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  1. #1
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    Linebacker - Blake Cashman - Minnesota

    All the hype at inside linebacker is centered around Devin White, Devin Bush, and Mack Wilson, but I cannot seem to fall in love with any of these guys when I consider where they will be drafted. Devin White is off the board for me due to him being a workout warrior in every sense of the term, and I like Devin Bush and Mack Wilson, but if we are talking about using a first round pick on one of them, I am not a fan of that.

    In doing my research on the linebackers in this class beyond the top names, Blake Cashman really stood out. I don't think many people get a chance to watch many Minnesota games unless they are a fan of the team, or your team is playing against them, but I think he is a legitimate candidate to be a great player. I like almost everything I seen from him on the field, everything.

    Cashman is white, so he comes along with the "play hard", "high motor" tags, and he is competitive and plays with fire, but he is extremely athletic, quick, twitchy, and makes plays consistently sideline to sideline. The biggest negative I see is that he doesn't come up with huge hits, but he is a sure tackler who I seen on multiple occasions break down ball carriers in the open field and get them on the ground. His sideline to sideline play-making and ability to make his way through the trash inside is great, and although he struggled against Nebraska with the ball deception they used, in the other games I watched, he played head up and made good decisions more often than not.

    We obviously need help at inside linebacker, and I would say go and watch some of Cashmans games, and tell me he doesn't look like a guy you could potentially plug and play from day 1. He joined the list of guys I want on the Broncos roster come week 1, love what I seen from him.

  2. #2
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    A walk on at Minnesota and eventually was a 3rd team All Conference his last season. Apparently has had shoulder issues - not good for a LB - but maybe he has that behind him? Does have adequate speed but overall looks a little limited physically; I think nothing he can't overcome though. Isn't known for his coverage skills which I think is what is needed most by the Broncos. Looks good/great against the run but the Broncos have some decent prospects there on the roster.
    I think it comes down to what round? I like him a lot in the 5th, he might be worth a 4th but I think that probably is a little early. Pratt looks like a better fit for the Broncos but he is maybe gone in the 2/3 rounds. Other than the top 3ish LBs they all seem to not have any "stand out" abilities or are good at run but not known for coverage and vice versa. Emeke egbule from Houston looks like he could be good in coverage but overall needs a lot of development. Drew Lewis CU (I might be a little bias here) snubbed by the combine (sound familiar?) looks to have some good physical traits but needs some development both in process and physically ... late round or UDFA??
    Cashman would be a great 5th round pick with healthy shoulders.

  3. #3
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    Limited athletically ? In what way ? Was that taken from a draft website or your take away ? His change of direction agility is great, his sideline to sideline straight speed is good, and his play speed rivals the other top prospects at his position. Even looking at the combine numbers, he ran a 4.52 which was 4th best amongst linebackers, had a quicker 3 cone result than White, a better 20 yard shuttle than White and Bush, and as a one year starter, I believe that is why he has a lack of recognition. I would take him in the 3rd round honestly, and I feel the same way about Cashman as I did about Trevathan coming out. The tape doesn't lie, Cashman can play.

  4. #4
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    Cashman Paired With Jewell Might Work.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnlimburg View Post
    Limited athletically ? In what way ? Was that taken from a draft website or your take away ? His change of direction agility is great, his sideline to sideline straight speed is good, and his play speed rivals the other top prospects at his position. Even looking at the combine numbers, he ran a 4.52 which was 4th best amongst linebackers, had a quicker 3 cone result than White, a better 20 yard shuttle than White and Bush, and as a one year starter, I believe that is why he has a lack of recognition. I would take him in the 3rd round honestly, and I feel the same way about Cashman as I did about Trevathan coming out. The tape doesn't lie, Cashman can play.
    Against the run, doesn't have much "tape" showing his play in coverage. Did he have any man coverage assignments? I do not have time to watch all his video and his highlights are almost all against the run. I stated he has good speed. A LITTLE limited physically... coverage - length, strength for the pro level... didn't I say that its nothing he can overcome? YES, I did. He is not known to be sideline to sideline, primarily because he hasn't been used that way, he was playing zone when in coverage. He has the speed... ran a 4.5 even.
    I bet he is there in the 5th; I will try to remember that I bet that.
    2 surgeries on his shoulders not a concern? Might be to NFL teams/Broncos?
    Wasn't Trevathan a 6th round pick? I know, Danny had an injury and only Elway knew that he was going to be as good as he turned out to be ... and then again Trevathan did have some injury issues in his pro career. I liked Trevathan too but the Broncos didn't use a 3rd round pick to get him.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianmcfarlane View Post
    Against the run, doesn't have much "tape" showing his play in coverage. Did he have any man coverage assignments? I do not have time to watch all his video and his highlights are almost all against the run. I stated he has good speed. A LITTLE limited physically... coverage - length, strength for the pro level... didn't I say that its nothing he can overcome? YES, I did. He is not known to be sideline to sideline, primarily because he hasn't been used that way, he was playing zone when in coverage. He has the speed... ran a 4.5 even.
    I bet he is there in the 5th; I will try to remember that I bet that.
    2 surgeries on his shoulders not a concern? Might be to NFL teams/Broncos?
    Wasn't Trevathan a 6th round pick? I know, Danny had an injury and only Elway knew that he was going to be as good as he turned out to be ... and then again Trevathan did have some injury issues in his pro career. I liked Trevathan too but the Broncos didn't use a 3rd round pick to get him.
    He has plenty of tape showing his zone coverage ability, but like most college linebackers, they don't get asked to cover in isolation very often, Bush and White included. Cashman has heaps of tape playing in coverage showing his ability to change direction, his feet are very quick and honestly second to none in this draft at his position. The problem with Cashman in coverage is he can be a little to aggressive and bite on the quarterbacks eye movement, but he does have some good recovery ability to regain solid positioning.

    Being able to play sideline to sideline doesn't refer specifically to being able to play man coverage, it more refers to the ability of a player to get to the edge to defend any type of play. It could be stretch runs and getting out to the ball carriers outside the numbers, playing zone coverage inside the numbers and reacting to completions in the flats, tracking backs running wheel routes, etc. But watch the points I highlighted below, Cashman is impressive in space.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkzkZKUhseg

    Watch the play at 0.38. This play is beautiful. Cashman bites on the fake by Haskins and is out of position outside the left hash. The toss to the running back go out to the right and Cashman while fighting through traffic closes the play and meets the running back almost out near the far numbers.

    Watch the play at 2:50. Such great eye discipline and use of the hands to keep the offensive lineman off his body, he beats the running back to the edge, and comes up with a great open field tackle, that play right there is hard to make.

    Watch the play at 10:15. Cashman is locked up with an offensive lineman but disengages the block to start tracking the ball carrier on the screen who already has the ball, and he takes a great angle to meet him outside the numbers and wrap him up.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuKqtlNmF7g

    Watch the play at 5:40. The ball goes outside and Cashman initially takes on contact, but he fights through the traffic, gets across to the play, and flies through the air to be in position to make the tackle.

    Watch the play at 3:40. It's a quick throw to outside the numbers, but Cashman sees it quickly and closes out near the sideline to break up the play for an incomplete pass in zone coverage.

    Watch the play at 8:16. Cashman has a shot at an athletic quarterback in space and he initially misses the tackle, it wasn't a great play by any means, but watch the recover to chase it down. That is sideline to sideline ability.

    Watch the play at 6.46. This is probably the best example. Not only does it show his terrific instincts to sniff out a screen pass which was disguised well, but watch him track that back down and run with him, impressive.

    On Trevathan and the way I feel about Cashman being similar. Yes, Trevathan was a late round pick, but he came out in the most stacked inside linebacker class we have probably seen in the 2000s, he was a 3rd round talent in my eyes based on the tape, he jumped off the screen consistently just like Cashman does. I am not saying Cashman will go in that round, I just believe he is a 3rd round talent and will be impactful down the line in the NFL. Someone with his athletic tools, competitive fire, and solid football fundamentals can only be successful in my opinion.

  7. #7
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    Iím in the camp of us needing 2 ILBs if we donít add anyone prior to the draft. Iím ok with Cashman in rounds 2-4, or even Tre Watson from Maryland. We absolutely must get one of White, Bush, or Wilson and that is non-negotiable. Elway has neglected this position for far too long and must address it to make Fangios defense work. I have them ranked like this;
    1. Bush
    2. White
    3. Wilson
    Grab 1 wherever u have to and get a project later.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KWHIT97 View Post
    Iím in the camp of us needing 2 ILBs if we donít add anyone prior to the draft. Iím ok with Cashman in rounds 2-4, or even Tre Watson from Maryland. We absolutely must get one of White, Bush, or Wilson and that is non-negotiable. Elway has neglected this position for far too long and must address it to make Fangios defense work. I have them ranked like this;
    1. Bush
    2. White
    3. Wilson
    Grab 1 wherever u have to and get a project later.
    Its fairly negotiable. I hear Fangio is pretty high on Jewel and there are good prospects deeper in the draft. A quality Qb has to be taken early. An ILB doesnt

  9. #9
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    The top 10 could play out so many ways, and Elway is going to have a tone of options. I just don't think it is realistic to address every single last need we have in one off-season, especially with the roster we finished up with last season, it's going to take time to build this thing make up again. I believe grabbing the most talented guys is the best way to do that, not forcing positional picks just because it is a glaring need.

  10. #10
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    Fangio recently said that Devin White and Bush both were not as good prospects as Roquan Smith was coming out of college, and that it would take them awhile for him to see them that way. If that's true, then I would rather we spend a 3rd round pick on Cashman. I wouldn't be surprised if he was the only ILB we take this year either, seeing as how Fangio has a high opinion of Jewell.

    Cashman had a really good 40 time, but I was more impressed with his 3 cone. As Johnlimberg stated already, he also has the sideline to sideline movement that Jewell lacks.
    Superbowl 50 Champions!

  11. #11
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    my biggest worry is he was/is a bit undersized. i think i read he played the season at 225. 235 is still kinda small for a lb. how would you Compare him to Germain Pratt?

    oakland raders gm
    latavis murray trade bait

  12. #12
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    This is unbelievable. 235 lbs of pure muscle being considered undersized. Just can't wrap my brain around that

  13. #13
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    You can compare someone like Germain Pratt to Blake Cashman and say one is stronger than the other, and he is better built to play the position. But then on the flip side of that, you can say that other guy is faster, quicker, and makes more athletic plays all over the field, which would be true in this comparison. I like both guys as middle round prospect, but I am not concerned about the size of Cashman at all. Cashman doesn't come up with big hits, but he is a sure tackler who is athletic enough to get himself into positions to make defensive stops. I also think it is idiotic to take weight as just a pure number, as guys can be the same weight and look completely different on the field from strength/speed/agility standpoints. Speaking of middle round inside linebackers, I just watched a bunch of Tre Lamar, that guy looks borderline undraftable when you consider the elite talent he is getting to play behind at Clemson, severely overrated.

  14. #14
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    Cashman still available ... I still predict he will be there in the 5th at the Broncos pick (good chance I am wrong, as I am on most predictions ) I hope he is and the Broncos pick him.

  15. #15
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    They passed on Cashman. I am a little disappointed but Hollins does have more length and is in the same speed category at 248lbs according to his combine, not quite as quick in the 3 cone or 20yd shuttle. His stats at forced fumbles is great - I like that. I know Hollins is considered an Edge player but has been able to drop in coverage, he has the speed and at 6-5 has the height and length to maybe cover TEs. He did have 7 pass breakups in his Sr season with 5 forced fumbles too.
    I would like to watch Cashman's pro career to see how he pans out for the Jets

    Oh yeah, he did go in the 5th round!

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