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DT Fletcher Cox #1 Prospect in Talented Defensive Line Class

DT Fletcher Cox – Draft Insiders’ Scouting Report - NFL Draft 2012 Yearbook

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Photo - DT Fletcher Cox - Mississippi St.

Our top rated defensive linemen this year is Fletcher Cox of Mississippi St. in an outstanding tackle group. Cox has been our #1 tackle for the three technique position and the #1 end for the five technique spot since the day he declared in January 2012. There has been no movement at the top of the defensive line here with Cox remaining our #1 blue chip prospect at two critical positions for both NFL front lines. He fits all 32 NFL defensive fronts and is a top 10 value here who probably is selected in the top 15 overall choices.

DT Fletcher Cox – Draft Insiders’ Yearbook Scouting Report - NFL Draft 2012

1. Fletcher Cox #94 - 6’4” 300 lbs. - Mississippi St. - Sp. 4.8 - Rating 93
Hindu Theory: Darnell Dockett

Explosive junior tackle completed an outstanding career that earned him SEC honors his final two seasons. Fletcher was instrumental in the Bulldogs tough defense that ranked high in the SEC, a conference that features many of the nation’s best defensive prospects. He was a dominant performer who elevated every other defender’s play up a level and did this despite facing regular double team blocking. He had a short three year stay in the SEC with improvement annually especially his final performance. He is a big athlete with fine overall size and great arm length that gives him a nice advantage on the interior. He displayed dominant talent last fall with rare explosiveness on the snap and the power to finish. He is a tough quick tackle who has been a force in the middle, displaying an explosive burst to gain a huge advantage which required double team blocking regularly over his late career. He is an athletic defender who has played both tackle and end as a collegian and projects to both the tackle spot in the 4-3 set and the five technique end spot in a three man front. He can move around to present favorable mismatches along the line with an equally high level of play. Though he lined up inside mainly at tackle in a four man front, the experience at different positions helped develop him into the most versatile lineman in this class. Though, he is not a good fit for the nose tackle spot, he has developed all the other techniques especially best suited for the inside three technique position. He has a big athletic angular body with rare quickness, functional strength and footwork that enables him to be a force as a pass rusher and a run support defender. Late in his career, he displayed consistent big play ability that changed games and finished with 25 TFL and 9 sacks despite double-teaming regularly. He made fast improvement in his technique in general and his hand usage by facing special attention weekly on the inside. He is a natural three-technique tackle who has a thick and powerful frame with top playing strength and great explosive quickness to be very disruptive in the tackle box and push the pocket. He has a very good motor and has shown advanced technique especially strong hands that allowed him to use his talent the fullest. He has a developed strong hand punch that strikes blockers and allows him to counter with a combination of quickness and power to maintain an advantage. He shows consistency with his punch and counters quickly with power to win late on the down. He has outstanding quickness to shoot gaps with the closing burst of speed to make impact plays in the backfield. He has good range and can flatten down the line and make plays at the sidelines. He stacks, sheds and quickly locates the ball with incredible short area speed to finish and make big plays. He shows top functional strength, flexibility and stoutness at the POA with sound leverage. As a junior, he made 12 starts and posted 56 tackles with 14.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 FR and 1 FF while earning 1st team SEC honors. As a sophomore, he made 29 tackles with 6.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks while starting 11 of 12 games. At the NFL Combine, he came in at 6’4” 298 lbs. and 34.5” arms. He ran a super 4.79 time with 30 reps, 26” VL and 8’7” BJ and good agility drills of 4.53 short shuttle and 7.07 three cone. He is similar to Darnell Dockett in size, AA and versatility, in addition to their rare combination of quickness and power. He is at a similar LOD to that Pro Bowl defender at the same stage, though he has more upside potential. He responded with a big final season that established him as a blue chip NFL prospect. This is a unique defender who is capable of being a difference maker with early impact ability on either front line. Athletic tackle with the skill set to become a rookie starter after being battle tested in the tough SEC where he showed dominant talent vs NFL caliber linemen. Top 10 value with mid round prospect overall. The most NFL ready defensive linemen in this class and capable of being an immediate impact starter. Clubs like the Dolphins, Bengals and Seahawks are highly interested in the top half of 1st round. Athletic defender with impact ability and future Pro Bowl regular.
Draft Projection: 1st Round - Top 15 Pick