Sean Cattouse: 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of 2012 NFL Draft Prospect

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IApril 25, 2012

Sean Cattouse: 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of 2012 NFL Draft Prospect

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    Sean Cattouse may not be a big-name player in this year's NFL Draft, but he does possess all the ideal measurables of an NFL-ready safety.

    Cattouse was a three-year starter at Cal, being named an all Pac-10 selection in both his junior and senior season. He recorded 68 tackles and two interceptions in his senior year, putting himself in position to be a late-round selection in this April's NFL Draft.

    But while this guy has the look of an NFL-ready safety, there are certainly a few aspects of his game he will need to improve before taking that next step.

    Let's go ahead and break down six strengths and weaknesses of Sean Cattouse's game.

    Bleacher Report Style!

STRENGTH: Multi-Talented

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    Sean Cattouse isn't the top-rated defensive back prospect in this year's draft, but he might be the most versatile.

    Cattouse has played both strong safety, free safety and cornerback during his time wearing that Cal football uniform. In fact, he even played quarterback while in high school.

    Cattouse is at his best when he is playing closer to the line of scrimmage. He is solid in man coverage and excels at covering tight ends or bigger wide receivers in deep routes.

    This is especially valuable because no one else in the league can seem to cover guys like Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski.

    Luckily for Cattouse, that is where he excels.

WEAKNESS: Diagnosing Plays

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    Cattouse excels in man coverage, but for some reason, he has always struggled in diagnosing plays before they happen.

    Often times, the safety is looked at as one of the leaders of the defense, but that doesn't seem to be Cattouse's strength. More often than not, he gets caught up and takes some false steps and questionable angles in pursuit.

    This kid has a lot of inconsistency in his game and reading plays is certainly one of them.


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    Standing at 6'2", 211 pounds, Sean Cattouse has good size for a safety.

    His height will allow him to defend against taller tight ends and wide receivers, and once he hits an NFL weight room and is able to add some more muscle, he should be able to push them around and play with more physicality.

    Cattouse also has really good measurables as far as arm length (33 inches) and hand size (9.5). This allows him to reach up and make plays on the ball against those big-frame targets.

WEAKNESS: Inconsistent

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    Sean Cattouse has had some games in his career where one would think he could be a first-round draft choice, and then he's had other games where people questioned him as a starter.

    Cattouse plays the safety position as a wild card, where he can make some great plays, but then at other times takes questionable angels and is inconsistent in his tackling.

    If you look at his performances this past season, Cattouse had a great game in Cal's near upset of Stanford, despite being trucked over by Andrew Luck in one of the most memorable moments of this past season. He recorded a team-high 13 tackles, 10 of which were solo efforts. But then, he goes ahead and follows that up with four total tackles against Arizona State.

    This kid has to play with more consistency if he is going to make it at the next level.

STRENGTH: Special Teams Skill Set

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    Most rookie defensive players, especially those who are selected in the middle-to-late rounds of the NFL Draft, are asked to play special teams early on in their career.

    In order to be a successful special teams contributor, you need to have descent speed, strong tackling ability and good cover instincts if you are defending the gunners.

    In Cattouse's case, he can do all of the above.

    Because of that, this kid should find a spot on an NFL roster this season.

WEAKNESS: Does Not Excel in 1 Particular Area

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    Sean Cattouse was a solid college football player, but not a great one.

    There were plenty of areas that he performed well at in college, but really, he wasn't exceptional in any one particular skill.

    At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.74 40-yard dash, which isn't very good for a safety, but it's not terrible. He jumped 34 inches in the vertical jump and 114 inches in the broad jump. Both of those are solid scores, but they aren't exceptional by any means.

    A lot of these defensive backs in this year's draft have at least one area where they really excel, but for some reason, Cattouse just doesn't have that virtue.