shrugs him off. The QB panics and takes off, but he can’t beat him to the sideline (4:36). Seriously, on the Nose? You can simply watch this play and know he is not a Nose tackle (4:44). RDT, he gains the wrong shoulder. He does a nice job trying to fight back to the ball, but the Rb cuts inside his burst (4:52). RDT, this shows that he does have football smarts. He is only D-Linemen who sniffs out the odd Screen pass, actually hustles down field and makes the play (4:59). RDT, he splits the doule almost instantly and tackles the RB on the opposite side of the line. This is just another great play (5:10). He fittingly destroys S, Carolina’s finally play, with another great burst past the O-Line (5:15).

Okay. That’s enough. I am starving and I have a shepard’s pie on the stove getting cold. 

 

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