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NAME: Cordell Volson
POSITION: Right Tackle
SCHOOL: North Dakota State
WEIGHT: 319 pounds
A native of Balfour, North Dakota, Cordell Volson attended Drake High School. In high school, he was recognized as an all-district performer in basketball. He was also a do-it-all man on the high school football field. For example, Volson played offensive line, defensive line, tight end, fullback, linebacker, punter and kicker. He recorded a total of 239 tackles, 28 sacks, six fumble recoveries, five forced fumbles and one interception. Volson also blocked a whopping 14 punts. He was a two time all-region and all-state selection for Drake High School. This included receiving first-team honors in both categories as a senior in 2015.
Volson did not see the field as a starter throughout much of his first three seasons at North Dakota State. He redshirted and sat out the entire 2016 season. In 2017, the blocker would appear in a total of nine games and was named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference Honor Roll. Volson was once again a backup offensive lineman in 2018. He appeared in 15 games. However, most of those were on the special teams blocking units, not on offense. Volson earned Missouri Valley Football Conference Honor Roll accolades for the second consecutive season.
Becoming A Starter
Once the calendar flipped to 2019, Volson became a starter for the Bison offensive line. He started all 16 games at right tackle. During the 12 regular season games, Volson had a team-high 100 knockdown blocks and only allowed 0.5 sacks. He went on to earn first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors and was recognized as a second team All-American by HERO Sports. Finally, Volson was named to the conference’s honor roll for the third consecutive season.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Volson and North Dakota State had their 2020 season pushed back until the spring of 2021. This obviously caused the blocker to play a much more condensed schedule in the entire calendar year of 2021, overall. In that spring 2021 season, Volson started in all 10 games. He actually played every offensive line position except for center that campaign, because of injuries and other position reshuffles by the Bison. Volson finished with zero sacks allowed and had just one penalty against. For the second straight season, he earned first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors. Volson also earned a first-team All-American selection by the Associated Press and was named FCS Offensive Lineman of the Year by Phil Steele and the FCS ADA.
Come the fall of 2021, North Dakota State was back to their regularly scheduled season. Volson started all 15 games at right tackle. He finished with zero sacks allowed and zero tackles for loss allowed. Moreover, Volson was named first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference for the third straight year. The Associated Press recognized him as a first-team All-American for the second straight year.
Instead of listing positives and negatives for traits, this year we will be listing the best trait of each prospect and work our way down to the biggest area of improvement/absent trait(s), from top to bottom.
Power At Point Of Attack
It did not take long to realize what kind of power Volson has when watching his tape. There are moments where he will actually wait to impose it, and then catch the defensive lineman off guard. Volson moves people at a distance that is purely alarming at times. For instance, that explosive movement can happen quickly. That truly shined when Volson blocked inward or down towards the offensive line’s interior as a run blocker. Elsewhere, he is quite dominant within his pass sets. The power is simply able to stop opposing pass rushers in their tracks.
The nastiness that Volson brings during each and every rep will certainly wear opponents down. He is simply relentless if he gets a chance to drive the defender into the dirt. Essentially, Volson will begin to get his weight on top of the opposing defensive lineman. That is then followed by an authoritative takedown, leaving the opposition stunned. Volson is quick to realize when he has the opportunity to throw his weight around. When that occurs, defenders are left to just pray and hang on for dear life.
This is basically a gift that not all offensive tackles possess. Volson is able to long arm quite a few pass rushers in pass sets. At times, you think that he may be too far away from the landmark needed to slow down or wall off the defender. Volson still forces them to readjust and alter their track at the outermost degree, nevertheless. In terms of run blocking, he does not always have to enforce it. Volson is actually able to balance his blocks, so to speak, because he does not always play with a low enough pad level. But, his length allows him to reach and push down onto the body of defensive linemen.
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The way in which Volson keeps his head and eyes up is extremely noticeable. He does a solid job of keeping his head on a swivel and will not hesitate to help out his offensive line teammate, if need be. Volson was not necessarily limited to sticking close to the line of scrimmage. He could climb to the second level or out in space. Though, Volson displayed tremendous patience in reading the defensive front. He knows how to inflict his punishment often. However, Volson has a great understanding of knowing that he cannot always live off of that, to say the least.
This was an area of this blocker’s game that definitely improved as time went on. He does a good job of consistently sticking his heels in the ground and not getting too far up on his toes. Meanwhile, this was a part that Volson severely improved with throughout his pass sets. He can still reach from time to time. That may just be due to his knack of long-arming guys and being able to rely on his length. Yet still, Volson was quite relaxed and under control with his feet in the last couple of campaigns. You can also tell how he is reading the defender’s eyes and shoulders a lot more often.
There is definitely a fair share of positives and negatives within this area for Volson. Let’s start with the positives. First off, he is rather smooth when shuffling laterally and does a tremendous job when being able to mirror the defensive lineman. Volson is also quite adept when it comes to getting extra depth with his back foot. This allows him the chance to anchor and stonewall opponents. Though, those results can be inconsistent.
As for the areas of improvement, Volson can often play too high, as we alluded to earlier. There are plenty of times where he may be late to get out of his stance. Thus, Volson is not always able to get his hands positioned or extended at the right time.
There is of course the aforementioned hand power that separates Volson from other blockers. However, he is not the smoothest when it comes to hand technique, at this moment. He can often get his arms too low. Or, there are moments where Volson will be much too late in getting his arms extended. This allows the blocker to have his chest exposed more often.
On top of that, there is not enough of a repertoire for him to adjust and fight off contact. His natural instinct has been to overpower the opponent in those situations. Lastly, Volson is used to being more of a latcher at this point. That may work on occasion. More consistency will come at the NFL level, the more he gets away from that.
Overall, there is not enough quickness in Volson’s game, when it comes to change of direction skills or moving laterally. He is capable of carrying up to the second level of the defense. But, the timing may be a bit more delayed, compared to other blockers that receive those opportunities. Volson is also rather stiff within his lower half. Obviously, he has the length and height that NFL teams will love. Volson just does not always utilize that to the best of his ability during different points of a game.
While there are technical issues that Volson will need fixed, teams should enjoy his nasty demeanor and ruthless aggression upfront. The Kansas City Chiefs have begun to cling to more of the powerful blockers when building their roster. Furthermore, you would always rather have a guy who is going to have no issue in turning it down, if need be. Volson is not someone who you will be wanting more from, in terms of physicality.
The Chiefs could also use a new option at right tackle. Andrew Wylie is due for free agency. And despite his admirable play, there is no guarantee that he is back. Lucas Niang has been dealing with injuries and up and down performances, failing to significantly lockdown the right tackle spot. With Volson, the Chiefs could take their time in developing a more well-rounded technique. Kansas City could also take advantage of his length, power and balance. Thus, the Chiefs would be fortifying an exceptionally stout group of offensive linemen for Patrick Mahomes to play behind.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs draft prospect profiles throughout this spring. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.
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