DT Fletcher Cox – Mississippi State – 6-4, 298
Passes the eye test right off the bat. Tall, muscular frame with long arms. Very good burst off the snap and has a variety of moves to get into the backfield from his defensive tackle position, but makes most of his money on a bull rush, rip or swim. Cox isn’t just quick, but he’s powerful as well. He commanded double teams at Mississippi State and did a good job getting skinny to penetrate and disrupt the play in the backfield.
His athleticism sets him apart from many at his position in the draft as it’s all about what he can do once he penetrates. Cox doesn’t have to stop and start to change directions. He has good hips and can change directions with ease to get to the quarterback or ball carrier and really looks natural in pursuit. He also played left defensive end regularly, so he understands how to level off and collapse the pocket from the outside. Just does a tremendous job of jamming himself between linemen regularly and stopping the play before it starts. One knock on Fletcher is that he does tend to pop a bit high out of his stance, but that can be corrected at the next level.
When playing outside at defensive end, he sets the edge well against the run and extends his arms. Again, very nice job in pursuit from the five-tech and shows a nice blend of power and athleticism. Cox was actually a track athlete in high school and it shows, even at 298 pounds. He simply looks very comfortable in space and is light on his feet.
Cox is just an extremely adaptable player that will appeal to many teams because he is scheme versatile. Played defensive tackle and left defensive end for the Bulldogs and was very effective at both. Could project as a 4-3 nose or under tackle or a five-tech in a 3-4. Think he could be as high as a Top 10 pick.
Misc: Had 56 total tackles, 14.5 TFLs (5 sacks), 1 FF, 2 blocked kicks in 2011. Had a great showing at the Combine. Ran 4.79, which is amazing for his size. Also did 30 reps.