Clemson Football: Deon Cain clocks impressive 40-time at NFL combine


Former Clemson football star, Deon Cain put his speed on display at the 2018 NFL combine, recording a 4.44 in the 40-yd dash.

For people in and around the Clemson football program, it’s no surprise to see lighting up the testing portion of the NFL combine.

On more than one occasion, we’ve seen Cain take the top off of opposing defenses with his lethal speed. During his career at Clemson, Cain averaged 15.7 yards per catch.

The same top end speed we saw from Cain at Clemson was shown during his 40-yd dash testing at the combine. You can view Cain’s 4.4 40 below.

There’s no debating Cain’s speed, however, there is much more to his game than go routes. I was particularly impressed with Cain’s releases in college and his elusiveness after the catch.

It is difficult for defensive backs to jam Cain at the line of scrimmage due to his violent hands and smooth footwork. He does a great job of gaining favorable leverage on defenders, before coming out of his breaks.

Areas of Improvement

Cain – like every other prospect in the draft – has room for improvement in certain areas of his game. The most pressing issue is Cain’s inconsistent hands. I wouldn’t go as far as saying he can’t catch, however, he appears to lose focus at times.

The utmost important role of a receiver is to catch the football. Obviously Cain must become sure-handed to maximize his production in the NFL. He’s going to have to work on his eye-discipline and hand placement when attacking the ball.

I’d also like to see Cain fight for the ball more. He’s shown the ability to go up and get the ball in traffic, but, not consistently enough. While he doesn’t have the bigger frame of a Mike Williams, Cain has the explosiveness and body control to be a nightmare in 50-50 situations.

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Overall I expect Cain to be a solid NFL player. Clemson has a rich tradition of wide receiver play in the NFL and Cain has the physical gifts to continue that strong history.