Swinney says Deon Cain is going to be "a great pro"


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Deon Cain runs for pay dirt against Georgia Tech last season
Deon Cain runs for pay dirt against Georgia Tech last season

GREENVILLE – Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says it doesn’t matter that wide receiver Deon Cain was drafted in the sixth round. All that matters is that Cain is going to be a great pro.

Swinney, speaking to the media at Wednesday evening’s Prowl and Growl at Fluor Field, was asked about his thoughts on Cain. Cain was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 11th pick of the sixth round, 185th overall. He was the 21st wide receiver taken in a draft in which he was projected considerably higher by some analysts.

Swinney said that Cain knew all of the pros and cons of leaving early.

“He was hoping to go higher, but he went where he went,” Swinney said. “He was fully aware that he could go anywhere from probably the third round to free agent. We had talked about it while he was making his decision and he was at peace with that.

“(Former defensive lineman) Grady Jarrett was hoping to go higher, too, and went in the fifth round. But he’s done alright.”

Jarrett, unlike Cain, wasn’t highly regarded out of high school but went on to an All-American career at Clemson. With the Falcons, Jarrett is considered to be one of the top defensive tackles in the league. He had 55 tackles for the Atlanta Falcons last season, including 15 tackles for loss, and tied a Super Bowl record with three sacks in the Falcons’ loss to New England two years ago.

Can has to follow Jarrett’s lead, and Swinney says the Colts and quarterback Andrew Luck are a perfect fit for Cain’s skillset.

“He’s going to be fast on that turf,” Swinney said. “With a place like Indy with a great quarterback (Andrew Luck) and a great facility to play in, I think he’ll be fine

Swinney then said that Cain is still growing as a wide receiver after playing quarterback in high school.

“I think Deon’s going to be a great pro,” Swinney said. “I think he’ll be a better pro than college player, to be honest with you. He wasn’t a receiver. He’s played 2½ years of receiver, so he’s learned a lot, he’s developed a lot technically and fundamentally, but he’s still got a ways to go. He’s got a good foundation to build on.

“He’s excited for his opportunity. At the end of the day, when you really step back, to have your name called on draft day is unbelievable.”

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