2021 NFL Draft Player Preview: Andre Cisco

  • Andre Cisco, 6-0/203

  • Safety

  • Syracuse

  • Andre Cisco 2020 Preview
    By Charlie Campbell

    Career Recap: Over the last two seasons in college football, Cisco was one of the best defensive playmakers in the nation. In 2019, Cisco collected 65 tackles with five interceptions and five passes broken up. He put together a huge 2018 season with seven interceptions, 18 passes broken up, one forced fumble and 60 tackles as a freshman.

    2020 Season Outlook: Cisco has a quality schedule as a junior and will see some talent passing attacks. Clemson in late October will be his biggest test, as the Tigers have an elite quarterback, a top running back and talented young receivers. It will be interesting to see if Cisco lines up against Florida State wide receiver Tamorrion Terry late in the season.

    Skill-Set Summary: Some times the numbers don't tell the whole story about a college player or mislead about the type of player they are for the NFL. One could argue that is the case with Cisco, as safeties who have a big interception total while checking in around 6-foot, 200 pounds would cause one to think that they are a deep, rangy, free safety with excellent ball skills. The ball skills part is definitely true with Cisco, who is superb at making plays on the ball. However, he has not been a true single free safety for Syracuse, which has moved him around the field and actually played him a lot more aat strong safety.Cisco looks like a future NFL starter and a potential playmaker for his pro defense.

    Cisco is a true ballhawk in pass coverage, which is the first thing that stands out when watching him. He is superb at snatching passes away, as he has soft hands and is able to make diving catches to produce big plays for his defense. Cisco is a dangerous threat to create interceptions, and throwing his direction is very risky for a quarterback.

    Aside from his interceptions, Cisco is always going for the strip on tackles, and when breaking up passes. Cisco's ball awareness is terrific, and he is very cognizant to punch the ball while making tackles.

    Cisco is superb in zone coverage in the middle of the field. He has very good instincts and quickly reads offenses to get in position to make plays on the ball. Thanks to his good vision, Cisco has nice route recognition, anticipation, and can read the eyes of quarterbacks. Cisco closes quickly and is tremendous at jumping routes to break up passes.

    While Cisco is not the biggest of safeties, he is better than one would expect in the ground game. He flies downhill and isn't afraid to dish out a hard hit or crash into the tackle box. Cisco has quality tackling technique with an advanced ability to get low to take the legs out of the ball-carrier. Many college safeties aim too high and go for knockout blows while risking missed tackles and penalties, but Cisco drops his pads and shows quality fundamentals to wrap up. Adding some strength to tackle NFL ball-carriers would help him, but considering he is only a junior, he has time to add weight for the next level.

    Cisco can help himself in 2020 by showing he has a few more techniques in order to illustrate he could be a do-it-all safety in the NFL. Syracuse lines up Cisco all over, but he has played more strong safety responsibilities than free safety. It would be great to see Cisco get more plays as a single high deep free safety and illustrate if he can make big plays there as well. It also would help to show the ability to play some man coverage on tight ends and slot receivers. If Cisco can do that, it would improve his draft standing and show him to be an interchangeable free or strong safety for the NFL.

    2021 NFL Draft Expectations: Entering the 2020 season, Cisco looks like a potential early-round pick.



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