A popular series from last draft cycle is returning yet again at Stampede Blue. Last offseason, I interviewed over 40 prospects that could eventually be fits for the Indianapolis Colts in the 2019 NFL Draft. As a result, we were able to find out a lot about two Colts who went on to eventually be drafted by the team in Marvell Tell III and Khari Willis. This year I hope to interview even more prospects so you all can get an inside look at these player’s accomplishments and mindsets going into this next draft.
Our next prospect interview is Ohio State defensive tackle Jashon Cornell. Cornell is a talented defensive lineman who was overlooked on Ohio State’s loaded defensive front the past few seasons. We had a great conversation about his breakout Senior season, his go-to pass rush move, and why he stayed loyal to Ohio State regardless of playing time.
6’3” 285 pounds
30 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks, and 1 forced fumble
Fit with the Colts:
The Colts have made a ton of improvements to their defensive line this offseason, adding superstar DeForest Buckner and a good depth piece in Sheldon Day. They could still use some youth on the interior though with Day and Grover Stewart set to hit free agency in 2021. Adding a player like Cornell as a depth 3-tech could be a good choice. He is a big and athletic defensive lineman whose best football is definitely ahead of him. He has some things to work on before being an impact NFL player but he has all the intangibles needed to succeed in the NFL. Add in Ballard’s noted history with Ohio State and this could be a solid day three fit.
Mid-Late Day 3
Jashon Cornell (@JayRock_9) with the hesi/club/arm over sack. Big play by the fifth-year senior #Buckeyes pic.twitter.com/2Ps6zoq2g4— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) December 8, 2019
Jashon Cornell sacks the QB and forces a fumble in his first big play as a Buckeye and Tracy Sprinkle is the happiest guy on the field. pic.twitter.com/2azwyikJkK— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) September 3, 2017
Jashon Cornell gets to the QB w/ the stab/club@JayRock_9 does a great job working 1/2 a man, reducing his hitting surface & attacking the OL's hands— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) April 11, 2020
Cornell (6'3" 293) is physical, has a great motor & can play DT/DE. Big time sleeper in the #NFLDraft #PassRush @MikeMcCartney7 pic.twitter.com/f2gJ6dQcG2
ZH: Nowadays, players seem to transfer out of situations that aren’t great for them when they aren’t getting the playing time they deserve. You weren’t like that though as you stayed at Ohio State despite inconsistent playing time. What went into the decision to stay at OSU?
JC: I stuck it out because I knew my ability to play. Coming out of my Sophomore year, I was the starter at defensive tackle before I got hit with a hernia and that stopped me from performing at a higher level. After I recovered and went through that recovery, I switched positions to defensive end and that delayed my prospects in showing who I am as a defensive tackle. I moved to defensive end because all of our depth was basically Freshmen. So all that delayed my breakout a bit but I always knew I could play and I think the=is past year I showed what I could do at the 3-tech position.
ZH: So you moved to defensive end as a Junior despite your best fit being inside. Would you say that you are a team first guy who would make those type of changes to help the team win?
JC: I’m always a team first player. I’m always willing to sacrifice my own production and such for the team and that has been throughout my entire career at Ohio State. I feel like I take pride in being just what the team needs in me and this past year I was luckily able to get what I needed to and perform at a high level.
ZH: Ohio State is known for their ability to develop defensive line talent. What area of your game did they help you improve in from your Freshman year to your Senior year?
JC: I think Larry Johnson is probably the best defensive line coach in college football or even in the NFL. One thing he does so well is develop a player’s skill set. He always changed stances and helped develop new skills and old skills. He always taught us new techniques and different things that we can do to becomes stronger football players. That is kind of what we like to show with Ohio State and our development of players. It doesn’t matter if it is your third year or your fifth year, you aren’t leaving Ohio State without some sort of developed skill set that will help you with your football.
ZH: It’s hard to talk Ohio State and not talk about Chase Young and all the other talented pass rushers there. How much does it help you as a defensive tackle to have great edge players alongside you?
JC: It helps a lot. One thing we did at Ohio State was we played together. We always knew what the others were doing and we played as one group with a lot of different skill sets. When you are able to play as a defensive line together then it makes the game so much easier because you can feed off each other and get sacks and have fun. We played well together and we would always have that outside pressure forcing him in or have the inside pressure which would allow Chase to get outside for the sack.
ZH: What would you say is your go-to move as a pass rusher?
JC: I don’t really have a go-to move and that is really the thing with the two box. I do always have counters though because that is so important to have when your initial move is stopped. I do like to use the side scissor and I like to swim a lot too. I don’t work on the same things but I always work on the two box and my pass rushing ability. That is one thing that I think makes me different as a pass rusher because I don’t use the same pass rushing move and like to switch is up to get sacks.
ZH: You mentioned that you like to switch up your rushes as a pass rusher. How important is it to vary your rushes and keep offensive linemen honest?
JC: It is very important as a defensive lineman to have different go-to moves because you always want to keep offensive linemen on their toes because you don’t want to give them that same look over and over again unless it’s consistently working. Playing at a high level like in the Big Ten, offensive linemen are going to catch onto those moves so you have to switch it up to stay ahead.
ZH: How big would you say film study is for you prior to a match-up? What are you watching when preparing for an opponent?
JC: Film is the most important thing because that is where you get answer to how an offensive lineman plays, their different calls and sets, and how you are able to tell run sets from pass sets. You are able to see first hand what they are doing and see the different weaknesses they have and that helps you be the most impactful you can be on game day.
ZH: Final question for you. What type of player am I getting on and off the field if I draft Jashon Cornell?
JC: You are getting one of the best pass rushers in this class from the interior but also a guy who can stop the run and be strong in that area as well. You are also bringing a great leader to a team. A guy that has no issues and has two college degrees from Ohio State. You are just getting a talented team player that you can build your organization around one day.