Audie Cole is an athletic, instinctive football player who is very versatile. He has good size and strength and has experience at the strongside LB position. Cole reads run plays very quickly and has good agility and speed to get past blockers. He has good diagnosis skills and attacks the line of scrimmage with a powerful burst. He can play between the tackles and sideline to sideline.
Cole is very good against the pass, keeping his head on a swivel and reads QB eyes well. He plays with a lot of hustle and can cover a lot of ground defending the pass. Physically he has long arms and is a “lengthy” player. He anticipates well and gets good jams on tight ends. In blitz/pass rush situations Cole has a good swim move due to his long arms and has good closing speed to get to the QB.
As good as Cole is in pass coverage, he needs to improve as a pass rusher. He is rather inexperienced and needs to develop more of a repertoire to get off the edge. Cole struggles at times tackling in the open field; he has a tendency to take inconsistent angles and allows cutback lanes to athletic ball carriers.
His hand placement also needs improvement as he gets a little too grabby at times with receivers, resulting in holding calls, and needs to work on disengaging from blocks. Lacks elite flexibility to get low off the line of scrimmage, but is agile enough to get through gaps. Cole hesitates pursuing the run down the sideline and appears to give up on plays off tackle.
- ILB, North Carolina, Sr.
- Ht: 6’4”
- Wt: 240
- 40: 4.7-4.8
Audie Cole’s athleticism is very under-appreciated. He was a three sport athlete in high school (football, basketball, baseball) and was a Golden Glove winner as a boxer. Cole moved to ILB this year, and could move back to strongside linebacker in a 4-3 or stay at ILB in a 3-4. Combined with his length, he is pass defense skills will make him very attractive to Cover 2 defenses. Cole is a hard worker who won NC State’s Al Michaels Award, given to the player that “puts teams above self” as a sophomore in 2009.
As a SAM in 2010 Cole had 86 total tackles (49 solo), 10 TFL, 5 sacks, 3 PBU, two forced fumbles with one recovery, and one interception. In 2011, he registered 108 total tackles (61 solo), 12.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 4 PBU, and four forced fumbles with one recovery. In the Senior Bowl, Cole had four tackles (2 solo) and one pass break up.
Dory LeBlanc, co-hosts NFL Draft Cheat Sheet on RotoRadio and freelances for BourbonMeyer.com. Not just a college sports enthusiast, Dory is also a fan of NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB. Born outside Philly, she moved to Tampa, and now resides in Illinois, giving her a broad perspective on the sporting world. You may email Dory at email@example.com or follow her on twitter @DoryLeBlanc