Cordale Flott was one of the most improved players on LSU's defense during the 2021 season. Now, the junior appears to have his sights set on the NFL according to 247sports, leaving yet another body Brian Kelly and his staff must replace in the secondary.
A long, athletic defensive back who filled in the nickel corner role for much of the past two seasons, Flott really raised his game to another level, recording 41 tackles, four passes defended, an interception and a forced fumble in his final season in Baton Rouge. He improved as a tackler and in man coverage, being asked to slide to the outside as the season progressed.
When the Tigers lost star cornerbacks Derek Stingley and Elias Ricks early in the season to injury, the secondary was thought to be in a world of trouble. But the stellar, consistent play of Flott, Dwight McGlothern, Jay Ward and Cam Lewis really helped keep this group afloat as the purple and gold played a phenomenal final five games of the year on defense.
His true breakout performance came against Mississippi State, when he recorded eight tackles, one pick, a forced fumble and a pass breakup in what became a 28-25 win for a shorthanded defense. Flott likely projects as a mid-round pick with high upside in April's NFL Draft but LSU now must address the waning bodies in the secondary.
McGlothern, Ward, Sage Ryan, Derrick Davis, Major Burns, Matthew Langlois and Damarius McGhee are all young, exciting pieces to this secondary core but the majority are safeties. It's not yet known what Brian Kelly and this new staff will make of this current group of players or which positions they will want each to play.
Kelly has brought in Kerry Cooks and Robert Steeples to fill the void of Corey Raymond and help coach the secondary, both of whom have strong backgrounds at developing talent.
But it is safe to say there needs to be more additions to this group before the start of next season with their three top options now moving on from the program. The Tigers have cornerback Laterrance Welch and safety Jordan Allen currently signed to the 2022 class but dipping in the transfer market is something that Kelly hopes to do as the offseason progresses.
Just one example that could be worth exploring is Khari Gee, who at one time was an LSU commit before flipping to Kelly while at Notre Dame. Gee recently entered his name into the transfer portal after not playing for the Irish as a freshman this season.
Based on positions from this past season, the most glaring need would be cornerbacks as safety with Ward, Ryan, Burns, Davis and Langlois is a strong nucleus. Finding someone opposite McGlothern that Kelly and the new coaching staff can trust is probably the direction the Tigers will head in the portal.
There are simply too many combinations that could play out with how this group looks in 2022 but what one positive is that the majority of these players saw significant, successful snaps down the stretch of 2021. That's at least some momentum heading into a key offseason.