Jabril Cox: Humble Beginnings

Jabril Cox: Humble Beginnings

So far I’ve only written about offensive prospects but as a fan who’s always been more of a defensive guy I thought it’d be fun to take a look at an underrated Linebacker. 

Jabril Cox doesn’t get enough attention and most of that is due to the fact that he played four years in the Missouri Valley Football Conference until he transferred as a graduate senior to LSU. Cox suffered a knee injury in his junior year of high school causing the Power 5 schools to lose interest in him. He ended up not having many options at all. 

Cox enjoyed a highly decorated career at North Dakota State starting 38 of 45 games and racking up an impressive stat sheet of 258 tackles, 158 solo, 32 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, 6 INTs, 18 Passes defensed, 1 forced fumble and 3 fumble recoveries. He was a three time FCS National Champion and was a FCS All-American in 2018 and 2019. 

In a recent interview Cox touched on the reason he transferred despite graduating a year early. 

"I think there's always doubters," Cox said. "It's just something that I really wanted to do, just living out a dream to play at the highest level before going into the NFL. So it's something that I wanted to accomplish myself and continue to get better at."

"It was something that I knew that a lot people wouldn't do, but I wanted to be one of the main ones to show guys that FCS players can also play in FBS and just continue to thrive there," 

That he did as his success continued at LSU in 2020 as he was third in tackles for the Tigers with 58 total including 6.5 for loss, he added a sack, a touchdown, 3 interceptions, 5 passes defensed and a fumble recovery. 

Cox is a very versatile player who played Quarterback, Receiver, Linebacker, Safety and Cornerback in high school. That is quite evident when you watch the Kansas City native play, he’s the type of linebacker that can easily cover Tight Ends and Running Backs deep down the field. He has excellent ball skills and looks more like a Safety out in space. The 6-foot-4, 231-pound playmaker can fly all over the field and has the speed to do it. When asked what he thought his Pro Day 40 yard dash time would be he said 

"I'm trying, right now, we'll see — low 4-5, high 4-4," 

He ended up not being ready to participate due to his minor injury but if that was his goal while nursing an injury imagine how fast he could be fully healthy! 

Cox’s athleticism and physical talent are big reasons why he’s being targeted as high as very early 2nd round but what is most intriguing is his smarts. He has an incredibly high football IQ and is a natural born leader. This is the type of linebacker that can instantly improve a defense with his speed, playmaking ability and overall wherewithal. 

This year’s class of linebackers is very good so I don’t see Cox sneaking into the 1st round but I do believe that he is a first round talent and will show that as soon as kickoff in September. 

Thanks for reading and as always, stay true. 

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