Bucs Scouting Report: Antoine Cason

Each day leading up to the NFL Draft, Bucsblitz.com will break down a player that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be interested in on draft day. Today it's Arizona CB Antoine Cason. Find out his vitals, his college statistics, what our Scout.com personnel guru Tom Marino thinks of him and Matthew Postins' thoughts on how Cason could fit in with the Bucs.

Antoine Cason

POSITION: Cornerback.

MEASURABLES: 6-foot, 191 pounds, 4.45 in the 40.

COLLEGE CAREER: In 2007 he started all twelve games at weak-side cornerback, ranking third on the team with a career-high 71 tackles (56 solos), including a 6-yard sack and four stops for losses of 12 yards. Caused two fumbles and deflected a team-high fourteen passes. 2007 Playboy All-American.

PROJECTED AS: A starting cornerback in the NFL.

ARE THE BUCS INTERESTED: He met with Tampa Bay at the combine and has worked out privately with the team, but there are no plans for Cason to visit.

DRAFT VALUE: Cason is considered a late first-round or early second-round pick.

SCOUT.COM'S TOM MARINO'S ANALYSIS: "A good football player with impressive ball skills and playmaking ability. Has outstanding size and a lot of playing savvy, but also has a high center (leggy) and doesn't have top speed to play over the top or the burst to close on the underneath routes. I also didn't think he was particularly tough or physical (marginal grab tackler). I look at him as a free safety project with adequate punt return skills."

WHAT OTHER SERVICES ARE SAYING:

"Cason's game is similar to that of the Ravens' McAlister, another former Arizona cornerback. He looks natural making plays on the ball in flight, showing the long arms and reach to get to the ball at its high point. He does a nice job of keeping plays in front of him, but needs to get more aggressive with his hands, as he lacks the placement and strength to consistently reroute receivers. He has good timed speed, but appears to lack the second gear to explosively close on the ball. Opponents challenged him often in 2007, targeting 73 passes into his area, as they averaged 11.2 yards on their 23 completions, but he has very good timing and ability to deflect the pass, obvious by the 50 passes that his coverage assignments failed to catch." — NFLDraftscout.com

"Cason improved significantly between junior and senior seasons. He showed marked improvement using his front arm to break up passes; in games we evaluated, he broke up more than twice as many passes as he allowed to be completed. Cason is not a burner but is a good athlete with all the intangibles to be a good NFL starter. He also has the smarts, instincts and toughness to switch to safety if need be." — Sportingnews.com.

MATTHEW POSTINS' BOTTOM LINE: The coverage skills are what I really like about Cason. When you can break up twice as many passes as you allow complete, that tells me you have great instincts around the football. That's a big asset in any defense, but especially the Cover 2, where positioning and instincts can be a great asset to a player who doesn't possess elite speed. Cason isn't a burner, and neither is Ronde Barber, the player that any cornerback selected in the first round by Tampa Bay in this draft would be expected to eventually replace. Barber relies on instincts, and he's carved out a pretty nice career. Cason is going to be an excellent player somewhere. He'll also be one of the safest picks from a character standpoint, as he started a foundation to raise money for a rare form of Leukemia last fall. He had to earn waivers from the NCAA and the Pac-10 to do so. A source has told bucsblitz.com that the Bucs are interested in Cason and that if he's available at No. 20 he'll be part of the conversation. If you look at Cason's overall makeup — and don't just focus on his speed — it's easy to see why.


You can read more of Matthew Postins' coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at bucsblitz.com.


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