Clemson Football: Deon Cain 2018 NFL Draft Profile


Over the next few weeks, Rubbing The Rock will be analyzing each Clemson football player in the 2018 NFL Draft class. Today we’ll be taking a look at Deon Cain.

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Deon Cain (WR) Tampa, Florida:

A 5-star prospect coming out of high school, Cain got off to a shaky start in Death Valley. To his credit, he rededicated himself and turned into one of the most explosive weapons in college football over the past two seasons.


The first word that comes to mind when discussing Deon Cain is speed. Cain’s wheels are well documented. His 40 time speaks for itself, but, what makes Cain’s special is his ability to separate from defenders.

You see Cain’s elite speed come into play when the ball leaves the quarterbacks hand. If they are hip to hip when the ball is released, Cain is often five to ten yards ahead of that defender when he catches the ball.

Cain also has an impressive repertoire of releases off the line of scrimmage. He might not have been asked to run a large variety of routes at Clemson, however, he is far from a one-trick pony. Cain is comfortable using his combination of quick feet and strong hands to beat press coverage.


In my opinion, the most important quality in a wide receiver is hands. Unfortunately, Cain’s hands have been inconsistent during his time in Death Valley. One moment he’s making a mind boggling catch, the other he has a bone-headed drop.

Cain’s hands aren’t a huge issue moving forward. I think with repetition and an emphasis on seeing the ball in he will be just fine.

He must also work to perfect his route running skills. His route tree will have to expand if he hopes to consistently beat NFL quality defensive backs.


I see Cain landing in rounds two to three. Had he performed better in 2017, he would have likely been a first round selection, but, Clemson’s offense was geared more towards running the football this season.

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Even with his lack of production, Clemson’s recent history with wide receivers in the NFL will keep Cain in the earlier portion of the draft.