NFL Draft 2012: Scouting Fletcher Cox

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 10: Quarterback Barrett Trotter #14 of the Auburn Tigers throws a pass while under pressure from defensive lineman Fletcher Cox #94 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the first quarter on September 10, 2011 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)

With the signing of Jason Jones it seems less likely the Seahawks will take a defensive tackle in the first round but regardless, I'm doing my due diligence. I spent a stupid amount of time on an article on another subject last night that ultimately turned out terrible, so I thought I'd throw this up for you this morning so you have something to chew on. Here's some tape and some expert analysis on Mississippi State's DT Fletcher Cox, a guy that had until recently been linked to the Seahawks in some mocks and in draft discussion.

Tony Pauline, on Cox at the Combine:

Cox turned in a terrific workout as advertised. He tipped the scales at 298, pounds, then ran a 40 time that some stopwatches clocked at 4.78 seconds. During position drills Cox looked very athletic displaying balance and movement skills as he easily changed direction. Scouts were impressed by his ability to keep his knees bent and practice with good pad level. Expect the Mississippi State junior to charge into the top half of round one after his performance today.

Wes Bunting, from the Combine:

The 6-4, 298-pound lineman from Mississippi State not only ran an impressive 4.8 40-time. However, his ten-yard split was in the low 1.6 range and he displayed a real explosive element to his game when asked to change directions during positional drills. He still has a tendency to pop upright on tape. However, there's a lot to like athletically about his game and he's got the skill set to project as either a three or five technique in the NFL.

Greg Gabriel:

As a player, Cox has a lot to offer. Besides having excellent size and speed for the position, he is a very good athlete who has balance and quick change of direction. He gets off the ball quickly and flashes a very good first step. He can get tall, but with his power he can consistently get a push. At this time he is best as a run stopper. He can be a little slow getting off of blocks but he has good instincts and finds the ball. He plays hard every snap and shows very good hustle when chasing the ball. His pursuit angles are very good. He wins most one on one's and handles double team blocks well.

He doesn't have a lot of production as a pass rusher, with only 5 sacks this year, but he gets his share of pressures and hits. What he lacks as a pass rusher is top hand use to get rid of blockers quickly. This also affects his ability to make counter moves. Once clear of the block he shows a good closing burst to the quarterback.

Dan Pompei, on players that helped themselves in the interview process:

Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State DT: He helped himself in the drills, but he also helped himself in the interview room. Cox projected himself as a player who teams would feel comfortable making a big investment in.

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