The Panthers aggressively added potential impact talent on the defensive side of the ball in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, they ignored the off-ball linebacker position and could easily be looking to address the position next offseason. In this mock draft, LSU linebacker Jabril Cox stood out as a strong fit for this team and a potentially fantastic value in the third round.
Cox was a two-time All-American and three-time National Champion at North Dakota State and has made the move to LSU for his final college season. Despite having so much success at NDSU, Cox wanted to get more exposure and will look to consistently prove himself against SEC competition on a consistent basis. If Cox has a strong season at LSU, his 2021 NFL Draft stock could rise in a big way.
Cox is a long and athletic linebacker who is extremely smooth in coverage. He shows tremendous man-to-man coverage skills for a linebacker and fantastic instincts in zone. He changes directions quickly and attacks the ball in the air extremely well. Cox does have some work to do in the block shed department, but his obvious ability in coverage fits extremely well for the modern NFL.
The Carolina Panthers are doing a great job of building a fast and explosive defense with impact playmakers all over the field. Cox would fit what they want in an off-ball linebacker extremely well and could quickly grow into a starting-caliber player for this team. If Cox is available for Carolina in this range, he is an obvious target for their defensive unit.