2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Jabril Cox
Weight: 234 pounds
School: North Dakota State University
236 Tackles, 30 TFL, 13 Sacks, 6 INT, 16 PD, 1 FF, 3 FR
Regardless of playing at the FCS level, Cox’s ability in space stands out. With a fluid backpedal, base and balance, he takes advantage of his stride. Whether covering the boundaries of staying stride for stride with tight ends, Cox doesn’t trail too far behind his assignment. In fact, he set up 8-10 yards off the line and would continue covering the slot. When grading this trait, look at the flexibility of his lower body. The quick stop, pivot and hip flip all benefit his game.
As a result of playing in wide open areas, Cox needed to hone his solo tackling skills. When straight on, look for the textbook drop-and-drive. Meanwhile, while pursing backside, he will swarm and engulf the ballcarrier. Cox needs to play to his field speed and deliver a little more pop when attacking the target.
Cox starts acceleration with a sure first step. Not to mention, the length of his gait covers yards in a hurry. In coverage, he will stay hip-to-hip with even the deepest routes. Furthermore, Cox will get into the backfield with little to no wasted motion. The only area to clean up is the ability to break down much sooner and prevent the extra step, allowing the quarterback to climb the ladder.
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In plain language, the Raiders lack athletes at linebackers. Currently, they employ players that are run stoppers in name only. That is to say, since none show any capability of staying close during a pass pattern, they need to justify their roster spot somehow. This group lacks depth and quality playmakers. As of this writing, the team released Preston Brown and recently signing him. Sooner or later, Mike Mayock must address this glaring need with a concerted but large overhaul. With the Chiefs dominant and the Broncos solving their offensive issues, the Raiders need to bolster what many believe is the weakest position group in the National Football League.
Granted, Cox will not be the only linebacker selected by the Raiders, but he should be considered on Day Three. First, he presents a knack for coverage that would immediately make him the best coverage linebacker on the roster. Next, with his speed and ability to close, Cox could rush from the outside in specialized blitz packages. More importantly, he would get home and not just get on the quarterback’s line of vision. Additionally, he will knife in and put the run to a halt. If the Raiders fully intend of allowing Paul Guenther to stay, they need to stockpile quality athletes.