Audie Cole, OLB, North Carolina State
6-foot-4, 246 pounds
Draft projection: fourth or fifth round
Cole played strong-side linebacker most of his career but shifted to middle linebacker as a senior. He has ideal size to play over the tight end in the NFL and he’s smart. He was given the Wolfpack’s team-player award. The question is does he have enough speed to play well outside in the NFL? Will he be a liability in space? His 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine wasn’t fast (4.81 seconds). But Cole is an example of a guy who plays better on the field than he tests in shorts and a T-shirt. If he can overachieve, he would fit as a capable strong-side linebacker in the NFL. The Bills could use security there.
Cole is a strong, big-boned kid with long, blond hair. Asked at the NFL Scouting Combine if he gets any Clay Matthews comnparisons, Cole said: "Some but I get more Thor than anything else."
"I loved playing the Sam," Cole said. "I thought it was a great position and I thought I did well at it. At Mike I struggled, but I felt I got better as the year went on."