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Ross Cockrell NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Buffalo Bills CB

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Ross Cockrell NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Buffalo Bills CB
Don Petersen/Associated Press

Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke (HT: 6’0”; WT: 191 lbs)

Buffalo Bills

Fourth Round: 109th Pick

NFL Comparison: Greg Toler, CB, Indianapolis Colts

Combine Weigh In
Height Weight Arm Hand
6000 191 29 7/8" 9"

NFL.com

Combine Results
40-yard dash 10-yard split Vert Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
4.43 N/A 36.5" 10' 2" 7.28 4.32

NFL.com

 

Positives

  • Lanky defender with a lot of room to add muscle to his frame if need be.
  • Good height, but really plays to his size; doesn't back down to bigger receivers.
  • Has a feisty, chippy attitude on the field that is contagious to others.
  • Solid athlete who can play in either man or zone coverage without being at a big disadvantage.
  • Distance speed is a plus, although zone defenses don’t stress the importance as much.
  • Above-average closing burst towards the ball led to many defensed passes. There is potential to become better in this area, and those knockdowns could become turnovers.
  • Has a good feel for baiting the quarterback to throw the ball, and uses instincts to jump routes.
  • Stays on the hip of receivers well, and uses subtle technique to keep the receiver from catching the ball; there’s a fine line between good technique and being sloppy, and being sloppy leads to penalties.
  • Recognizes plays well, then attacks correctly more often than not.
  • Faced many pro-style offenses in the ACC, which could lower the difficulty of transition between college football and the NFL.
  • Good hip fluidity helps versatility projection at the next level. He isn’t limited to zone due to poor hips.
  • Able to mirror receivers and save movement by not falling for head fakes or false steps.

 

Negatives

  • Despite fitting the profile of a zone cornerback, he struggled the most in Cover 3, where he would often stay too strict to his zone and allow nearby seam receivers to catch chunk passes.
  • Will likely draw his share of penalties while in coverage. He grabs and holds over the middle when his lack of lateral explosion is vulnerable.
  • He’s not a great athlete; features good physical attributes but doesn’t have that extra explosion that top prospects have.
  • Doesn’t provide much in run defense, as the receiver often washes him out of the play. He doesn’t maintain lane integrity or dictate where the runner goes.
  • Will keep his eyes off of the ball and locked onto the receiver when he transitions to run deep with a receiver. This leads to easier jump balls for the target and less turnover chances.

Collegiate Statistics
Year Team Tackles PD INT
2010 Duke 60 10 3
2011 Duke 56 10 1
2012 Duke 71 18 5
2013 Duke 46 12 3

http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/ross-cockrell-1.html

 

Personal Notes

  • Was ranked as the 76th best cornerback coming out of high school.
  • Father Keith Cockrell played football at Columbia University.
  • Already graduated from Duke University with a degree in political science, and is currently pursuing a masters degree in political science.

 

Ratings Chart

Graph made by http://nces.ed.gov

Overall

Cockrell didn’t come from a big-time, powerhouse team, but he held his own without much help against some of the nations’ top receivers. Being able to play in any coverage scheme, Cockrell could develop into a reliable starting cornerback in time. His technique against defending the run will need significant development, but his effort is there, and that’s half the battle.

 

Draft Projection: Third Round

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