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Cordell Volson
NFL Draft

Cordell Volson’s Versatility Will Boost NFL Draft Stock

  • Kyle Crabbs
  • January 30, 2022
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The NFL draft process is a funny thing. The entire objective for scouts and player personnel is to identify what a player CAN do. But the process itself feels like it is more skewed toward finding reasons NOT to draft players—be it off-the-field reasons, schematic conflicts, or otherwise. And that is what is making North Dakota State offensive lineman Cordell Volson’s weekend so important here in Las Vegas.  The long-tenured starting tackle for the Bison program is looking to finally make the leap to the pros and he’s doing it while showcasing himself in new ways for the teams in attendance at this year’s East/West Shrine Bowl.  Volson, you see, is a long-time starter at the offensive tackle position. He’s been a starter since the 2019 season, logging 41 starts over the last three seasons. And while he’s taken a few snaps here or there throughout the course of the 2020 FCS playoffs at guard due to injuries on the team, he’s been a staple on the outside at tackle. But Volson’s weekend in Las Vegas has featured ample reps inside; asking him to showcase positional versatility and the ability to play as a guard. Saturday’s first practice was fine. But Sunday’s second day of padded practice? It wasn’t fine. It wasn’t even good. It was GREAT.  Volson absolutely looked the part, manhandling both defensive tackles and defensive ends in the pass protection one-on-ones. And then when the practice transitioned to team sessions, Volson was once again responsible for creating voids in the front for the running backs to push through with ease.  And this is where the finicky nature of the NFL draft process comes into play. Because if you’re looking for disqualifying holes on Volson’s resume, he’s plugging them as quickly as he plugged pass rushers on Sunday afternoon.  This is a prospect who has now logged time on both sides of the line as a left and right tackle and is now showcasing a firm ability to play on the interior. With the ability to potentially fill four spots on the offensive line, Volson should have some level of schematic appeal to just about every team in the league. And as a player who came into the weekend and measured in at 6-foot-6 and 319 pounds with 33.75-inch arms, he’s going to meet offensive tackle thresholds for some. If you’d like to protect him from playing outside, he’s now thrown cold water on the concern that he may not offer you multi-positional value.  When constructing a roster, finding players who can fill more than one position is considered a nice cherry on top because you can fill two spots on the team with just one roster spot. Volson could feasibly be considered a utility offensive lineman with the potential to fill the sixth OL spot at worst, and be someone that could step in anywhere other than center in order to ensure you don’t have to play musical chairs up front if you have an injury on the line.  Concerned about his play at the FCS level of competition? Volson’s size clearly is the standard that you’d look for in the NFL. He’s handled both speed and power this weekend, including a stonewall effort of Notre Dame’s Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa (the best athlete on the edge of the West roster) Sunday in one-on-ones.  Consider me a fan.  Volson, not dissimilar to MTSU safety Reed Blankenship, who I wrote about yesterday, has spent some time this past season as an “old news” prospect—hardly a new familiar face or a flavor of the week. But in Volson’s case, old news is good news, as his performance is a fresh reminder of another quality OL prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. And now there’s a belief that he could be a multi-tool prospect to boost his universal appeal across all teams.  Stock up? Stock up

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Kyle Crabbs