Scouts, Inc.: 42
Strengths: A tall, somewhat lean corner with long arms (32.3) and big hands (9.2). Very instinctive and confident. Played in a blitz-heavy scheme that frequently left him on an island, but he’s better suited to play zone in the NFL. He has very good straight-line speed. Footwork is sound, plays with good balance and shows good burst coming out of cuts. Gets good knee bend in backpedal, reads routes fairly well and closes quickly. Times jumps well and is tall enough to compete for jump balls. Has quick feet and shows a second gear when tracking the ball downfield. Reads routes well, reads quarterback’s eyes and is aggressive. Locates the ball well. Displays good ball skills and flashes big-play ability after interceptions. Physical and fills hard when reads run. Active and can effectively bluff blitz. Has progressed steadily and should only continue to get better with experience. A person of high character and a hard worker on and off the field. Passionate about the game and is out to prove he’s better than people think. Very durable athlete.
Weaknesses: Though he has quick feet and good straight-line speed, he shows stiffness in his hips. Struggles to open quickly and mirror faster/quicker receivers. Press technique can improve. Hand-placement is inconsistent and he hasn’t shown great upper body strength. Will have some problems rerouting receivers at the NFL level and is more effective playing off the line than he is jamming receivers. He plays the game hard but isn’t as physical as you’d like to see, especially from a cover-2 type NFL prospect. Takes too long to shed block when gets reached and occasionally takes himself out of the play by trying to avoid blocker rather than stacking him up. Doesn’t always wrap up upon contact and is an inconsistent open field tackler that isn’t going to deliver a lot of big hits.
Overall: Cason arrived at Arizona in 2004 and went on to start all 46 games during his Wildcats career (’04-07). In his first three seasons, he compiled 182 tackles (10 for losses), three forced fumbles, 10 interceptions (one of which he returned for a touchdown) and 18 pass breakups. He turned in his finest season as a senior, recording 71 tackles (four for losses), two forced fumbles, five interceptions (two of which he returned for TDs) and 14 pass breakups. He had two more scores and averaged 10.0 yards on 27 punt returns last season. Cason also participated on Arizona’s track team in 2006, competing in the 200 meters and the sprint relays. His father Wendell played three seasons in the NFL and his cousins Aveion Cason and Ken-yon Rambo also played in the league. Aveion has played six seasons with three different teams and Ken-yon played two seasons (2001-02) for the Cowboys. Cason has some stiffness in his hips and will struggle to turn-and-run with some faster NFL receivers, which is why he’s best suited to play in a cover-2 heavy scheme. Otherwise, his combination of physical tools, mental toughness and versatility is impressive. He has the size, straight-line speed and anticipation to emerge as a solid starter in a zone-heavy NFL defense, and he also can compete for touches on punt returns. Cason should come off the board in Round 2.
Rick Gosselin: 45
Rather early to take him here, frankly, although some mock drafts had the Cowboys grabbing him with the 28th pick.
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