2015 Prospect Profile: WDE Jashon Cornell

The value of big, athletic defenders who are capable of getting to the passer rises with every passing year, so it's no surprise that programs around the country are chasing five-star DE/OLB Jashon Cornell. How does he grade out, and can Michigan reel him in?

Film and Ratings

St. Paul, Minnesota
Cretin Derham Hall
6'3.5", 240 pounds

Service

Star Rating Position Position Rank Overall Rank
247 Sports **** WDE 2 19
ESPN ***** DE 1 1
Rivals -- -- -- --
Scout **** DE 10 47

That's quite a bit of variance for a player who is ranked number one overall by ESPN. Cornell is a five-star player who sits at 17th in the 247 Composite; he would obviously plummet if ESPN's ranking were to be removed.

Breakdown

Frame: A-
Cornell isn't a super freak by any stretch of the imagination. He is, however, a rush end who possesses a frame that's a notch below elite. Checking in between 6'3" and 6'4", Cornell is tall enough to play the weak side position but isn't big enough to the point where he must have his hand in the dirt. He has good length for a player his height, which is obviously useful in keeping offensive tackles at bay. He should be able to push 260 pounds without losing a step, if not more.

Strength: B+
Jashon looks more athletic than strong on film. He isn't overpowering, but he also won't let you come off of the line and knock him back. His bull rush is effective against high school tackles, but he'll need to get into the weight room in order to keep it as an effective move at the next level.

Explosiveness/Acceleration: A
Speed: B+
Agility: B+
This is why Cornell will one day be paid to play the game of football. He comes off of the line in a flash and will chase passers down if they exit the pocket. He shows off an impressive vertical leap at the beginning of one play, only to come back down and find the quarterback. He's fairly agile for someone above 6'3", often destroying zone-read options by opening up his hips and finding the ball carrier.

On-Field Awareness: B
This is tough to gauge with such a short amount of film available, but it looks like Cornell understands the game fairly well. He does a good job of keeping his eyes up, allowing him to see the ball carriers or quarterbacks.

Technique: B-
Cornell still has a long way to go in terms of general technique and rush moves. He's simply too big and too athletic for any high school offensive line, allowing him to have his way in any given game. I like the way he uses his hands and keeps a forward lean when rushing the passer, but he'll need work against the run, where he can learn to play with a more consistent pad level. He's coached, but he hasn't been challenged to the point where he would need technique to win.

Ceiling: A-
Jashon isn't in the same realm as someone like Jadeveon Clowney, and he might not be in the same league as Da'Shawn Hand, either. He has a great frame and superior explosiveness, so he could end up being a nightmare in both run and pass defense if he adds a bit of muscle. He's going to add to his college's pass rush on day one, and he should eventually become a great all-around weak side defensive end. I think ESPN overrates him and Scout doesn't do him justice; put him somewhere in the 15-25 range and slap five stars next to his name.

Recruitment

Everyone save Alabama is in on Cornell. Notre Dame has presumably been in the driver's seat for quite some time now, but recent developments have Michigan pushing to tie it up with the Irish, who received more unofficial visits than anyone else early on in Cornell's recruitment.

Cornell has gone out of his way to keep in contact with multiple Michigan commitments, including Damien Harris and George Campbell. This isn't anything too out of the ordinary, but Michigan does have a track record of luring kids in through committed players in recent cycles. He will see Michigan play Notre Dame under the lights, then travel to Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin and Notre Dame. I wouldn't look too much int the Irish getting the final visit, as the magnitude of the game seems to trump timing for recruits these days.

Prognostication

Jashon will most likely end up picking one of Michigan or Notre Dame. Ohio State lurks in the background, as do Wisconsin and a host of other schools, but this looks like a race between the Wolverines and the Fighting Irish. I won't be making a pick between the two right now. Check out his crystal ball predictions for more from other authors around the country.

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