“This Kid Sees It And Freakin’ Goes:” Inside the Draft with Greg Cosell
With the NFL draft quickly approaching, Greg Cosell breaks down the linebacker position and who Howie Roseman could be targeting on the latest “Inside The Draft With Greg Cosell” on Inside The Birds.
Cosell, along with Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan, takes a deep dive into prospects such as Micah Parsons, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Zaven Collins and the traits that come with each prospect. Plus, some of Cosell’s favorite sleepers.
Micah Parsons, Penn State
Cosell: “It’s interesting with Parsons because when he came out of high school, there were a lot of colleges that were recruiting him as a defensive end. That’s what he played in high school, he was a defensive end. So he became a linebacker, he’s over 6-foot-3, he’s 246, he’s one of those guys that’s freakish because at 246 he’s highly athletic. Now, he’s got great movement traits. He’s sudden, he’s explosive, both downhill and laterally, he can line up in different positions.
“You could see him as a guy in your sub that is a pass rusher because that’s essentially what he was coming into college. He’s got short area quickness, he’s got sideline-to-sideline speed and range. He’s really got what we like to call reactive athleticism, he’s got great reactive athleticism. There’s not much athletically that he can’t do. So it’s just a question of how you see him within the context of your defense.”
“I don’t know what the Eagles have in mind, maybe it’s a whole new world, but he could fit the Anthony Barr role very, very well. Anthony Barr was obviously the linebacker in Minnesota who played linebacker in base but was often … used as a pass rusher in sub. You could argue that Parsons could be that guy.”
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
Cosell: “Owusu-Koramoah is a fascinating guy because I heard from someone that he basically played 210 to 212 pounds this year at Notre Dame, but he was at 221 in his pro day, which tells you he wants to be a linebacker, because when you watch him you think this guy’s a safety really, but he wants to be a linebacker.
“The foundation of his game is athleticism, speed, explosiveness and this guy triggers. He has got as quick a trigger when he sees it as any linebacker in the draft. I mean this guy goes, and when he goes, he goes, and he’s just super explosive.
“So now the question is: What is he? He’s not a stack backer, he’s not a box player, he’s not a confined space player. You want this guy to have room. Now, he lined up as an overhang player which means he’s just outside the box. He lined up as a slot player, he matched up to wide receivers, he matched up to tight ends. So you have to decide in the context of your defense, what he is. But there are very few guys in this draft with his explosive movement traits.”
Zaven Collins, Tulsa
Cosell: “Collins is a totally different guy. He’s 6-foot-5, 259 pounds, and he plays like an athlete, not like a physical guy. It’s strange to say but a guy who’s basically 260, he’s more of an athletic space, run-and-chase, finesse linebacker than a physical power player despite the size. He’s got excellent athleticism. When you see him run, he runs like a much smaller man, he’s got a range, he’s got speed.
“He made some interceptions this year, when he was returning, he looked like a big running back. I think in one game he ended the game – I forget who it was against – with a 96-yard interception return for a touchdown. And when he was running, he looked like just a big running back. I’m not gonna sit here and say he looked like Derrick Henry, but he just got a big running back [look].
“He did not play with a lot of physicality, that’s the thing that needs to be developed. Can he play that way? But he’s a very multi-dimensional and multi-positional guy, that’s the way he was used at Tulsa. He kind of reminded me of the way Bill Belichick uses Kyle Van Noy, but Collins is just a much much bigger man than Kyle Van Noy.”
Jamin Davis, Kentucky
Cosell: “I watched him like seven weeks ago, before the ‘Jamin Davis Bandwagon’ started. I knew nothing about this guy when I watched him. Zero. And I put the tape on with this guy, and I ended up watching way too much of him.
“Let’s put Micah Parsons aside because he’s a little freakish in his athletic movements, but I think Jamin Davis is right up there as good a linebacker prospect as there is in this draft. He’s 6-foot-3 ½, 234 pounds, for whatever it’s worth. He ran a 4.48 40. Think about that. And his vertical jump was 42, which is really impressive. I think he has size, length, play speed, range, coverage ability, I think he’s a three-down linebacker.
“Now, I can’t speak to the team he goes to, what he’ll be asked to do, the learning curve, I can’t speak to that. I don’t know Jamin Davis, but he’s got three-down linebacker traits, right off the bat, I even said in my notes that that might not happen Week one, but it will happen. I mean he’s long, he’s fluid, he’s rangy, he’s got some explosiveness to him. I mean he had an 85-yard interception return for a touchdown this year, in which he made an unbelievable catch with body flexibility and athletic hands.”
Nick Bolton, Missouri
Cosell: “Nick Bolton will be the litmus test for everything we’re talking about. He’s under six feet, he’s 237. Is he going to be a sub-package player? Now you put on this kid’s tape, he’s a classic run-and-hit, stack linebacker. High-level competitiveness and energy, strong player recognition-and-reaction, and a quick, explosive trigger. This kid sees it and he freakin’ goes.
“But then you have to stop and think: Is he going to match up to tight ends? Is he going to match up to backs? He did a little of that at Mizzou, but he’s kind of got a sawed-off build. So at 5-foot-11, is this kid matching up – and I’m only throwing out these names because these are the people you got to match up to – is he going to match up to Travis Kelce? Is he going to match up to George Kittle? Is he going to match up to Darren Waller? You know, is he going to match up to Dallas Goedert?
“I think different teams will have different answers to that, I don’t know. My sense is no, if I was in the draft room, or I was in the draft meetings, I’d have major question marks about whether he can do that.”
Dylan Moses, Alabama
Cosell: “Dylan Moses is an interesting guy because Dylan Moses to me is a classic case of a guy with traits who the tape does not back up the traits, to me. Others could see it differently and I’m cool with that. But I think he’s a high-level athlete, physical skill set and traits to play any linebacker position, and he showed flashes of explosive movement in all aspects of the position.
“Now, in 2020 he was a year removed from a season-ending injury in 2019. So, there could well be a sense he’s an ascending player with the best yet to come. But I would say while his 2020 tape showed that athleticism, those movement traits, those physical traits, they didn’t show up enough for me. I thought that his play recognition was not there. I felt like he was a high-level traits prospect who showed outstanding flashes, but has concerns. I mean he was a big, big time recruit, he was a five-star recruit, he was viewed as one of the top, if not the top, linebacker prospect in the nation. But to me it just wasn’t there on a consistent basis.”
– Justin Morganstein (@jmotweets_) is a staff contributor to InsideTheBirds.com
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