Former Duke cornerback Ross Cockrell will be nervously waiting tomorrow for his phone to ring. Cockrell is the lone NFL Draft prospect this year from Duke.
There’s some variation as to when Cockrell could be drafted. According to the NFL.com draft website, Cockrell is expected to go in the third or fourth round. According to CBS Sports, he’s projected to be drafted in the fifth round. Those are complete guesses though, considering the NFL Draft is essentially a game of strategy for the NFL Teams depending on what they need, it’s almost impossible to figure out when players are going to be drafted and who they are going to sign with.
The third round projection wasn’t accurate, because the third round has concluded, and Cockrell’s phone still hasn’t rang. The fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds are on Saturday, concluding the NFL Draft. If Cockrell for some reason doesn’t get drafted, he will be a priority free agent, The chances of him not being drafted are slim though.
He’s described as a, “Good-sized, smart, ballhawking zone corner who plays fast and could bring immediate value as a nickel back and contribute on special teams,” on the NFL draft website.
Cockrell does have his weaknesses though. One thing that could be turning teams off from Cockrell is that he doesn’t step up and take blocks and he isn’t overly physical with his game. Fortunately for Cockrell, that behavior can be taught.
One of his biggest strengths is that he has a good sense of his senses on the field. His field vision is one of the reasons why he had success at the corner position at Duke, despite his smaller frame.
During his time at Duke, he recorded 12 interceptions and had 41 pass breakups. Those numbers marked all-time records for the school.
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