Florida University’s Bryan Cox Jr. is the son of 3x All-Pro and Super Bowl XXXVI champion Bryan Cox Sr. The former Gator will hope to replicate his father’s footsteps at the next level.
In spite of his illustrious professional career, Bryan Cox Sr. was only a fifth round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins in 1991. His son will likely have a similar start to his NFL career as a late-round pick.
Bloodlines aside, Bryan Cox Jr. is an intriuging prospect. Prior to his season-ending thumb injury, Cox was deployed all over the defensive line. He usually lined up with his hand in the dirt at the right defensive end position, but moved inside on passing downs and even rushed from an upright stance. I also saw Cox play some press/zone coverage against South Carolina (2015), where he showed the ability to disrupt the timing of a route.
Cox shows the desired level of effort on every play and plays with violent hands. Besides the swim and bend, a spin move and bull rush were also utilized, showcasing his varied arsenal. If his initial pass rush move was ineffective, he was not content just waiting around.
When he’s in a position to make a play Cox will close quickly with his powerful strides and wrap up ballcarriers with his long arms. Thanks to his sneaky athleticism, Cox is incredibly effective on a stunt, as his long speed is too much for lineman to handle.
Patience and maturity were evident on tape, especially against trick plays and counter runs. Not afraid to engage a pulling lineman, allowing others to make the play. Able to hold up on the edge in the running game and diagnose, disengage and make a play on the runner.
Cox is a bit of a ‘tweener’ standing at 6’3″ 269lbs. His best position at the next level will be highly debated. He is not a quick twitch athlete and in my opinion lacks the athletic traits to be an effective edge-rusher.
Even though he showed a varied pass-rushing arsenal on tape, Cox will usually try and beat his opponent around the edge. Hardly a menacing edge-rusher, Cox often lost balance whilst turning the corner. I would also like for Cox to develop more functional power in both the run and pass game. While he is able to set the edge, there is no penetration into the backfield.
Cox had hip surgery after his breakthrough campaign in 2014 (29 Tackles/6TFL/4 Sacks) and would succumb to a thumb injury that ended his 2016 campaign in October.
Projection: Round 4-6
Although incredibly productive in both 2014 and 2015, I do not expect Cox to be drafted in the early rounds. A standout at the East-West Shrine, Cox is better suited as a 4-3 DE rather than a 3-4 OLB due to his length and power. He would be an effective interior rusher on passing downs due to his varied arsenal and powerful first step, maybe that is how he sees the field in his rookie year.