Depth is critical for a team to survive from year to year. One spot where the Colts have dangerously thin the last few years is the safety position. Since the days of Bob Sanders, we have seen a rash of injuries cut down our last line of defense seemingly every year. From Melvin Bullitt to Jamie Silva, it seems like every safety has had some kind of injury that has limited playing time. In the late rounds of the draft, bolstering special teams and depth will be priorities.
One potential candidate for this is Sean Cattouse from Cal. Having seen time at both safety positions while at Cal, Sean was All Pac-10 honorable mention two years in a row. That is an impressive feat considering he started about half of his team's games both of those years. It shows that he knows how to make the most of the opportunities that he might get. He leads all active Goldenwith 7 INTs for his career and has been touted as a smart player and emotional leader for the team.
Sean's biggest strength is in man coverage. He was a corner and converted to safety. While he doesn't have the speed or fluidity to man up on typical NFL slot receivers, his frame and ball skills will help him against the "new breed" of TEs in the league. While he likes to play in the box, he is not great in run support. He needs to work on play diagnosis and coming downhill at the correct angle to make the play.
After the jump, we'll look at some draft sites and combine results. Don't forget to check out the 2012 Draft Profiles Page.National Football Post - Sean Cattouse
A big, strong safety prospect who does a decent job vs. the run game inside the box. But, isn't nearly dynamic enough in that area of the game to overcome his deficiencies elsewhere to warrant a pick.
Cattouse may not be a big name on the national scale, but to those in the Pac-12 he resonates as an influential player for the Bears the past three years when healthy. He is a safety that has started in both the free and strong roles, but is more efficient when working closer to the line of scrimmage. Given this, he is not the greatest run defender but is good in man coverage; he is a former corner and looks comfortable running with tight ends. This coverage ability gives him value at the next level as the NFL has seen the emergence of big, athletic tight ends (Gronk!) and teams are having a tough time covering them.
Combine Results -
My Take for the Colts -
Cattouse is so off the radar that some draft sites don't even have a profile for him. From what I can see, he looks like a smart player that needs some time to develop. He would be a project without a doubt. The Colts of the previous regime made their hay on getting everything possible out of players like this. I wouldn't look at him any earlier than the 6th myself. He would be a measuring stick for the productivity of the new Colts staff.