Card: Sage 2014 (212/250)
Acquired: 2016, Box Breaker
Ross Cockrell played collegially at Duke where he was a starter as a true Freshman. In 49 games playing for the Blue Devils, Ross had 233 total tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 12 interceptions for 80 yards and a TD. A solid special teamer, Ross also holds the school record for the longest blocked field goal return for a TD with a 75-yard gallop against FIU in 2012. Ross performed well at the combine, and improved upon his numbers at his pro day.
Cockrell was selected in the 4th round by the Buffalo Bills, but after seeing limited action his rookie year, he’d be cut a year later. The Bills hoped to bring him back to the practice squad, but he’d jump to the Pittsburgh Steelers instead. He quickly assimilated the defensive game plan and started 7 games in 2015. He posted 2 interceptions, 11 pass deflections, a forced fumble, and 33 tackles. During 2016, Cockrell started the entire slate of games, and had 47 tackles, 14 pass deflections, and a fumble recovery. He’d be traded to the New York Giants in 2017 after the arrival of Joe Haden in Pittsburgh. Over 9 starts, Ross recorded 3 interceptions, 11 pass deflections, and 37 tackles.
Always flying under the radar, I had hoped the Texans would make a move for Ross, who is a pretty good slot man, however they had their fill of DBs bringing in Aaron Colvin and Honey Badger.
Ross took his talent to another defensive minded franchise instead for 2018- The Carolina Panthers. Ross had a pretty solid camp ongoing, and was expected to start, until he broke his leg. He spent the entire season on IR.