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Through The Scout’s Eye: Deon Cain

INDIANAPOLIS — Morocco Brown, the Indianapolis Colts’ Director of College Scouting, talked to reporters following the 2018 NFL Draft about what he saw in wide receiver Deon Cain, the Colts’ sixth-round (185th-overall) selection in this year’s draft:

We’re just trying to figure out why Deon Cain fell to the sixth round — some had him as a second- or third-round grade.

“Well, I’ll say he was an uber-talented prospect. For what reason he fell? I mean, we do our due diligence — all the teams do. I don’t know if it’s one particular reason, but I’ll just say the talent, you could say, would probably be looked at in a higher round than when we got him. And that was what was attractive, is it’s not necessarily where you get picked, it what’s you do when you get in here. So when you see a guy with that kind of high side still sitting there on the board, you go ahead and snatch him and then just roll the dice, so to speak, at that point. Because like I said, we were thinking about the fronts, and once we felt like, OK, we’ve kind of squeezed the blood out of the turnip with who was up on the board, let’s go and pick the best guy available at each round.”

Why was Cain’s production down last year at Clemson?

“I think they’ve got a lot of good players at Clemson, No. 1. No. 2, Deshaun Watson’s at Houston — that hurts a lot. And, I mean, I don’t know. Sometimes there’s just a dip. … He didn’t do anything different than he did the year before. But he had a first-rounder playing beside him at receiver, and then he had the best player in Clemson history at quarterback.”

Is Cain mostly just strictly a perimeter guy? Or is he a guy that moves around at all?

“That’s how they used him more there. And receivers are put in different roles. I’d say his speed, whenever you’re that fast, they do want you to take the top off and stretch the field, so that was his strong suit. And that’s with anybody that’s running, you know, under 4.4 is going to be the speed guy. But the guy can run routes — he’s just talented. Now, he’s a quarterback out of high school so he hadn’t been playing receiver that long, so some of the intricacies of the position, he hasn’t mastered yet. But he can get there.”

Do you see that speed — some guys run fast; they don’t necessarily look it — but can you see that speed with Cain?

“Yeah, you can see it. Correct. There’s a guy we had in Chicago, Bernard Berrian, back in the day. Similar body style: thin — not going to say super skinny — but thin build, but he could run like the wind. Body like a race car. So you use people for what their strengths are. But that’s not (to say) he’s a one-trick pony; he can do some other things, too. He can run after the catch, adjust, make catches.”

-------------------2018 'Through The Scout's Eye' Series:
Linebacker Darius Leonard
Guard Braden Smith
Defensive end Kemoko Turay
Running back Nyheim Hines
Running back Jordan Wilkins
Wide receiver Deon Cain
Linebacker Zaire Franklin

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