James Casey, TE, Rice

Scouting Reports of tight ends in the 2009 NFL Draft.
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James Casey, TE, Rice

Postby Pudge » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:10 pm

James Casey
6-4/253 Rice
4.66 Sophomore

Pros: He has a good speed and hands and can stretch defenses. Has nice concentration and does a good job making the catch in traffic. Is a physical runner after the catch and lowers the shoulder to deliver the hit. Shows some potential as a position blocker when working in space. Versatile, works as on direct snaps in short-yardage and is a capable punt returner.

Cons: Needs to get stronger and better as a blocker. Doesn't lock onto defender and mostly just gets into the way. Most of his work at tight end comes in the slot. Raw as a potential inline tight end.

Overview: Casey is a versatile weapon that is good enough to play wideout. He was listed at 235 in school, so he's already bulked up considerably. Will turn 25 in September, having spent 3 years as a pitcher in the Chicago White Sox farm system. Played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, and returned punts, and also played defense in his two-year stint at Rice.

NFL Forecast: Casey is going to be a productive pass catcher at the next level. I foresee him being a player like Chris Cooley. He's going to need to be developed as a blocker, and even learning how to line up at H-back may take some time. But he's a natural receiver that is a big play threat because of his combo of size and speed. He's the type of guy that in the right offense could be an 80-catch guy. Would excel in a role similar to Dallas Clark where he is essentially an oversized slot receiver. But he'd also work well for a team like the Dolphins because of his potential to run the wildcat as well. He's too versatile and talented a receiver to not be a solid pro. He'll never be a good blocker, but what does that matter when you're producing like Clark and Cooley do in the passing game? He's not for every scheme, but in the right one he can be very dangerous.

ATL Forecast: He's not a great fit in Atlanta. He's a good receiver that can work as an H-back, but I don't think he'll ever even develop into a competent blocker at that position. He would be a versatile weapon, but would probably require the team to make major modifications to their offense to take full advantage of his skills. He'd still be a productive receiver because you know Ryan is going to find ways to use him, but still only a 30-40 catch guy. But he'd be able to make plays, stretch defenses, and on the occasions the team uses the Wildcat, they can use him there as well. It's really not a matter of whether he can stick in Atlanta, but whether the coaching staff will adjust their scheme a bit to really allow him to blossom.

Value: Casey has first round potential in the right scheme, but I'd probably take him towards the middle part of round two because he's more receiver than tight end.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

SPEED: 4.0
HANDS: 4.0
RANGE: 4.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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