A.J. Cole

North Carolina State

Prospect Info

College
North Carolina State
Hometown
Class
College Park, GA
Senior
Height
Weight
Arms
6' 4"
217 lbs
33”
Hands
8 1/2”

Prospect Grade

5.40
Priority free agent
How We Grade

Playlist

In addition to being a very good college punter, Cole has excelled off the field. He averaged 43.7 yards per punt in 2017, and 23 of his 54 kicks stopped inside the 20-yard line (14 fair catches, just four touchbacks). He was also a finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy and a member of the American Football Coaches Association's Good Works Team, partially due to his five spring breaks spent on mission trips in Kenya. He also punted well in 2018, his final year with the Wolfpack (42.4 average, 22 of 49 inside the 20, 16 fair catches, four touchbacks). Cole earned N.C. State's punting job as a true freshman, averaging 41.7 yards, and placing 28 of 66 kicks inside the 20 (26 fair catches, six touchbacks). He put up similar statistics (41.3 average, 20 fair catches, 16 inside 20 and five touchbacks).
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Priority free agent
Overview
Four-year starter who punted with relative consistency during his career, but lacks consistent leg strength and touch to bury opponents near the end zone.
Strengths
  • Pro-style punter with long limbs
  • Knocked 46.5 percent of his punts inside the 20-yard line in 2018
  • Adequate hang time and limited return yardage in 2018
  • Athletic to go high and low to catch poor snaps
  • Exceptional character and highly regarded by teammates
Weaknesses
  • Net punting averages fell below 40.0 in each of his four years as punter
  • Leg strength is below average
  • Conservative approach with pooch punts let opponents off the hook
  • Rushes his touch-to-toe operation at times
GRADE
8.0
The perfect prospect
7.3-7.5
Perennial All-Pro
7.0-7.1
Pro Bowl talent
6.7-6.8
Year 1 quality starter
6.5
Boom or bust prospect
6.3-6.4
Will be starter within first two seasons
6.1-6.2
Good backup who could become starter
6.0
Developmental traits-based prospect
5.8-5.9
Backup/special-teamer
5.5-5.6
Chance to make end of roster or practice squad
5.4
Priority free agent
5.0-5.1
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
NO GRADE
Likely needs time in developmental league