Prospect profile: Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State

Sporting News’ Pro Football War Room has hundreds of player evaluations in preparation for the 2010 NFL draft. Here is a capsule look at prospect Perrish Cox.

Perrish Cox has the tools to be a solid NFL cornerback.
Perrish Cox has the tools to be a solid NFL cornerback.

NFL position: CB
Height: 5-11 3/8
Weight: 195
40 time: 4.51
Current projection: Second-round pick

Athletic ability: Is a good athlete, enabling him to be a highly productive despite shaky technique. Shows quick footwork and excellent agility to plant, drive and close on passes in front of him. Shows loose and smooth hip movements, enabling him to turn and run with receivers despite high and upright backpedal. Shows the speed to run with receivers on deep routes and the burst to recover from a false step. Shows the ball skills, athleticism and body control to reach or cut in front of receivers to break up passes without committing a penalty. Accelerates to full speed quickly as a return man and makes sharp cuts; is strong enough to break tackles. Is a big-play return man. Grade: 7.5

Coverage skills: Has natural coverage skills to be in the right position to play the ball. From "off" and zone coverage, reads the QB and receiver well to maintain proper position. In man-to-man, reads the route well and stays on receivers’ hips and then cuts under to break up or intercept the pass; receivers often have to go through him to get to the ball. Must improve backpedal technique; must learn to sink hips and backpedal in a more compact motion. Grade: 8.5

Run-pass recognition: Shows good instincts; is consistently in the right place at the right time. Gets his head around to play the ball even on "fade" routes. Reads quick receiver screens in a blink, and explodes upfield, avoids blockers and makes hard hits right after the catch. Grade: 8.5

Closing speed: Shows a good closing burst to break up passes. Can plant, drive and close quickly on passes in front of him, but could improve backpedal to become top-notch in this area. Closes quickly when chasing ballcarriers, consistently chasing down runners. Grade: 7.5

Ball skills: Should intercept a lot of passes in the NFL. Is aggressive but under control when going in front of receivers; rarely is called for a penalty. Is one of the few cornerbacks this decade we have evaluated to break up more passes than he allowed completions. Grade: 8.0

Run support: Shows the ability and willingness to come up quickly to make tackles. Will chase after ballcarriers across the field, too. Does not hesitate to try to tackle running backs, but will at times get a little out of control and miss a tackle. Grade: 7.5

Bottom line: Cox plays the cornerback position with the tough, aggressive and competitive attitude that is hard to find. Throw in his athleticism, instincts and play-making skills, and Cox has everything it takes to become a good pro. Cox is not likely to be drafted as highly as we have him rated, but we are confident that within a few seasons he will establish himself as a productive cornerback and dangerous kickoff returner.

For more than 640 player scouting reports from Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus updated mock draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

Sporting News’ Pro Football War Room has hundreds of player evaluations in preparation for the 2010 NFL draft. Here is a capsule look at prospect Perrish Cox.

Perrish Cox has the tools to be a solid NFL cornerback.
Perrish Cox has the tools to be a solid NFL cornerback.

NFL position: CB
Height: 5-11 3/8
Weight: 195
40 time: 4.51
Current projection: Second-round pick

Athletic ability: Is a good athlete, enabling him to be a highly productive despite shaky technique. Shows quick footwork and excellent agility to plant, drive and close on passes in front of him. Shows loose and smooth hip movements, enabling him to turn and run with receivers despite high and upright backpedal. Shows the speed to run with receivers on deep routes and the burst to recover from a false step. Shows the ball skills, athleticism and body control to reach or cut in front of receivers to break up passes without committing a penalty. Accelerates to full speed quickly as a return man and makes sharp cuts; is strong enough to break tackles. Is a big-play return man. Grade: 7.5

Coverage skills: Has natural coverage skills to be in the right position to play the ball. From "off" and zone coverage, reads the QB and receiver well to maintain proper position. In man-to-man, reads the route well and stays on receivers’ hips and then cuts under to break up or intercept the pass; receivers often have to go through him to get to the ball. Must improve backpedal technique; must learn to sink hips and backpedal in a more compact motion. Grade: 8.5

Run-pass recognition: Shows good instincts; is consistently in the right place at the right time. Gets his head around to play the ball even on "fade" routes. Reads quick receiver screens in a blink, and explodes upfield, avoids blockers and makes hard hits right after the catch. Grade: 8.5

Closing speed: Shows a good closing burst to break up passes. Can plant, drive and close quickly on passes in front of him, but could improve backpedal to become top-notch in this area. Closes quickly when chasing ballcarriers, consistently chasing down runners. Grade: 7.5

Ball skills: Should intercept a lot of passes in the NFL. Is aggressive but under control when going in front of receivers; rarely is called for a penalty. Is one of the few cornerbacks this decade we have evaluated to break up more passes than he allowed completions. Grade: 8.0

Run support: Shows the ability and willingness to come up quickly to make tackles. Will chase after ballcarriers across the field, too. Does not hesitate to try to tackle running backs, but will at times get a little out of control and miss a tackle. Grade: 7.5

Bottom line: Cox plays the cornerback position with the tough, aggressive and competitive attitude that is hard to find. Throw in his athleticism, instincts and play-making skills, and Cox has everything it takes to become a good pro. Cox is not likely to be drafted as highly as we have him rated, but we are confident that within a few seasons he will establish himself as a productive cornerback and dangerous kickoff returner.

For more than 640 player scouting reports from Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus updated mock draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

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