One of the trendiest prospects on Twitter Nation as of late seems to be the Middle Tennessee State product, Jeremy Cutrer. Originally an LSU commit as a 4-star recruit out of New Orleans, Cutrer was unable to qualify with the grades necessary to ever suit up in Baton Rouge. Thus, he ended up at Middle Tennessee State after going the JUCO route.
Cutrer shined in his two seasons with the Blue Raiders and put a stamp on his career after being named 1st Team-All C-USA. Widely considered a Combine snub throughout the league, he at least received an invite to participate in the East-West Shrine Game this past February, but was unable to perform due to a foot injury.
At his Pro Day this past week, Cutrer performed in front of a trio of general managers which included Jerry Reese (Giants), Bob Quinn (Lions), Jon Robinson (Titans). Cutrer posted respectable numbers, but stood in other facets as his, “agility and closing speed were apparent during positional drills.” He was also described as, “noticeably thicker in his upper body than on tape.”
Leading up to the NFL Draft, Cutrer surfaces as an intriguing prospect due to his size, length, instincts and back story. We saw former teammate Kevin Byard get drafted in the 3rd round this past year, but I would make the case that Cutrer is even more talented.
Name: Jeremy Cutrer
School: Middle Tennessee State
Comparison: Micah Hyde (Buffalo Bills)
Draft Grade: 4th Round
Unofficial Pro Day: 40 Yard Dash: 4.52 – Vertical Jump: 32” – Broad Jump: 122”
— Jonathan Valencia (@JonValencia_WiB) March 20, 2017
Positives: Stands out on the field – a very tall 6’1”. Plays extremely physical and aggressive with tons of passion. Doesn’t shy away no matter the competition. Shows most potential as a safety. Reads the QB well back in zone coverage. Very instinctive. Diagnoses plays and attacks immediately – most notably against screens, comebacks and most run plays. Doesn’t bite on play action and lets play develop. Superb run supporter. Transitions body well to runners with full acceleration and glides to them. Re-plants his feet with a jump cut to meet the ball carrier. Erases the screen game on his side of the field. Solid open field tackler with advanced tackling technique for a defensive back. In my notes, “just makes tackles”. Has a knack for finishing low tackles. Latches onto opponent’s leg and keeps a strong grip throughout engagement. Eats up a lot of ground when diving towards the ball carrier. Choppy, physical hands at point of attack with long arm extension – looked to rattle opponents. Lengthy presence in the secondary – throws hands up to bat down passes. Sweeps in front from behind opponent after allowing catch. Huge game against top tier competition (Alabama, 2015).
Negatives: Looks like a totally different player at cornerback. Lacks the necessary skills to be a full-time corner. Doesn’t possess the short memory needed to succeed at corner – lets lost battles deteriorate his play. Tends to focus too much on the psychological aspect of the game. Footwork looks a bit loose. Gives a lot of cushion on comebacks and is slow in transition to approach receiver. Typically gets beat at the point of attack. Allows man behind him on vertical routes. When he stays with man, allows them to jump over and reach for the ball. Average ball skills. Fails to attack the ball in air – will allow man to jump in front at the last moment. Slowly slides away from jump balls. Doesn’t always come away with the interception when he should. Struggles to track the ball over his shoulder.
Outlook: It was a bit of a mixed bag while evaluating Jeremy Cutrer. I started with his 2015 Alabama game where he was used as a safety and he flashed throughout. Shifting into 2016 where he was primarily slotted at corner, you didn’t see the same things on film. Cutrer flourishes as a freelance safety due to his range, instincts, reaction time and ability to close on plays. His strong tackling ability even offers ability to play in the box. While heavily considered to be a corner at the next level, I think teams will quickly realize he’s best served at safety, although he offers some versatility to move around the entire secondary in suitable packages. Had Cutrer actually played at LSU, I’m convinced he’d be looked at with a different microscope among the NFL Draft landscape. I have him graded as a 4th round prospect and would even feel comfortable reaching for him late on Day 2.