The 2021 NFL Draft begins next week from Cleveland, Ohio.
There was no Combine this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, thus putting added importance into the college pro day circuit. It served as the only opportunity for prospects to showcase their skills and athleticism to NFL teams prior to the start of the draft.
Leading up to April 29, Giants.com will be breaking down the top prospects at each position according to NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 draft prospect list.
Next up are the defensive tackles and linebackers.
Current defensive tackles on the roster: Leonard Williams, Dexter Lawrence, B.J. Hill, Austin Johnson, Danny Shelton, RJ McIntosh, David Moa
Current linebackers on the roster: Blake Martinez, Reggie Ragland, Tae Crowder, Devante Downs, TJ Brunson, Cale Garrett
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 246 pounds
2019 stats: 13 games, 109 tackles (52 solo), five sacks, 14 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, five passes defensed (opted out of 2020 season)
Accolades: First-Team Freshman All-American (2018), First-Team All-Big Ten (2019), Consensus All-American (2019), Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year (2019), Cotton Bowl Defensive MVP (2019)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 11
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: "Parsons has a big, athletic frame and possesses excellent speed and versatility. He is quick to key/read before attacking the line of scrimmage. He can defeat blocks with his hands or use his quickness to slip past them. He has the speed to make plays sideline to sideline, although there were a few occasions where he overran the football in the games I studied. He also had some issues sniffing out the ball on zone reads. He's very gifted in coverage versus tight ends and running backs. He has timing and burst as a blitzer off the edge. Overall, there aren't many holes in Parsons' game. It's difficult to find linebackers with his size and ability to impact the passing game."
ESPN’s Todd McShay: "Parsons had 109 tackles in 2019, including 14 for loss, and forced four fumbles. He's long and is pretty good in coverage, with plenty of range. He is an above-average tackler and shows the burst to shoot gaps and be disruptive in run defense. Parsons also has the instincts and speed to blitz, tallying five sacks in 2019. Another 2020 opt-out, he will need work in getting off blocks at the next level, but consider him a day one starter in the NFL."
ESPN’s Mel Kiper: "Parsons opted out too and has been training for the 2021 draft. He was all over the field in 2018-19, racking up 191 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and six forced fumbles. He has rare talent, though he has room to grow into the defense that picks him. He played linebacker for the Nittany Lions but he was a defensive end in high school and could end up as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense at the next level. It's the versatility that makes him valuable, as he could also play inside linebacker in a 4-3. Parsons had five sacks in 2019, but he has a higher ceiling as a pass-rusher in the NFL."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Parsons is the best run defender, blitzer and tackler at the position in the draft class. He's quite easily the best blitzing off-ball linebacker we've seen in our seven years of doing this, so it's no surprise that he ranks first in this draft class in PFF pass-rushing grade over his career. We have only ever seen him as a true freshman and sophomore, too. Parsons is a truly special prospect."
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: "A one-year starter at Penn State, Parsons lined up at weakside linebacker in defensive coordinator Brent Pry's 4-3 base scheme. As a defensive end in high school, he changed positions when he arrived in State College, which makes his production and film that much more impressive (Franklin: "The scary part about him is he hasn't even scratched the surface."). Parsons is an excellent ball hunter because of his vision and agility near the line of scrimmage, also displaying exceptional sideline range. He needs to improve his maturity (on and off the field), spacing and anticipation in coverage, but the athleticism and budding awareness are there. Overall, Parsons is an impressive size/speed/strength athlete with the reaction to movement and combative mentality to develop into a cornerstone defender and three-down linebacker for an NFL team. He projects as one of the best talents in the draft."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Performance-grade inside/outside linebacker prospect possessing an NFL-ready frame and explosive speed that could make him a highly productive talent at the next level. He's most impactful when he's kept clean and allowed to run and chase the action, but carries no physical limitations into the pros. His instincts and play recognition need to catch up with his physical gifts in order to play downhill and find the most efficient routes to the football. His rush talent is a potential wild card in how teams decide to use him, but he's likely to show rapid improvement and should be a Day 1 starter."
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 221 pounds
2020 stats: 12 games, 62 tackles (42 solo), 1.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one defensive touchdown, one interception, three passes defensed
Accolades: First-Team All-ACC (2020), Unanimous All-American (2020), ACC Defensive Player of the Year (2020), Butkus Award (2020)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 18
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: "Owusu-Koramoah starred as an athletic hybrid defender for the Fighting Irish. He can play Will linebacker, safety or even cover in the slot. He's very fluid and twitchy to mirror tight ends, backs or slot receivers. He's very aware as a zone dropper and he's an explosive blitzer off the edge. He is quick to key/read before dipping under blocks on the front side against the run. He flashes the ability to use his length to punch off blockers, but he is much more effective beating them to spots. He has big-time speed to chase from the back side. He needs to improve his consistency as a tackler in space, though, as he has too many fly-by misses. He brings outstanding leadership to the defense. Overall, Owusu-Koramoah might lack ideal size/bulk, but he's built for a pass-happy NFL."
ESPN’s Todd McShay: "I love Owusu-Koramoah's tape. He is fast, he is instinctive and he is only getting stronger as he develops. His recognition skills are very good too, as he always seems to be around the ball. Owusu-Koramoah is fluid in coverage and even flashes the ability to get home on the quarterback, thanks to his suddenness. He does it all: In 2020, he had 62 tackles (11 for loss), 1.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, a fumble-return TD, 3 pass breakups and an interception."
ESPN’s Mel Kiper: "With a stellar ability to find the ball and react and with the speed to cover tight ends in the passing game, Owusu-Koramoah is a perfect fit for today's NFL. He's a three-down off-ball linebacker with sideline-to-sideline speed. He had 2.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and nine total tackles in the double-overtime win over Clemson in the regular season. He finished 2020 with 55 total tackles, three forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks and an interception. He's the top true off-ball linebacker in this class. I see Parsons as a hybrid player."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Versatile, instinctive and explosive, JOK ticks the boxes you want to see from a modern linebacker. He generated the second-highest slot coverage grade of any player in the country last season. Oh, and did I mention that he's a 221-pound linebacker? That type of coverage prowess is rare for the position."
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: "A two-year starter at Notre Dame, Owusu-Koramoah was a natural fit at the rover position in former defensive coordinator Clark Lea's scheme, playing a hybrid role that asked him to be a linebacker and nickel defender. The coaches put a lot on his plate and he responded by filling the stat sheet, taking home the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker and ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2020. A versatile performer, Owusu-Koramoah has remarkable speed and closing burst to blitz, mirror and cover, carrying tight ends or wide receivers across the field. He creates explosive force as a tackler but needs continued work with his finishing skills and play recognition. Overall, Owusu-Koramoah will have his share of undisciplined plays, but his one-step explosion, playmaking range and intelligence give his coaches flexibility to deploy him at linebacker, safety or nickel. He projects as a high-ceiling, chess-piece defender."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "It's hard to see Owusu-Koramoah's explosive traits, versatility and playmaking ability on display and not get excited about what is to come. Concerns will be raised about his lack of size and occasional lapses in fundamentals, but neither should detract from his rare potential as a game-changing talent. Not only is he fast to range and help control the outside running game, but he has an instant downhill trigger paired with a willingness to take chances, which should lead to big plays near and behind the line of scrimmage. He has the athletic ability to handle man-cover duties on a variety of positions and his rush potential as a wild-card blitzer bolsters his value. There is still a need to harness and control his energetic playing style and his field discipline is still a work in progress. However, his athletic traits, versatility and playmaking demeanor give him a chance to become the most impactful defender in this draft."
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah updated his ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft for the final time before the start of the draft.
Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 234 pounds
2020 stats: 10 games, 102 tackles (48 solo), 1.5 sacks, four tackles for loss, one forced fumble, three interceptions, one defensive touchdown, two passes defensed
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 24
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: "Davis is a tall and lanky off-the-ball linebacker. He has excellent eyes to key, read, fill and finish. He uses his quickness to beat blockers to spots. He is much better working around blocks than taking them on, but he has outstanding lateral range, and his eyes give him a jump-start. He has stopping power as a tackler in the hole, and he really excels against the pass. He has shown the ability to carry TEs down the seam as well as mirror RBs on wheel routes (SEE: Vanderbilt game). He is instinctive as a zone dropper, picking off three passes in 2020, including an 85-yard pick-six versus Tennessee. I wish he was allowed to blitz more often, because he has the traits to excel in that department. Overall, Davis lacks some strength to bang versus blockers, but his speed and playmaking ability jump off the screen. He should be a Day 1, three-down impact player at the next level."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Davis put together one heck of a season in his first year as a starter in 2020, earning an 87.5 run-defense grade for the Wildcats and showing some legit sideline-to-sideline range. He ran in the 4.4s at his pro day and tied the record for the highest vertical jump ever recorded by an off-ball linebacker (42 inches). He has all the athletic tools to be your do-it-all linebacker in the NFL."
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: "A one-year starter at Kentucky, Davis was the middle linebacker in head coach Mark Stoops' 4-2-5 hybrid scheme. After a redshirt year and two seasons as a backup, he had a breakout junior season as the Wildcats' leading tackler and finished as one of only four SEC players to average double-digit tackles per game in 2020. Davis is a rangy player with a GPS for the football, stretching out his stride to close versus the run or drop into coverage. He needs to develop more of a counterattack versus blockers and clean up his tackling technique, but he casts a wide net with his length to make open-field stops. Overall, Davis isn't a banger and needs to improve his take-on skills, but he trusts his eyes and plays fast to quickly respond to play development. He projects as a run-and-chase linebacker and Zach Cunningham clone."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Lightly experienced, but ascending inside linebacker prospect with excellent blend of size, length and pursuit talent. Davis plays with his pads squared to the line of scrimmage, operating with quick, lateral scrapes and a nose for finding the ball-carrier. He needs to improve his technique in taking on blocks and constricting run lanes. His vision, focus and field awareness are innate strengths that all play a part in his ability to play past blockers with his eyes and pursue with consistent fluidity to the direction of the running play. He can cover big tight ends. He also plays with anticipation and an above-average catch radius to make quarterbacks pay for taking him lightly in zone. Davis could use more seasoning before he's ready for full-time snaps but he should become a starter."
Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Height/Weight: 6-foot-5, 259 pounds
2020 stats: 8 games, 54 tackles (36 solo), four sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, four interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, two passes defensed
Accolades: Second-Team All-AAC (2019), First-Team All-AAC (2020), Unanimous All-American (2020), AAC Defensive Player of the Year (2020), Chuck Bednarik Award (2020), Bronko Nagurski Trophy (2020), Lombardi Award (2020)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 25
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: "Collins is an enormous off-ball linebacker. He played outside in Tulsa's 3-3-5 alignment. He has the length and bulk to take on guards and free himself for tackles against the run. He builds speed laterally, displaying tremendous range. He has average short-area quickness, but he is still a dependable tackler in space. He is outstanding in pass coverage, using his instincts to clog throwing lanes. He is more than capable of covering tight ends all over the field. He rushed off the edge on occasion and is good with his hands to defeat tight ends and running backs. You can get a sense of his athleticism if you watch his 96-yard pick-sixto defeat Tulane in overtime. Overall, Collins is a unique player because of his size/speed combination and I believe he'll make an immediate impact at the next level."
ESPN’s Todd McShay: "What a season for Collins. A 3-4 outside linebacker, he has great versatility and can bring a lot to a defense. In eight games, Collins had 53 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 4 interceptions -- two of which he returned for touchdowns -- and a forced fumble. His closing burst to the quarterback and to ball carriers is tremendous."
ESPN’s Mel Kiper: "As I wrote in my first mock draft, when I gave Collins to the Steelers at No. 25, Collins is a do-everything linebacker. He had four sacks, four interceptions (two pick-sixes) and two forced fumbles on the way to winning the Nagurski Award last season. I think he's a better fit for a 3-4 defense, where a defensive coordinator can use him all over the field, rushing quarterbacks and dropping back into coverage. But he could also put on some weight and play defensive end in a 4-3. He's a fun player to watch because he's relentless in his pursuit to the football."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Collins is one unique backer at 6-foot-5, 260 pounds. He's not physically limited by any means at that size and earned a 93.0 coverage grade this past season for Tulsa. While he won't be for everyone, certain schemes will covet that size."
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: "A three-year starter at Tulsa, Collins lined up at weakside linebacker in defensive coordinator Joseph Gillespie's 3-3-5 base scheme, playing to the boundary side of the formation. A quarterback and safety in high school, he flourished at linebacker the last three seasons with 244 tackles and 30 tackles for loss, including numerous impact plays last season (four interceptions, two touchdowns, one safety, one forced fumble). A large-framed, long defender, Collins is an ultra- smooth mover in coverage with the awareness that leads him to the football. He needs to improve his run fits and take-on technique, but he has the power in his hands to dispose of blockers in the hole and find the ball carrier, also flashing untapped pass rush skills. Overall, Collins isn't overly explosive, but he has a unique blend of size, range and instincts for the position with the scheme-versatility to be a starting strongside linebacker in a 3-4 or inside/outside backer in a 4-3."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Combines rare size and athleticism as a big outside linebacker. Collins is a team-oriented defender willing to plug gaps and spill the action wide for teammates to run down. He's rangy with the burst and length to track and capture his prey from the back side or out on the perimeter. His athletic gifts help him overcome his tardiness in diagnosing the action. There is still room for improvement when it comes to taking on blocks and pursuing with proper leverage so cutbacks don't cross his face. The second effort is evident with how frequently he's able to recover from an early block and still make plays. He's aware and dangerous in spot drops with the read and reaction to jump the passing lane. Collins could use more aggression in his play demeanor, but his combination of talent and traits should make him a productive pro starter."
View photos of every player projected to the Giants in mock drafts just days ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 290 pounds
2019 stats: 12 games, 45 tackles (20 solo), two sacks, six tackles for loss (opted out of 2020 season)
Accolades: First-Team All-Pac-12 (2019)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 30
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: "Onwuzurike is a slightly undersized defensive tackle who was highly destructive in every Washington game I studied. The Huskies moved him around in their scheme, but I believe he's best suited as a 3-technique, on the edge of the guard. He has an explosive first step and very quick hands against the pass. He flashes a twitchy slap/swim move, but there are times when he doesn't have a plan and gets stuck. He can drive interior blockers right back to the quarterback when he comes off the ball with his pads low to the ground. Against the run, he plays much bigger than his size. He can stack single opponents with one arm and refuses to stay blocked. He has lateral range and his effort is phenomenal. Overall, Onwuzurike's pass rush production isn't special, but all of the tools are there to improve the results at the next level."
ESPN’s Todd McShay: "A 2020 opt-out, Onwuzurike is a highly disruptive 3-technique with great quickness. He had a great week at the Senior Bowl in January, and in 2019, he had six tackles for loss with Washington."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "We never got to see what the next step could be from Onwuzurike after earning an impressive 82.5 overall grade in his lone year as a starter in 2019. A 2020 opt-out, Onwuzurike still looked inconsistent in the week of practices at the Senior Bowl. He's a three-technique at the next level with one of the best first steps in the class."
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: "A two-year starter at Washington, Onwuzurike lined up primarily as a nose tackle in Huskies head coach Jimmy Lake's multiple defense after he was pressed into the starting lineup as a sophomore due to injury. His stat sheet isn't much to brag about, but he rarely lined up outside the guards as the scheme asked him to occupy blocks and open pass rush lanes for his teammates. Onwuzurike fires off the snap and consistently makes plays away from his gap due to his effort and athleticism. While calling him active doesn't do him justice, he tends to rush tall and scattered, allowing him to be redirected by blockers. Overall, Onwuzurike needs to show a more leveraged attack and stay off the ground (and stay healthy), but he is a twitchy big man with fast and physical hands and flashes NFL starting traits as a three-technique tackle."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Considered by some scouts as a "flash" prospect with high-end moments on tape, but a lack of sustained excellence and production. Onwuzurike is undersized for his position but he's very strong for his size with the ability to anchor down against interior blockers. He's very physical and flashes moments where he is able to control and overwhelm single blocks. An explosive first step provides early momentum into the neutral zone, but he failed to post the high-end production that is usually associated with that interior trait. He's light on his feet but heavy with his hands, and that combination should lead to continued improvement as an NFL pass rusher. If he can play with the same grit we saw against Oregon and USC in 2019, Onwuzurike has a chance to become a disruptive starter in an attacking front."
Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 237 pounds
2020 stats: 10 games, 95 tackles (53 solo), two sacks, eight tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, five passes defensed
Accolades: 2x First-Team All-SEC (2019, 2020)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 33
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: "Bolton is a slightly undersized linebacker with excellent speed and explosiveness. He has the lateral quicks to avoid blocks, fill and chest up running backs. He has stopping power as a tackler. He improved his take-on skills as the 2020 season progressed. He has big-time lateral range because of his burst/speed. He needs to improve as a zone dropper in coverage, though. He is late to anticipate and fill throwing windows. He's much more instinctive in the run game. However, he does have the athleticism to match up and mirror tight ends. He is a dynamic blitzer. Overall, I love Bolton's speed and energy, but he does need to improve in zone coverage. If he polishes that aspect of his game, he could emerge as a top-tier starter at the next level."
ESPN’s Todd McShay: "Bolton is a solid off-the-ball linebacker with great instincts and a good motor. He is very good in coverage, has pop at the point of attack and plays faster than his straight-line speed would suggest because he locates the ball quickly. Bolton is a bit undersized, but it hasn't stopped the production. In 10 games, he had 95 tackles (tied for 18th in the nation), 8.0 tackles for loss, 5 passes broken up, 2.0 sacks and a fumble recovery."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Bolton is arguably the most instinctive linebacker in the class. He's racked up stops in both the run and pass game over the past two seasons. He's also gotten his hands on the ball despite being small for the position, tallying 11 pass breakups and two picks over that span."
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: "A two-year starter at Missouri, Bolton played weakside linebacker in former defensive coordinator Ryan Walter's 4-2-5 scheme (Walters was retained last season from the previous regime under new head coach Eliah Drinkwitz). He broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore and started all 22 games the last two seasons, averaging 9.2 tackles per game and earning First Team All-SEC honors both years. Bolton has terrific range and play personality as a run defender, trusting his reads and vision to blow up plays at the line of scrimmage. His lack of size leaves a smaller margin for error taking on blocks and with his tackling radius, but he is explosive through contact and sees what he hits to be a reliable finisher. Overall, Bolton must improve his consistency in coverage, but his play speed, instincts and contact-driven mentality will translate to production. He projects as a three-down player if he continues to improve."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "When you think about strong, forceful inside linebackers, Bolton is the type of player you might be envisioning. He's going to fall below typical NFL starter standards from a size standpoint, but his rugged frame and forceful demeanor help make up for it. Play recognition and pursuit instincts help carry him to the football and he's a message-sending striker when he gets the runner squared up. He has functional short-area burst between the tackles but will struggle to run down the outside run if he's not close enough to the action. He will need to lean heavier on his instincts to help speed him up because of size and speed limitations. Bolton plays with good field recognition when dropping into zone and has a history of making plays on the football in coverage. He's a three-down linebacker who can make an immediate contribution on special teams and has the potential to become a future starter."
View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands.
Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 310 pounds
2020 stats: 11 games, 37 tackles (22 solo), eight sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, three passes defensed
Accolades: First-Team All-SEC (2020), CFP National Championship Defensive MVP (2020), CFP National Champion (2020)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 42
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: "Barmore is a big, talented defensive tackle. I was disappointed in his play at the beginning of the 2020 season, but the lingering effects of a preseason knee injury might have been a factor. He turned it way up down the stretch. He is a little late off the ball against the pass, but he has good quickness and flashes the power to push the pocket. He is outstanding on games and stunts when he can use his athleticism to wrap around blockers. He has a big burst to close and finish, too. He is very inconsistent versus the run, but he plays too high and gets uprooted too often. He does flash the range to make plays on the perimeter. Watch him close to the outside on a wide receiver screen in the Auburn game to get a better appreciation for his athleticism. Overall, Barmore is young, raw and talented. There is a boom/bust aspect to his evaluation, but he has all the tools."
ESPN’s Todd McShay: "Barmore had eight sacks (tied for 13th in the FBS) and three forced fumbles from the interior of Alabama's defensive line this season. He is still developing as a pass-rusher, but he can get home with quick hands. Against the run, Barmore locates the ball quickly, shows adequate change-of-direction ability and is stout against double-teams. As a bonus, he is versatile along the line. But keep in mind that Barmore was a third-year sophomore in 2020, and he entered this past season with only one career start."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Barmore may have been inconsistent, but his dominant moments were as special as any defensive tackle prospect we've seen outside of Quinnen Williams. While he put up zero pressures against the likes of Tennessee and Florida this past season, he also logged 12 pressures in the College Football Playoff against two quality interior offensive lines."
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: "A one-year starter at Alabama, Barmore was the starting defensive end in head coach Nick Saban's 3-4 base scheme, lining up at various alignments from 4i to zero-technique. After redshirting in 2018, he flashed intriguing upside in 2019 as a part-time player (22.4 snaps per game) and moved into the starting rotation in 2020 (39.8 snaps per game) as he emerged as one of the best defensive linemen in the country over the second half of the season (7.0 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, two forced fumbles over the final six games). Barmore is naturally powerful to create immediate knockback and flashes the quickness to blast through gaps and close to the football. While he competes with violent intentions, he gets overextended and frenetic at times and must improve his reliability versus the run. Overall, Barmore comes with obvious risk due to his inexperience and the raw elements to his game, but he doesn't stay blocked long due to his play strength, explosiveness and energy. He projects as a position-versatile NFL starter with a Pro Bowl ceiling."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "Attack-oriented defensive tackle with a big body, violent hands and the talent to work his way around blocks and find the football. Barmore tends to be in the lead and take control of a majority of reps. His hands and feet sing in harmony and allow him to stay active and free from attempts to sustain blocks against him. His hands are heavy and powerful but also sudden and efficient, which creates early win opportunities for him in the run game and as a pass rusher. Barmore can be his own worst enemy when he freestyles his run fits and prematurely gives away positioning when posting up in read-and-react mode. He's exceptional at finding a blocker's edge and swiping past the outside hand to bring the ruckus inside the pocket. While he has similar size and skill set, it doesn't feel like he's as long at the point of attack as past Alabama defensive tackles now in the pros. Barmore's explosive first step, violent hands and upper-body power are the ingredients of a three-down defender with the versatility to play a number of positions in an even or odd front as an impactful rookie starter."
Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 232 pounds
2020 stats: 10 games, 58 tackles (37 solo), one sack, 6.5 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, three interceptions, one defensive touchdown, five passes defensed
Accolades: MVFC Freshman of the Year (2017), Second-Team All-MVFC (2017), 2x First-Team All-MVFC (2018, 2019), MVFC Defensive Player of the Year (2019), 3x FCS Champion (2017, 2018, 2019)
Daniel Jeremiah's Top 50 Ranking: No. 50
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah: "Cox is a versatile second-level defender with outstanding range, coverage ability and character. He is at his best when lined up outside the box. He can mirror tight ends in coverage and can chase plays down from the back side. He is a little bit late to key/diagnose through the collection of bodies when he's lined up inside. When his sightlines are clear, he plays fast and physical. He is a very good change-of-direction athlete and has some upside as a rusher off the edge. Everyone at LSU raves about his leadership and character. Overall, Cox grew on me the more I studied him. He can serve as a box safety, outside linebacker or in a multitude of roles via sub packages."
Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner: "Cox has one of the best coverage pedigrees in the entire draft class. He's earned coverage grades of 87.4, 85.2 and 83.5 over the past three seasons between North Dakota State and LSU."
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler: "A one-year starter at LSU, Cox lined up at outside linebacker in former defensive coordinator Bo Pelini's hybrid 3-4 scheme. After spending the previous three seasons as a "star" defender at North Dakota State, including three straight FCS championships and a 45-1 record, he transferred to LSU for his final season and didn't look out of place in the SEC. Cox is an excellent space athlete for his size and does a great job squeezing routes in either man or zone coverages. While he prefers to play in the open, he is inconsistent through contact near the line of scrimmage and must improve the consistency of his take-on and tackling skills. Overall, Cox has holes in his game, primarily with his run fits, that make it tough to love him, but he is easy to like with his smooth athleticism, spatial awareness and football character. He projects as a versatile defender with three-down potential."
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein: "The only real difference in studying his tape from North Dakota State and LSU is that Cox looks substantially more explosive than everyone else on the field for the Bison. He looks like he fits right in with the athletes at LSU, though. He'll need to be placed in a scheme where he can play proactive, attacking football rather than getting bogged down as a thinker. He's extremely fast with verified playmaking traits and credentials. His cover talent could help him quickly get on the field. He's below average in diagnosing and using his hands, which can put him in recovery mode at times. However, traits and talent should be enough to overcome those issues and help make him a solid, three-down starter within the first couple of seasons."