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Pre-draft visits continue with DB Breeland and CB Cockrell

Posted Apr 3, 2014

A pair of defensive backs were the latest pre-draft prospects to pay a visit to One Bills Drive Thursday.

For the third straight day there were draft prospects visiting One Bills Drive. Clemson DB Bashaud Breeland and Duke CB Ross Cockrell met with members of Buffalo’s coaching staff Thursday.

DB Bashaud Breeland – Clemson

Breeland (6-0, 197) is a versatile defensive back with experience at both safety and cornerback. With 24 starts in his college career, Breeland spent 2013 at cornerback earning second team All-ACC honors. He had 74 tackles, four interceptions, 17 pass breakups to lead the team and two forced fumbles as a senior.

His previous two seasons, Breeland lined up mainly at safety, but an abdominal strain injury cut short his 2012 campaign as he appeared in just 10 games before undergoing groin surgery last December.

After running a 4.62 at the NFL combine he improved on it with a 4.57 and by all accounts shined at the Clemson pro day. It gave pause to some NFL talent evaluators that thought he might only be a fit at safety at the NFL level. Breeland’s versatility figures to be coveted with more NFL defenses relying on safeties with man coverage ability.

Breeland’s body type resembles that of Buffalo’s Aaron Williams, but the draft prospect needs to add bulk and strength to his frame. The Clemson is said to have solid intangibles including a strong work ethic and focus. He’s widely viewed as a day two draft selection.

CB Ross Cockrell – Duke

A two-time first team All-ACC performer, Cockrell (6-0, 191) logged eight interceptions over his final two seasons for the Blue Devils and had 12 in his career. He also posted 50 pass breakups in his time at Duke.

A two-time captain on defense, Cockrell organized film study sessions for the defensive backs a few times a week leading up to games. It helped propel Duke to the ACC conference title game in 2013.

Cockrell had a good week at the East-West Shrine game in January posting an interception in the waning moments of the all-star game to preserve the victory. He clocked a 4.56 at the NFL combine along with a 36.5-inch vertical leap and a 10-2 broad jump. 

An experienced corner, Cockrell has the size to play on the boundary, but NFL talent evaluators are concerned about his straight line speed and being able to run hip to hip with receivers on deep routes.

Cockrell is projected by NFL draft analysts as a day three draft choice.