Editor’s Note: To help you dominate your rookie drafts, this series will feature a look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of over 40 dynasty rookie draft prospects and run all through the month of May and even into June. We’ll cover all the premier prospects but also give you critical information on some of the lesser known talents. All of these rookie updates will be loaded into our ever-evolving 2018 Rookie Draft Guide – the ultimate resource for dynasty enthusiasts all over the world.
Name: Deon Cain
Born: August 9, 1996
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro Team: Indianapolis Colts
College Team: Clemson Tigers
Draft Status: Round six, 185th overall
- Height: 6’2”
- Weight: 202 lbs.
- Hands: 8 3/4”
- Arm Length: 33”
- Bench Press: 11 reps
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.43
- 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.37
- 60 Yard Shuttle: 11.78
- 3-Cone Drill: 6.71
- Broad Jump: 115”
- Vertical Jump: 33 1/2”
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Cain has good size (6’2”) and his 79 5/8” wingspan sticks him in the 93rd percentile of all wide receivers. He tested very well in all of the optimal categories for an outside flanker. His wingspan, arm length (79th percentile), 3-cone drill (85th percentile), and forty time (77th percentile) are all excellent natural qualities to possess in Cain’s favor. He is not fast off the line but his long stride creates a deceptive speed that he can use to win against defenders. Cain runs fluid on deep routes and can adjust his body when pressed against the boundary. He also showed us the ability to play physical in several jump-ball situations at Clemson.
Like many receivers coming into the NFL, Cain’s route tree was limited in college. His short passing game needs attention and he will tend to get bumped off his route at the line of scrimmage. Cain never took that step of becoming a true WR1 after Mike Williams departed. He saw his target share increase significantly but he couldn’t put up a large expected increase in production. Another knock against Cain is his inconsistency with dropped passes. According to Pro Football Focus, Cain dropped six of 44 catchable passes as a sophomore and five of 54 catchable passes as a junior.
Cain will have the opportunity to compete for a starting spot on one of the weaker receiving corps in the NFL. The Colts vacated 57 percent of their WR targets from 2017 to free agency, along with three of the four wide receivers that occupied them. A healthy Andrew Luck will provide more targets available to the player who will line up opposite T.Y. Hilton.
Hilton returns once again along with Jack Doyle as the main pass catchers from a year ago. They also return Chester Rogers with new additions Eric Ebron and Ryan Grant as the only players with a near-guaranteed spot on the roster. That leaves the WR3/4 spot available as a starting point for Cain to see some playing time.
Expectations for Cain in the short-term are on the low side. He should ultimately make the 53-man roster but unless he absolutely flashes in camp, he will be lower on the depth chart in the early going. The injury to quarterback Andrew Luck will also play a big role in the development of Cain. A healthy Luck could press Cain onto the field with the possibility of extra targets, but another year(s) of Jacoby Brissett could hinder any development of a formidable aerial attack in Indianapolis.
As mentioned above, any expectations for Cain will hinder on the shoulder of Andrew Luck. Cain is a former five-star recruit out of the top college for wide receivers in recent memory, but it could be for nothing if Indianapolis cannot become stable at quarterback. Under Luck, the Colts have had a recent history of supporting multiple fantasy relevant wide receivers, and it is foreseeable that Cain could eventually turn into a fringe WR2/3 overall.
There is certainly some Roddy White to his game, along with the physical build of a Chad Johnson. Cain certainly lacks the agility and foot game of Johnson, but he plays the sideline similar to Johnson and the deep route tree similar to White. Early in the going, I can see the Colts using Cain similar to the early career of White, when he was used sparingly as a deep threat and posted a high YPR.
Projected Range for a Rookie Draft
According to DLF’s most recent ADP, Cain is being selected 32nd, the WR14 overall. He can be had for a mid to late third round rookie pick as of May along with players like Antonio Callaway and DaeSean Hamilton. The early third is probably the highest I can see him going because he has such a low floor and a capped ceiling potential. The third round of rookie drafts is the perfect place to make dart throw picks at players with a large range of outcomes. I think this is the perfect range to grab Cain if you see a role for him in the future, as I will be grabbing a few shares in that range as well.
- 2018 Summer Sleeper: Cincinnati Bengals - July 10, 2018
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: Deon Cain, WR IND - May 16, 2018
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: James Washington, WR PIT - May 8, 2018
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