The Saints ARE showing interest in LSU linebacker Jabril Cox, who should go in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft pic.twitter.com/8KcmIQeO9r— Doug Mouton (@DMoutonWWL) April 15, 2021
At around 6-foot-3 and 234 pounds, the North Dakota State transfer fits the bill for the modern-day linebacker and could be an interesting option to fill the hole left vacant after the release of Kwon Alexander. Alexander is one of three LSU linebackers whose legacy helped Jabril Cox choose the school as his transfer destination.
According to Pro Football Focus, during his final collegiate season Cox took 352 coverage snaps, was targeted 41 times but gave up no touchdowns while securing three interceptions and drawing no penalty flags. Expanding to include his previous North Dakota State seasons his coverage snaps sky to over 1,100 with only two touchdowns surrendered against his eight interceptions.
Jabril Cox career in coverage (NDSU + LSU):— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 5, 2021
❌ 1,114 snaps
❌ 2 TDs allowed
❌ 8 INTs pic.twitter.com/8gVDzr9nN9
That type of coverage talent beside Demario Davis would be a huge benefit for the New Orleans Saints who saw an uptick from the second level when Kwon Alexander was added via trade last season. Mouton specifically pointed to that available spot when asking about the Saints’ contact with the linebacker. Cox clarified that he feels the Saints shown real interest in his talents, letting him know that they’ll be present for his April 26th Pro Day.
In some exclusive audio from the interview available at the Locked On Saints podcast, Cox talks a little about his influences on the field and what he tries to bring to linebacker position. The interesting thing is that the names he evokes are those of All-Pro and Pro Bowl safeties Kam Chancellor and Eric Berry.
Those are two guys I like to patent my game after. Seeing what they can do and then bringing that to the linebacker position is something I really wanted.
Jabril Cox doesn’t describe himself as the linebacker prototype of 10, 20, 30 years ago. He thinks of himself as a “defensive specialist” with the versatility to be a moveable chess piece wherever he’s needed. A team like New Orleans likes for their players to be “multiple”. Meaning that they can contribute from several areas and positions.
I’ll take LSU LB Jabril Cox on day 2 all day over Notre Dame LB JOK in round 1.— Nathan Coleman (@JHawkChalk_) March 7, 2021
✅Nose for the ball:9 Ints & 23 Pass Breakups
✅Best Coverage LB in CFB(+90th percentile coverage grade)
✅ Versatile:900+snaps at slot corner
✅Lives in the backfield:15 Career Sacks/39 TFLs pic.twitter.com/TZxGBClm2S
Consider players like P.J. Williams, Patrick Robinson, Malcolm Jenkins, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson (Ceedy Duce) who all carry a variety of places from which they can produce on the defense. That is the quality Jabril Cox looks to possess starting from the second level.
Cox was not able to participate at LSU’s original Pro Day which took place on March 22nd. However, he will be able to test at a second event scheduled for April 26th. While Cox told Mouton that he believes his film speaks for itself, he acknowledges that scouts would like to see those numbers and I’m sure he’d like to show that the hamstring which kept him from participating in that original Pro Day is healed up and ready to go.
Listen to the rest of the interview in the final segment of Friday’s Locked On Saints Podcast. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC , “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @RossJacksonNOLA.