Positives: Solid size and good bulk. Seems to be a strong player and has great speed and quickness for his size. He closes well on ball carriers when in backside pursuit and seems to turn it on when he has a lane to get to the QB or at times other ball carriers. He uses the swim move very effectively and mixes in a club move at times to rush the passer and penetrate into the backfield. When he gets off the ball alright he can make one move and get by his an due to his quickness. He seems to be a fairly reliable tackler though he is not a stalwart. He flashes the ability to hold up against double teams when he plays with good leverage and has a good motor for giving a second effort on plays and very regularly chases down ball carriers from the backside and either involves himself in a tackle or gets very close to doing so.
Negatives: He is inconsistent in his get-off first and foremost. When he gets off well he can be effective, but too many times he will just stand up and let the blocker dictate the action. When he does this he is usually playing too tall even though he is only listed at 6 foot 1, which may be an issue, and he does not keep feet moving. When this happens he usually gets driven out of the play fairly easily by one blocker or very easily when double teamed. His lack of consistency when firing off the line of scimmage is a real concern for him as a prospect in my eyes. He needs to play with more consistent leverage also. He has the ability to play with natural leverage because of his height, but he needs to make sure he does not negate that advantage by just standing up when the ball is snapped. I have also not seen him effectively bull-rush players into the backfield versus the run or the pass very often, and I wonder about his ability to do so in the NFL. I think this comes back to his issues with leverage at times, but he very often uses a swim move or sometimes a club move to get into the backfield. I am just not sure that will work as well at the NFL, at least not as consistently as it did in college, and that makes me doubt his potential for early effectiveness as a rookie or a second year player. He always fires off the ball for passing situations, but is less consistent when it could be either a run or a pass or when it is a typical running situation. Additionally I think he could stand to get in a bit better shape as he appeared to be carrying some extra weight this year. He could probably lose some of that weight and add muscle to make himself stronger but also to improve his conditioning.
Overall: Casey is a prospect that I like, but I am not wild about. The combine measurements will be important for him, both in terms of physical conditioning and his height as well as his arm length. He is listed at 6 foot 1, but listed height and weight measurements are rarely 100% accurate, so he may come in at 6 feet even or somewhere in between. Hopefully he does not measure in at less than 6 feet because that could really hurt his draft grade (as stupid as that sounds). If he is 6 feet or higher he will still be relatively undersized for the position, but he makes up for his lack of ideal size with impressive quickness and speed for a man of his size. As I mentioned earlier I think he will need some development before he is successful in the NFL which is not unusual for defensive tackle prospects. I think he needs to shed some unnecessary fat and gain some muscle to help him anchor versus the run. Ultimately his value as a NFL player will be determined by his interest in improving, like most players. However, at times he appears disinterested when defending the run which results in him just standing up and, to put it simply, not trying that hard to stop the run. He does not do that all the time, but he does it enough that I think it is a red flag. He may need a defensive line coach who will really light a fire under him if he is going to maximize his potential to be a quality NFL starter. Otherwise he might end up as a rotational guy who specializes in rushing the passer. He has a higher ceiling than that though, so hopefully he reaches it.
Proejection: Mid-2nd round/Early 3rd round. His measurements will not be ideal and this defensive tackle class is deep, so I do not see him being drafted before any of the other top four guys (Dares, Fairley, Paea and Nevis). He is a quality prospect though, he just needs some development and motivation in my opinion.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
POINT OF ATTACK: 3.0
PASS RUSH: 3.5