5 defensive prospects for Vikings to watch at the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl

(Photo by Doug Engle/USA TODAY NETWORK) Brenton Cox Jr.
(Photo by Doug Engle/USA TODAY NETWORK) Brenton Cox Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) Brenton Cox Jr. /

Brenton Cox Jr. – LB/Edge (Florida)

As stated earlier, linebacker is a position that is high on the Vikings’ needs list. There could be two new starters next season, and one is likely to be Brian Asamoah. If Brenton Cox Jr. was put next to him, that would give the Vikings one of the highest-energy linebacking duos in the entire NFL.

Cox Jr. has a motor that is downright obscene. This guy flies to the quarterback in mere seconds and then lays a violent, yet legal, hit. He’s quick to diagnose, and with his speed and power, it is tough for a blocker to get their hands on him as he accelerates to the ball carrier.

Cox Jr. was primarily used as an edge rusher at Florida, but he is a bit of a tweener with his size, so he could be moved elsewhere. It’s unclear at this point what defense the Vikings will go with next year, but Cox is a guy who the new coordinator needs to find a role and use as much as possible.

While Cox Jr. is an exciting prospect, he was dismissed from the Gators program for apparently taking a swing at a Georgia player. Sounds like there is more to it than that, so Cox will certainly have to answer questions this week about his dismissal. That being said, he can rush the passer, and that will always have value to a team, no matter what defensive alignment they go with.

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