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All-22 analysis: Free agent defensive end Bryan Cox Jr.

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A look at Bryan Cox Jr.’s 2019 season using the All-22

Ah, Bryan Cox Jr. Not since the Buffalo Bills had Nick O’Leary on the roster has there been a player with a more perpetual reminder of their famous relative. So let’s put daddy aside for a minute and try to discover what the Bills saw from Bryan Cox Jr. to warrant signing him.


Play 1

One of the first things that jumped out was that Bryan Cox Jr. was usually pretty heads up on what was happening. He wasn’t making progress with his push, but saw that the run was heading to the sideline and switched what he was doing to seal the edge. It led to the runner needing to kick back in. The tackle isn’t immediate and Cox runs in to help out.

Play 2

I’m going to say a lot of really nice things about Bryan Cox Jr., which would hopefully prompt anyone reading it to wonder when his gold jacket will arrive. So to pull back on that a bit, we do need a couple plays that show why he was available to the Bills. This play doesn’t require much analysis. Cox has good position but can’t get any push. He’s also usually very good about turning to the play and it looks like he tries to but can’t.

Play 3

So this one is pretty similar but I felt it drives the point home. To be fair, this is getting toward the lowlight reel end of the spectrum but not such an aberration as to not include it. Ultimately, Cox will win some of these matches too, but doesn’t have the consistent power you’d prefer to see.

Play 4

You might recognize that opponent, and Bryan Cox Jr. is able to get by former Buffalo left tackle Cordy Glenn pretty easily. The rip isn’t powerful enough to break free of Glenn (see above point) but Cox knows enough to keep the contact and use the bend to get where he needs to be.

Play 5

Overall I felt that Bryan Cox Jr. had good understanding of body positioning, physics, and the game. The well-timed swat keeps him clean enough to step in and make the tackle.

Play 6

Here’s Glenn trying to stop Bryan Cox Jr. again and it doesn’t go much better. To reinforce my point above, the lean and then change of direction stands out in a good way. A couple of nicely timed punches definitely help this snap as well. But the main takeaway is the level of effort he puts in that is a consistent part of his game. He’s at the goal line at the same time as his teammate and is the first to celebrate.


Summary

Bryan Cox Jr. is a high-motor player who demonstrates great on-field intelligence and has a few ways to win from the defensive end position. If his tape is any indication, he’s a perfect “process” player. To be clear on my personal definition there, I’m talking a player who loves the game and gives it their all. There’s always a chance Cox is simply a player who needs a change of scenery.

Tempering expectations though is that Bryan Cox Jr. also seems a bit inconsistent when it comes to physicality. And although he can win a few different ways, a few more ways would be better. Add in a deep position group already and it’s not unfair to think he has an uphill battle ahead of him.