2019 - Torn Labrum; 2020 - Arm injury; 2021- Hamstring injury
2020 - Alabama, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Cox thrives when playing in coverage. Is outstanding in man coverage, using his speed and athleticism to his advantage. Showed that he can cover tight ends, receivers, and running backs in the passing game. Also does a great job with route recognition and finding work in zone coverage. Has the closing quickness to react and break up passes effectively. Also love his play speed which allows him to make plays all over the field. His position versatility will set him apart from other linebackers in this draft class. He can be used as a weakside inside linebacker, in the slot, and in dimebacker situations on passing downs.
Needs to show that he can be reliable in the box against the run. Takes too long to process plays which can put him out of position to make a play. Lacks physicality when taking on blocks and trying to shed them. Offensive linemen are going to be faster at the next level so he won't be able to rely on his speed as much to beat them. Also needs to work on wrapping up and running his feet as a tackler instead of lunging with his shoulder. That leads to far too many missed tackles and running backs will take advantage of that. If he is used off the edge as a pass rusher, he will need to work on putting together some moves to win off the edge and getting lower pad level to beat offensive tackles.
Jabril Cox was a very successful linebacker in the FCS at North Dakota State that decided to transfer to LSU for his final season to prove that he can compete at a higher level. At North Dakota State, Cox was a star, making two All-American teams, winning three National Championships, and being named MVC Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. Combined for 258 tackles, 32 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, six interceptions, and two touchdowns in those three seasons. In his one season with the Tigers, he showed that he belonged in the SEC. Cox started in all ten games for the Tigers, finishing third on the team with 58 tackles along with 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, and three interceptions. His performance earned him an invitation to the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl. At the next level, Cox projects best as an athletic weakside linebacker that can be used in multiple different ways on passing downs. If he can improve against the run and get stronger, he will be a true every down linebacker. I see Cox being drafted somewhere on Day 2 of the draft and being a key rotational and special teams player immediately that can find a starting role quickly depending on his team's situation at his position.
Is a very good athlete at his position. Has outstanding play speed with the ability to run sideline to sideline to make plays. Shows no signs of struggle when changing direction in order to pursue the ball carrier. Shows great closing quickness when breaking on a pass and closing in on a ball carrier. While he does have explosive speed, isn't very physical or explosive in any other way. Lacks play strength which puts him at a disadvantage when taking on blocks and making tackles.
Pass Rush Ability:
Big Play Ability
Rush with Leverage
Pass Rush Moves
Was used both off the edge and as a blitzer at LSU. Has a quick first step and also does a great job of timing the quarterback's cadence when coming in on a blitz or rushig off the edge. Doesn't show a wide variety of pass rush moves and will need to work on that if used off the edge at the next level. Mainly relies on his speed and quickness to beat offensive linemen through the gaps or on the edge. Could also work on his leverage and using his athleticism to his advantage to bend and get lower than the offensive lineman blocking him at the point of attack.
Is at his best in coverage. One of the best linebackers in this draft in man coverage. Has the speed and athleticism to open up and run with tight ends in the vertical passing game. Was also used on the outside and in the slot against wide receivers at times and was successful when covering them. Looks very natural in coverage with the ability to job into coverage quickly and smoothly. Does a great job of getting into his drops and finding work in zone coverage. Also does a good job of picking up on different route combinations quickly.
Against The Run:
Struggles in the box against the run. Needs to work on his pad level both when taking on blocks and making tackles. Lacks the physicality with his hands to engage with blockers and shed them. If he can't outrun them or beat them with his athleticism, offensive linemen usually stay locked on easily. Also needs some work as a tackler in the open field. Lunged out with his shoulder far too often, causing him to miss tackles and making it easier for running backs to bounce off of him. Does do a good job for the most part of pursuing the football using his speed and lateral agility to his advantage. Also has great range running sideline to sideline to put himself in good position.
Play with Leverage
Stack and Shed
Seems to be a great leader that takes command of the defense. Showed no struggles in finding a key role when transferring to LSU and fitting in immediately. Showed the toughness to play through pain and injuries. However, didn't show a ton of physical toughness in his play. Plays with a high motor at all times but has a lack of consistency in his play. There are times where he looks like an elite linebacker and other times where he seems lost in space.
Takes too long to process plays and react. Once he does go through his reads, he does do a good job of finding the ball or recognizing the play. Shows tremendous position versatility which will definitely keep him on the field at the next level. Lined up inside, off the edge, in the slot, and even on the outside across from receivers at LSU. His speed and athleticism will also help him find an early role on special teams in the league.