SOTT Draft Profile: Audie Cole
The next few weeks here on State of the Texans we will be doing some draft profiles of some particular players who could possibly fit into the Texans plans. We are not going to try to piece together scouting reports, but we enlist help of bloggers who actually cover the respective player and their school.
In this draft profile we look at N.C. State linebacker Audie Cole, who looks like he could play either the inside or outside linebacker position. At 6’5″ and 239 lbs. Cole has the infamous “high motor” tag, but that seems to be what defensive coordinator Wade Phillips likes in his defensive players. Cole could instantly add another outside linebacker to get some depth at a thin position.
We talk to Steven from Backing the Pack, a blog dedicated to the Wolkpack on SB Nation, and try to find out more about Cole.
Can you give us some background on Cole?
Cole was a lightly-recruited prospect out of Michigan, who I think played quarterback in high school. NC State moved him to linebacker once he got on campus, and while he did not play much as a freshman, he was a regular for the following three seasons. As he adjusted to the position early on, frankly, he wasn’t very good. The entire 2009 defense was a disaster, in fact. But he got better in a hurry and by the time he was an upperclassman, he was very important to the defense.
What did he mean to NC State’s football team in 2011?
He was crucial for helping the team replace middle linebacker Nate Irving, who was the team’s best LB in 2010. State didn’t have a suitable replacement at MLB, so Cole moved to the inside and adjusted his role. State still missed Irving’s presence–there’s no way to fully replace someone that talented–but Cole’s talent and experience made the transition much smoother than it could have been.
What are Cole’s strengths and weaknesses?
I don’t think he’s going to blow people away with his athleticism, but I think he’s got good instincts and he’s a solid tackler as well. One of my favorite plays of the last few years belongs to Cole–watch him recover to ruin a trick play at the 1:24 mark (he’s #42)
Is he suited for the inside or could he transition to an oustide linebacker if he had to?
He actually played the majority of his college career at outside linebacker; when NC State lost Nate Irving after the 2010 season, the coaching staff decided to move Cole to the middle. So the good news for whichever team drafts him is that he has experience at both spots.
How do you see Cole projecting at the NFL level?
If I had to guess, I’d say it’s more likely he ends up a solid backup somewhere rather than a starter, but who knows.
He reminds me of someone, but just can’t think of who.