Cole Bishop’s Draft Profile | Utah, S Scouting Report

A high-energy leader for the Utah Utes, safety Cole Bishop declared early for the 2024 NFL Draft. Where does his scouting report rank?

The 2024 NFL Draft safety group hasn’t been met with heavy fanfare this cycle, but prospects like Cole Bishop could give the class a facelift once they reach the NFL. What does Bishop specifically have to offer with his scouting report, and what is his projection?

Cole Bishop’s Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 206 pounds
  • Length: 29 5/8″
  • Wingspan: 73 5/8″
  • Hand: 9 1/4″
  • Position: Safety
  • School: Utah
  • Current Year: Junior

A former three-star recruit out of Georgia, Bishop leveraged a successful high school career into an offer from Kyle Whittingham and the Utah Utes.

Bishop played right away as a true freshman and started the last six games of the season, earning a Pac-12 Honorable Mention bid in the process. In 2022, he led the team in tackles and helped them reach the Rose Bowl, and in 2023, he was a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist.

By the end of a quick but storied three-year career, Bishop had amassed 197 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions, 12 pass breakups, four fumble recoveries, and a forced fumble.

Right from the jump, Bishop produced. And at the NFL Combine, he produced stellar numbers — among them a 4.45-second 40-yard dash and a 39″ vertical. How do those numbers translate to the film? Let’s take a closer look.

Bishop’s Scouting Report

  • Extremely explosive athlete with elite accelerative capacity and closing speed.
  • Has great sink and quickness on direction changes and can gain speed with fast strides.
  • Flashes fluid hips and efficient technique on his pedal and keys in on the QB’s eyes.
  • Versatile defender with single-high, two-high, box, and off-man slot experience.
  • Able to quickly recognize intent, flow underneath passing lanes, and impact the ball.
  • Can chip and pass off TEs over the middle, then divert course to cover flat routes.
  • Has the frame to wall off TEs while suffocating seam routes with his athleticism.
  • Shows off great play recognition, route processing, and adaptability as plays progress.
  • Can quickly react to crossing routes and erase gaps with his high-end explosiveness.
  • Isn’t afraid to enforce at the catch point and can levy jarring, completion-breaking hits.
  • Relentless blitzer who can scrape past RBs and run down QBs with his bristling speed.
  • Engages blocks with maximum physicality and expertly deconstructs and breaks down.
  • Intelligent run-fit DB who can maintain positioning against blocks to suffocate lanes.
  • Able to wrench down boundary blocks with violent rips, then square up runners.
  • Has a quick trigger downhill and can instantly recognize screens and flow play-side.

Weaknesses

  • Despite size, has below-average proportional length, which limits his disruption radius.
  • Can be outreached at the catch point by tight ends and larger receivers.
  • Doesn’t always play to his 40-yard dash speed in deep coverage.
  • With his high-energy athleticism, can be prone to wasted motion when matching WRs.
  • At times, is late to plant and drive vertically to cover emerging seam threats.
  • On occasion, passes off WRs when he needs to carry and cover his zone.
  • Is sometimes over-reliant on grabs and tugs when fighting to regain stem leverage.
  • Has room to play the ball more precisely at the catch point upon closing ground.
  • At times, can be a bit flat-footed on his pedal, which can sap at transition efficiency.
  • At times, can be over-aggressive when triggering downhill, drifting past proper angles.
  • Below-average proportional length does at times impact his ability to wrap on tackles.
  • Sometimes whiffs when attempting to drive his front shoulder, letting runners by.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Bishop grades out as a top-64 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. For teams in need of a strong safety with coverage and support versatility, he’s worthy of early-to-mid Day 2 consideration, and he could go on to be one of the best defensive backs from the 2024 class.

The Utes asked Bishop to do just about everything in the secondary. He played single-high, two-high, off-man nickel, close to the line as a box safety and enforcer, and as a blitzing threat. He was one of the team’s defensive leaders, an active communicator, and a source of fire with his passionate motor.

All of those qualities make Bishop a translatable NFL defender, and he has the athletic profile to match. He’s an extremely explosive, energetic athlete with impressive fluidity and corrective athleticism for his size, and he also has the frame to levy jarring hits and wall off targets in coverage.

Bishop’s playmaking range makes him dangerous, and he’s a sharp processor too. His game is underpinned by his play recognition, adaptability, coverage versatility, and confidence once he hits his trigger. And in support, he supplements his quick trigger with awe-inspiring physicality and deconstruction ability.

MORE: Top Safeties in the 2024 NFL Draft

While Bishop has good measurements, his below-average arm length does limit him in certain respects. He doesn’t have great ball skills or tracking ability, and bigger WRs can outreach him. Additionally, in support, he struggles with tackling form consistency.

Being a safety whose primary function will be in support, Bishop has to shore up his tackling. But if he can do that, he has the explosive athleticism, coverage variability, processing ability, and well-applied physicality to be an impact starter, and he has immediate special teams utility.

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