Jeremy Cash, Strong Safety
6’0″ 212 lbs.
- Thick linebacker build
- Football smart
- Great tackler, and highly productive
- Not going to get a lot of personal foul flags for hitting high
- Lots of stops for short, or no gain
- Single handedly ruins screens & swing passes
- Good blitzer
- Adept at stripping the ball
- In the box safety only
- Not going to cover deep
- Can occasionally over-pursue and miss tackles
- Could learn a couple of pass rush moves
Jeremy Cash is a highly productive, and experience strong safety coming out of Duke. When you watch his tape, it’s clear that the Duke coaching staff knew what Cash’s strengths were and let him do what he does well. In the NFL, he needs to find and NFL team that’s willing to do the same.
Cash lined up almost exclusively in the slot or on the edge in the Blue Devils’ defense and when he did have to cover it was typically covering the flat or underneath zone coverage. When matched up man to man, typically it didn’t look good.
As a runner stopper though, Cash really thrives. Cash’s instincts and tackling technique allowed him to rack up a ton of tackles in college. He does a great job of getting low to avoid blockers and chop down running backs at the legs. When teams run away from him he’s quick enough to chase down a runner from the backside and blow up a play for a loss. When teams run at him, he’s not afraid to take on bigger blockers to make a play on the ball carrier, or at least move his blocker enough to make things difficult for an offense. I particularly loved his aggressiveness on bubble screens and swing passes. Often you’ll see a defender hesitate and look afraid that they’ll miss a tackle, but Cash goes full steam ahead and typically doesn’t whiff. As a blitzer, Cash shows good timing and a quick first step at getting to the QB. If he gets blocked, he’ll usually try to go through a blocking RB or around an OL. If he added just a couple of moves to his pass rush, he could be very dangerous in that part of his game. While Cash shows instances of violently separating receivers from the ball, he’s not a head hunter which is good in today’s NFL; he looks to bring down his man, not deliver a kill shot.
How he Fits (or doesn’t) with the Steelers
Cash is a guy that I believe could be drafted after round 1, and still be a day 1 starter for the Steelers. As an in the box defender, he honestly doesn’t need to improve a lot besides getting used to the speed of the NFL game.
Last season we saw Will Allen play a lot in the box, and was used to blitz the Quarterback a lot, finishing 2nd in the league in sacks by a defensive back with 4. While I think that Allen probably is a little more versatile in defending against the pass; Cash could step in and greatly improve the run defense and put pressure on Quarterbacks. The question for the Steelers becomes, can you make you scheme work with Cash? Plenty of teams are able to play to the strengths of their run stopping safeties, such as the Broncos have with TJ Ward; so I see no reason why Cash can’t be a productive NFL player.
Draft Range Prediction
Mid-Late 2nd Round