Photo of Dylan Cole
Grade
5.41 ?

Draft Analysis:

  • 6'1" Height
  • 240LBS. Weight

Overview

A 2,000-yard rusher and All-Missouri pick as a high school senior (along with 102 tackles), Cole stayed in-state to play for the Bears. He was the team’s Defensive Scout Player of the Year in 2012, then earned Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer Team notice as the starting SAM linebacker (71 tackles, six for loss). Cole increased his production for MSU as a sophomore, garnering honorable mention all-conference honors (92 tackles, 14.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, six pass break-ups) but took his game to the next level in 2015 at WILL linebacker. He ranked third in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) with 13.8 tackles per game (152 total, 12 for loss) and finished as a first-team All-MVFC pick. The leading tackler in the FCS as a senior (12.9/game, 142 total, eight for loss, three forced fumbles), Cole was named a first-team Associated Press All-American. He again made plays in coverage, as well, intercepting two passes to tie for the team lead.

Analysis

Strengths

Built like a pro wrestler with muscles on top of muscles. Looks physical and plays physical. Forceful player who attacks blocks and tackles opportunities with the same aggression. Not a consistently static target on second level and is able to slip blocks when needed. Freak show pro day results including 32 bench reps, 39-inch vertical leap and a strong 40-yard dash. Instinctive and aware. Reads keys and flows to ball ahead of blockers. Scrapes with good quickness and squared pads. When attacking downhill, careful not to commit to a gap too early and get caught in the trash. Flashes some quick-start burst to chase runners to the sideline and crossing routes that appear in his area.

Weaknesses

Straight-line player with tightly bundled hips. Will struggle to redirect his weight quickly in space. Extremely pigeon-toed. Rarely low man when attacking running backs. Needs to play with better bend to become a leverage tackler rather than a running back catcher in the hole. Lateral agility is below desired level for an inside linebacker. Average recovery athleticism when he gets behind. May need to come off the field on passing downs.

Draft Projection

Round 5

Bottom Line

Cole's pro day workout will force teams to scramble back to the tape to see if the play matches up to the explosive numbers. He has some flexibility issues because of how tightly bound his frame is, but he flashes explosive get-off off the snap and he's got above average vision and anticipation that helps him take accurate paths to the football. Cole could be a third day pick and early special teams contributor who can play either inside or outside in a 4-3.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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