Pros: Has excellent speed and closes quickly on the ball and will deliver a hit. Has potential in coverage due to his speed and quickness, although better in zone right now than man.
Cons: Lacks size and it becomes obvious at the point of attack. Doesn't get off blocks and gets caught in traffic.
Overview: Casillas is a high-energy player that plays very fast and in the right NFL scheme that could be a major plus. But he needs to get bigger and stronger at the point of attack. Had MCL sprain that limited him all year long which is probably why his production dipped as a senior. Had surgery on it in December, and missed the Combine. But he was able to work out at his pro day so he should be ready to play this year.
NFL Forecast: You see similar things from Casillas as you saw from Demorrio Williams when he was in school. The difference is that Casillas has more experience at linebacker and has better instincts than Williams. He's a few years ahead of Williams as far as his development goes. He'll need to bulk up, but he could be a solid pickup for a Tampa-2 team that likes a lot of speed on defense. He's the type of player that if you turn him loose in space and he's protected from blockers can be a very productive player. Some teams may want to move him to safety, and while he has potential to play there, although I think his upside is less there. He has the potential to match up in coverage, but I'd rather have him working in the box. He could still be a capable starter at safety, but there is Michael Boulware potential there. And while he can play in coverage, I'm not sure he what I'd call coverage ability for a safety. Either way, he's probably a project that you'd like to sit for at least two years as he adds strength at linebacker or develops in coverage at safety. But after that point, he should be able to push for that starting position.
ATL Forecast: Casillas's length to impact is probably too long to be a suitable candidate for the Falcons at strong safety. Instead, their best is to try him as a developmental weakside linebacker. With his speed and range he does have the potential to be the other playmaking linebacker the Falcons are looking for. But he'll need to sit behind a guy like Peterson for two years before you can expect him to reach that potential. In the mean time, he can add value on special teams and help out on passing downs much like Demorrio Williams did early in his career.
Value: Casillas has upside because of his speed, although the fact that he is undersized knocks him down a bit. He'd be worth a pick late in the third or early part of the fourth.
Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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