Feb 27, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Mississippi State defensive lineman Fletcher Cox does footwork drills during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Dolphin Draft: Who Is Fletcher Cox?


Sep 10, 2011; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Barrett Trotter (14) throws a pass as Mississippi State Bulldogs lineman Fletcher Cox (94) closes in during the first half at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit John Reed-US PRESSWIRE

 

Draft day 2012 is approaching and excitement fills the air. In my draft prediction for the Miami Dolphins, I have been going with North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples. I’m not buying into the Ryan Tannehill hype. He doesn’t make sense in the eighth slot by any standard, and it’s just not Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland’s style. Ultimately, I believe the Phins trade down.

If the Phins stay put, then Coples is likely, for his raw talent, but he doesn’t have the intangibles that Ireland seeks. The Dolphins prefer team captains, with clean track records and unquestioned work ethic. To be fair, Coples’ only drawback is his inconsistency. With that said, the Phins have strayed before. In 2009, they drafted Vontae Davis despite questions of character, a gamble that has paid huge dividends.

Enter Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who has been rising in mock drafts everywhere. I hadn’t seen him in action until this week but now that I have, I’m convinced he merits a top-10 selection. Unlike Coples, Cox is not built like Jason Taylor, Julius Peppers, or Jason Pierre-Paul, but he stacks up favorably against him (Coples).

Coples is 6’6″, 284, while Cox is 6’4″, 298. At the combine, they ran similar 40s, 4.78 and 4.79, negligible edge to Coples. Cox had five more reps of 225 lbs. While Coples was the better leaper, Cox was much faster in the 3-cone and 20-yard shuttle runs, exemplifying better quickness.

In college, Cox played both defensive tackle and end but that’s not the best part. Scouts claim Cox plays hard every down and “wears down” opponents! Wears them down with his tenacity. Wow. Is he being underrated because of his build?  Why couldn’t he play defensive end in the NFL?

How about South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram? He is much more athletic than Cox and Coples. Folks, this is because he is a linebacker. Ingram is 6’1″, 264, so he is an NFL linebacker. Because of this and because the Phins love huge guys, I have him on a lower tier than Cox and Coples.

Fletcher Cox could be the choice for the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the 2012 draft.

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Tags: Fletcher Cox Jeff Ireland Melvin Ingram Miami Dolphins Quinton Coples Ryan Tannehill