2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Blake Cashman
School: The University of Minnesota
Weight: 237 pounds
Draft Day Projection: Day 3
While some compile gaudy numbers, Cashman attacks the ballcarrier alone. Eschewing help, he will drop his pads, plays behind them and drives through the target. In space, Cashman does not panic, instead breaking down properly and using outstanding hand placement to secure the stop. At the next level, he will need to use his explosion to generate tackles that are more forceful. However, his tackle ability will immediately translate to the NFL.
With Cashman, his speed feels like more of an aggressive, sure approach. That is to say, he reads the play before it unfolds and barrels toward it. As a result, blockers cannot lock on without holding. In coverage, Cashman will stay hip to hip with players that you do not think he can. His timed speed and game speed, unlike most, seems equal.
While not the twitchiest defender, Cashman possesses enough wiggle to operate in limited space. In addition, he changes direction well enough to stay on the field for three downs. His footwork can improve down the seam. Yet, he will use his feet to dip in and around the lunging blocks of offensive linemen.
Regardless of role, Cashman profiles as a leader, an emotional center that teammates feed off. More importantly, Cashman’s fearless approach is infectious. The Gophers endured tough times, but Cashman’s play never wavered. Through good and bad, he fought with the same energy.
If you know Paul Guenther’s history, the Raiders selecting Cashman late would make sense. First, as a former linebacker, Guenther values that position most. As a result, he appreciates heady play mixed with a knack for making the stop, at or behind the line. Cashman plays with anger. However, he channels it towards the field of play. Now, if you were honest, you would recognize the Raiders lack serious talent at linebacker. More importantly, the unit needs aggressive playmakers that can excel on special teams. If Rich Bisaccia is as good as his reputation appears, adding a rookie with an attacking mindset will help the Raiders solve the small issues that could grow into larger ones.