When you look at linebackers, you need to several things. First, athleticism! Another important thing is intelligence, all linebackers have to know their assignments. Lastly, you have to have heart. This is what I look for in linebackers when coming out of college. I have been blessed to watch tons of film on Jabril Cox from his days at North Dakota State University. The 3x National Championship winner at the FCS level is a dog, he plays with great instincts and has great athleticism, but I wanted to take a second to compare him to a player in the NFL.
I usually do not like doing player comparisons because I feel it applies pressure to players especially when put on the web, but I can say this, I have a good feeling that Cox is going to be very similar to a Maniac in the NFL.
I have been breaking down small school football for years, and one player that really had amazing film at the FCS level was Darius Leonard. Darius Leonard played at South Carolina State University an HBCU school in the MEAC Conference. Leonard stands at 6030 and weighs about 240 pounds right now. Leonard since entering the NFL has been one of the most prolific linebackers in the league. In just 2 years in the NFL he has racked up 284 tackles, and has 12 sacks, and also has 7 interceptions. The guy is a beast and one of the best upcoming linebackers in the NFL.
When you watched film of Leonard in college you would see several things that jumped off the film. Leonard was excellent in run defense, he would come up and make a play and was not afraid of contact. He was lighter in college around 220 pounds and he would hammer opposing running backs. Leonard was also quick, and had great recognition skills when watching the play develop. He was quick to read plays and was dangerous as a blitzer. I remember when the Colts drafted him people on Twitter were saying who?
I bet if you ask them now they are happy he was drafted, because he has been a stud at the next level.
So why does Jabril Cox remind me of Leonard? Let’s break down Jabril.
Cox has speed, and length which helps him in coverage. Jabril takes great angles, and is not afraid to lower the boom. When watching film of Cox, he rarely makes mistakes. He is a very smart, remember he is going to college for Psychology with a minor in Business. You will not find a bigger heart on a football player. The Kansas City, Missouri native plays at a very high level, and will give you everything he has every snap.
Cox is also durable as hell, he had a 31 consecutive start streak end last year when he missed one game, but he still helped his team win the National Championship. Jabril Cox is the same size as Darius Leonard. Both are quick, have great ball skills and will lower the boom. Last season for North Dakota State, Cox recorded 92 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.
I would not be surprised if Cox has a huge season with LSU, and scouts fall in love. Because Cox has put himself on a higher platform in the FBS, I would not be shocked if he is drafted higher than Leonard, but at this point, he will become an NFL Pro Bowler in the near future. I am going to go out on a limb and say it. Jabril Cox is going to be a special player at the next level. He and Leonard will be in the Pro Bowl for years to come.
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