Terrence Cody, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
Height and weight: 6'5", 354 lbs
Cody spent his sophomore season at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, helping the team reach an 11-0 record while adding 31 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He transferred to Alabama the next season where he posted a combined 52 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, .5 sack, and 2 blocked kicks during his junior and senior seasons. In the two seasons Cody was at Alabama, no team posted a 100-yard rusher against the tide, and Cody earned consecutive first team all American accolades while also winning a national title last season.
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Projected Round: Bottom 1st
Cody is a massive specimen and at 6'5, 354 pounds, he's ready for the NFL. He has the size, rare strength, length, and even some quickness that makes him a unique cog in the middle of any defense. His specialty is against the run, where he'll dominate the offensive line. His senior year at Alabama, Cody was often double teamed by offensive lineman but still demonstrated the will to be a first team All American. Simply put - he's a tremendous presence in the middle of the defense. Teams will be forced to bounce runs to the outside due to Cody's disruptive size. He uses pure physical strength to drive lineman back and won't back down from a double team. He will occupy multiple gaps along the offensive line and likes to create a pile. Cody also has a quick burst off the line that can often interfere with the center's initial snap. He reads plays well and reacts quickly in order to slip off blocks to tackle ball carriers. He has a long wingspan that he uses to block kicks and reach out for running backs as they try to pass by him.
Sometimes Cody's own strength can often be his main weakness. He's so big that his draft stock slipped when he ballooned all the way to 375 pounds at the senior bowl. Although he dropped down to 354, it remains a concern to scouts. Cody is also a one dimensional defensive tackle. Half a sack in two years doesn't scream pass rusher. On passing plays, he's been known to lean against lineman rather then use his footwork to drive them backwards. He can get lazy and needs to be in a rotation or he will gas. He sometimes lunges at ball carriers rather then wrapping up a secure tackle.
There's no denying that Cody brings both rare size and strength to the middle of a defense. His presence is overwhelming to an offensive line and having Cody in the middle could turn the Cardinals into a top five rush defense next season and beyond. His [lack of a] pass rush technique is a concern, but how many defensive tackles are genuine pass rushers anyway? Cody will need to prove to scouts that he can remain at the ideal weight(350 lbs) to play in the NFL. Should he join the Cardinals adding Cody could allow Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell to focus soley on the quarterback as well.
The Cardinals are in dire need of a dominant defensive tackle, especially if they don't resign veteran Bryan Robinson. Even if they do, Robinson's age(35) is a liability and he's nowhere near the size(304 lbs) of Cody. Cody has also been used as an extra blocker on rushing situations in college - something that may be intriguing to Ken Whisenhunt who likes to use defenders on offense. Cody could very well fall to the 26th pick, and if the Cardinals don't feel that linebacker is the primary need, they should select the enormous tackle out of Alabama. The more I read on Cody and the more I think about it, the more I wouldn't mind seeing him drafted in the first round. He could be BPA and if we've learned anything from the "Williams Wall" in Minnesota, it's that a dominant defensive tackle opens up every other position on the defense. What are your thoughts on Cody and should the Cardinals draft him in the 1st round?