While previewing the running back class Tuesday on the Ringer NFL Show podcast, Zierlein told host Robert Mays he believes Cohen possesses the skills to be an "elite" receiving threat out of the backfield.
Cohen, who impressed scouts at the NFL Combine with a 4.42 forty-yard dash — the third fastest time among running backs — racked up 5,619 yards and 56 rushing touchdowns over his four-year career with the Aggies, but also showed his abilities in the passing game with 98 career receptions for 945 yards and another three scores.
According to Zierlein, the passing game is where Cohen could make a living in the NFL.
"You really have to go watch him," Zierlein said on the podcast. "If you want to talk about a guy who can annihilate people on option routes, Christian McCaffrey is good, Cohen is elite. He's 5-foot-6 out of North Carolina A&T, nicknamed the human joystick. He has tremendous stop-start quickness, like with a lot of running backs who are small, he's got just ridiculous acceleration out of his cuts, but he is basically impossible to handle out of the backfield."
Zierlein gave the NC A&T player an impressive NFL comparison:
"They played a lower level of competition, so it's kind of hard to balance it out, but if you don't see Darren Sproles when you watch him — a little smaller version of it from a weight standpoint — I don't know who else you see, because he's that kind of running back."
While many draft analysts think Cohen could be a seventh -round pick or an undrafted free agent, Zierlerin believes a team will grab the NC A&T prospect much earlier, perhaps to try to emulate the success the New England Patriots have had with receiving backs like Dion Lewis and Super Bowl 51 hero James White.
"I'll be shocked if he makes it outside of the fourth round, because he's a special type of running back that will only fit for certain teams, but teams who covet those impossible matchup running backs — and we know it's become, you know a New England thing — but for other teams who want to copy-cat that, this guy is going to be a weapon that you have to have a plan for when you draft him, but when you do, you've got yourself something special, especially out of the backfield."
The entire Ringer NFL Show podcast on running backs can be heard here: