This is one of the more promising late round picks of the 2018 NFL Draft. Cain was projected to go much higher in the draft but fell into Chris Ballard’s lap at pick 185. He will compete for a spot on the roster and will join Daurice Fountain as new pass-catchers with tremendous upside.
Cain is a 6’2”, 202 lbs. receiver who ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. NFL.com gave him a pro comparison to Roddy White. In particular, Cain is respected as a route runner and had a productive collegiate career. He has some drops that he will need to work out if he wants to gain the trust of his coaches and quarterbacks at the next level but he could be a strong outside receiver who has the size and speed to take advantage of one-on-one coverage when the defense has to focus on another primary target.
Shakin the Southland, SB Nation’s Clemson blog had the following comments about Cain’s time with the Tigers.
Cain broke out his freshman year becoming the deep threat in Deshaun Watson’s high-flying offense. In 2016, he took a bit of a step back with the return of Mike Williams, but he still managed nine touchdowns for a team that won the National Championship. Cain went into the 2017 season with high expectations as the new WR1 in Clemson’s offense. He struggled with drops and while the offense turned into a run first offense under QB Kelly Bryant, Deon still managed to show he can be an elite threat down field. Most scouts believe that Deon has the potential to be a WR2 in the NFL and teams will utilize his speed to complement other receivers. I think that Deon has shown the ability early in his Clemson career to be a multi-faceted receiver and could be a draft steal. Dabo thinks so too and points out that Cain and fellow WR prospect Ray-Ray McCloud played QB in high school and will only get better as they gain more experience as receivers.
The reality is that Cain’s collegiate production took a hit when he lost Watson for his senior season. If he can resolve the drops, he could have a ton of late round value.
Grade the Colts Pick of WR Deon Cain - Clemson
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