We know the New York Giants love to collect defensive linemen. That applies especially to defensive ends, but you would have to think a scheme versatile defensive tackle with athleticism and pass-rushing ability would also get general manager Jerry Reese's attention.
That would describe Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, the subject of today's 2012 NFL Draft Prospect Profile.
Here is the scouting report from Draft Tek, which ranks Cox the 34th overall draft prospect.
"Cox is an emerging player that has a ton of upside. He possesses elite athleticism and has good size and strength to play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme; he can even play some 4-3 end. He does a good job of using his upper body strength to redirect lineman. He exhibits solid pass rush ability, does a good job of playing on his feet; rarely gets knocked down. He also displays elite change of direction and has the ability to shed blocks. Cox is a sudden and explosive athlete and makes a lot of plays behind the LOS. He's a high motor guy that has the ability to chase down ball carriers. He also makes an impact on Special Teams blocking kicks."
- Scheme versatile
- Pass rush ability
- Too aggressive at times
Wes Bunting of the National Football Post thinks Cox is best-suited for a 3-4 defensive end slot.
CBS Sports thinks that Cox is the versatile type of lineman teams are looking for now, a trend probably at least somewhat inspired by the success the Giants have had moving players around on their front four.
"NFL teams are suddenly on the lookout for defensive linemen tall and athletic enough to provide some pressure from the outside, but strong enough to hold up in the middle. In Cox, a still-growing three-year starter out of the SEC, teams see a player capable of starring in both roles.
"Capable of lining up inside as a defensive tackle or outside as a strong-side defensive end, Cox has the size, strength and athleticism to fit in any NFL defense. Considering his youth and upside, don't be surprised if a team is forced to invest a first-round pick to acquire his services."
Fletcher Cox Profile
Weight: 300 pounds
School: Mississippi State
40 Time: 4.95 (pre-Combine)
2011 Stats: 49 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks