IRVING, Texas – Scout’s Eye takes a look at newly-acquired Caesar Rayford from the Indianapolis Colts:
DE, (6-7, 265)
Games Viewed: Preseason 2013: Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, Cleveland Browns
Played as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the Colts scheme. Has a different build physically in that he is so long. On tape he looks like he has a short upper body and all legs. Extreme arm length at 36” and you see him use them to his advantage. Majority of his work was seen with his hand on the ground. Has a nice initial take off. Showed some quickness for an inside move against the Bills for a tackle for loss.
When he gets his hands inside, he can buy himself some separation. Was able to keep Justin Pugh of the Giants off his body and beat him around the corner. On the play he brought down David Carr with one hand. In the same game, he was able to get push up the field with one arm extended in the chest of guard James Brewer who is still is on the Giants active roster. Like his quickness for a player so tall. When he wants to get a jump off the line, he can do it. Was able to break down Joe Thomas of the Browns twice, which surprised me. Was able to physically hold up at the point of attack but needs to get rid of the blocker quicker as well. When he stays down, is when he does his best work. When upright, he is no good to anyone.
Will attempt to use pass rush moves as he goes. There were not too many times where he didn’t use moves. Swim and rip were his two best ones. Where he does get in trouble is if he rushes down the middle. I have seen him get push this way but the majority of the rushes that were like this, had nothing to them and he ended up stuck along the line of scrimmage. Had a sack against the Bills where he was able to counter back inside after going up the field. Able to work back to the quarterback slapping the ball out of his hand which allowed his teammate to recover for a touchdown. If he gets near the quarterback in the pocket, you see him reaching for the ball. Has beaten tackles for sacks and pressure but has also had production against tight ends and “H” backs that have tried to block him.
His effort and motor are outstanding but when he got tired, his technique really suffered. He played a ton of snaps in these games so it happened to him often. He didn’t look like the same player when he was tired. Because of his height, he doesn’t appear like he is moving well or is that fluid but there were a couple of plays where he was in space chasing the ball and he was moving well. Can see why the Colts kept him in the first place because of his production but really not a great fit in their 3-4 scheme at outside linebacker. Has a chance here as a rotational defensive end and kick blocker on special teams with his height. Can work with guys like this because of their physical traits and effort. Low risk, high reward type of player that was productive against everyone he played.