Caden Sterns 2021 NFL Draft Profile

Caden Sterns NFL Draft

Caden Sterns NFL Draft Overview

Position: Safety
Height: 5-foot-11 ⅞”
Weight: 202 pounds
Arms: 32 ⅛”
Hands: 9 ½”
School: Texas 

Pro Day Performance Data

40-yard dash: 4.41
Vertical: 42”
Three cone: 6.96
Bench press: 14 reps
Broad: 128”
Short shuttle: 4.13

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Caden Sterns 2021 NFL Draft Profile

Caden Sterns played for Texas’ Steele High School where he earned himself All-American honors as well as being ranked as the number three prospect within the state of Texas by ESPN. Sterns committed to Texas and saw immediate playing time as a true freshman in 2018. Sterns started in the first 13 games of the season and tallied 62 total tackles, three tackles for a loss, one sack, four interceptions, and eight pass deflections. The performance earned him first-team All-Big 12 honors as well as being named the Big 12 defensive freshman of the year.

As a 2019 sophomore, Sterns missed some time due to injury but still managed to play in nine games. Despite the injury, Sterns still put together a solid season in which he tallied 58 total tackles, four tackles for a loss, one sack, and one pass deflection. Last season as a 2020 junior, Sterns again struggled with injuries as he played in just seven games for the Longhorns. However, Sterns again had a solid year as he accounted for 52 total tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, one interception, and four pass deflections.    

Strengths

  • Versatile safety who can play in both man and zone coverage;
  • Fluid athlete with nice hips and play recognition within the passing game;
  • Thick frame and has the size of an NFL safety;
  • Trusts his instincts and has the athleticism to play as a deep rangy center fielder;
  • Aggressive when breaking on the football and delivers nice pop behind his hits;
  • More than willing tackler who likes to play physically.   

Weaknesses

  • Struggles to diagnose run plays quickly;
  • Can take poor angles to ball carriers;
  • Despite his willingness to tackle, his tackling fundamentals need polishing;
  • Not a great blitzer and can get lost in the traffic around the line of scrimmage;
  • Does not have the versatility to be an instant impact box safety.  

NFL Comparison: Xavier Woods 

Teams With Need at Position: Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Football Team

Projection: Third Round 

Bottom Line on Caden Sterns

Sterns is an extremely versatile coverage safety and would instantly add value to a team’s pass defense. Sterns has the athleticism and instincts to play as a deep over-the-top center fielder as well as the fluidness and technique to line up one on one in man coverage situations. Additionally, Sterns has the size of an NFL safety with a thick frame which should be able to hold up against next-level competition. Sterns makes aggressive breaks on the football and delivers some noteworthy hits when he is allowed to build up his momentum.

While Sterns is a more than willing tackler, his technique needs improvement. The safety sometimes takes poor angles on ball carriers along with missing tackles at times due to sloppy technique. Furthermore, while his play recognition within the passing game is good, his run diagnosis needs to be quicker at the next level. Sterns could benefit by adding some functional strength in order to be more competitive as a blitzer and run defender in the NFL.

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