Cards meet with elite CB prospect at Combine

Antrel Rolle's move to free safety leaves a gaping hole in Arizona's cornerback rotation. The Cardinals used the NFL Combine to investigate ways to fill the void, conducting a private meeting with one of the top prospects in attendance. Cardinalinsider.com talks with this up-and-coming player about his offseason works and a possible future in the desert.

Antoine Cason (6'0", 185 pounds) was a standout, two-time PAC-10 Defensive Player of the Week for Arizona. In addition to winning the Jim Thorpe Award, Cason's accolades include becoming the first Arizona player to be named first team All PAC-10 on defense and special teams.

Cason's could have been a high pick in the 2007 draft had he left school early, but decided to stick around and finish out his collegiate career.

"I take a lot of pride in that. I feel very confident in myself for making plays consistently for four years," Cason said.

In 2007, Cason recorded 71 tackles, 14 pass breakups and five interceptions. His opponents threw 73 passes in his direction, completing only 23 of them for an average of 11.2 yards. The remaining 50 passes were incomplete as a result of Cason's stellar defense.

"I wanted to be the best cornerback in college football. I wasn't content coming out as a junior and not be the best. I've always wanted to be the best and worked to be the best," he said.


CB Antoine Cason
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty

Cason is an instinctive and smart player with an exceptional ability to retain information. When tackling, he will deliver powerful hits and fight to dislodge the ball. Cason maintains his position and has a good feel for zone coverage. He has natural hands, which help him to intercept the ball more readily.

Cason's downfalls are that lacks top-end speed and needs more bulk and strength. He is not always fluid in his transitions and tends to get narrow in his base. Additionally, he also lacks the power to stun his opponents on contact.

What Cason lacks on the gridiron, he makes up for in the community. In 2007, Cason and a former teammate Matt Brooks started a foundation called Cason Cares. They sold bracelets to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Members of the Phoenix Suns purchased and wore the bracelets to support the foundation.

Cason plans to be involved with similar projects in the future.

"Everything is not about me, me, me all the time. I wanted to give back and do something positive, and pretty much everyone can relate to," he said.

For four years, Cason learned and executed successful defensive tactics. He has been described as someone who can play man or zone coverage with good awareness against the pass and the run.

Cason met with Cardinals coaches about the possibility of taking the place of Antrel Rolle in the nickel defense. Cason has the experience to handle such an important role as a rookie, as well as the quickness to cover receivers out of the slot.

He would be a welcomed addition to the Cardinals defense and special teams. If he was drafted by the Cardinals, he would hope to go down in team history with the likes of Roger Wehrli and Aeneas Williams.

"Those guys have been there and they've been successful and that's where I am trying to be. I want to be amongst those names and mentioned in the same breath as those guys. That's my ultimate goal," he said.


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