I'll admit it. I've been sitting on a secret for a while. I was swayed by popular opinion and media hype, and my firm belief that the Buffalo Bills must take a wide receiver in the first round of this year's NFL Draft (a belief I still believe to be true). It's a secret that directly contradicts said belief, but I don't care - every blogger needs their favorite draft prospect, right?
My secret: Arizona CB Antoine Cason is my favorite draft prospect this year. At any position. Period.
Cason is starting to get more media hype as we get closer to the draft (and I've been easing y'all into this in the comments section), so now it's time to talk about Cason. As a potential first-round draft choice of the Bills. Yes, I said it - and I'll take it a step further. At pick 11. Here is the official Buffalo Rumblings scouting report on one Antoine Cason:
ANTOINE CASON - CB - ARIZONA
40 Time: 4.48 seconds
- Excels in zone coverage, where he can best use his outstanding play recognition/diagnosing skills... Excellent awareness... Has long arms, allowing him to break up a lot of passes, even when receivers have a step on him... Good on the jam and physical enough to excel in a Cover 2... Sound tackler... Plays faster than he times, thanks to those aforementioned instincts... Has a good closing burst when closing to make a play on the ball... Competitive against the run... Very productive in college and was a four-year starter... Father and two cousins played in the NFL, so he has good bloodlines... Has all the intangibles to be a star at the NFL level... Aggressive, smart player... Ranks very high on the character meter, as outlined in this BuffaloBills.com piece.
- Timed speed (4.48) is borderline, and may limit his effectiveness in man coverage... Has somewhat stiff hips, which limit his ability to turn and run despite being an excellent athlete... Aggressive player by nature, but could stand to add some muscle and be more physical... Sound, but not spectacular, in taking on blockers in run support... Streaky when making plays on the ball; he'll make a spectacular interception and drop an easy one one his next opportunity... Possibly a better fit at free safety?
NFL COMPARISON: Al Harris, Green Bay
- I originally had the New York Giants' Sam Madison in this spot, because Madison has made a career on instincts as opposed to ideal size and speed. Then I talked to Matt Miller of New Era Scouting, who compared Cason to Green Bay's Al Harris. Harris is very physical and more of a bump-and-run player, but when Cason is at the top of his game, he's just as effective, according to Miller. Harris has great size, but like Cason, does not have top-notch speed. He's excellent against the run and very aggressive by nature. Cason has that type of potential at the next level.
DOES HE FIT THE "BILL"? Yes.
- If the Bills are looking for the perfect combination of college production, professional talent and character, they'll find it in Antoine Cason. Ready-made to start immediately in a Cover 2 defense and contribute heavily on special teams, Cason is an instinctual playmaker with outstanding intangibles and leadership qualities. It's not often that you find pro prospects that have done as much for the community as Cason has, either. I'll say it right now: Cason may be the safest potential #11 pick that the Bills can make on April 26.
FINAL GRADE: 9.2 out of 10
So there it is - the official Rumblings scouting report for my favorite NFL Draft prospect, Antoine Cason. With WR Malcolm Kelly seemingly falling from grace (and also potentially available in the second round), Cason is neck-and-neck with Michigan State receiver Devin Thomas as the players most likely to be selected by Buffalo in round one, in my estimation. It may be shocking to hear Cason's name called on draft day by the Bills; count me among those who expect it. He's a natural fit for this organization. Make it happen, Mr. Brandon.