AnalysisScouting Reports

Cash Is King; A Look Ahead To The 2016 Draft

The Duke Blue Devils are in the midst of the greatest four-season run in the program’s modern history. Head Coach David Cutcliffe has done a great job turning things around and building a winning program over the last eight seasons.

[pull_quote_center]“You want to build a system,” Cutcliffe said. “You teach a whole, and then you use parts. To me that’s how any system operates best, whether it’s a business or a football team or a side of a ball.’’[/pull_quote_center]

It certainly helps having a player with NFL quality talent, and that is exactly what he has in strong safety Jeremy Cash.

Cash, coming out of high school, originally signed with the Ohio State Buckeyes for one reason: Head coach Jim Tressel. After Tressel’s resignation in 2011, the coach suggested Cash go play for Duke, praising David Cutcliffe.

Prior to Cash’s arrival in 2012, Duke hadn’t reached a bowl game or posted a winning season since 1994. However, during the past three seasons, the Blue Devils have reached three bowl games, and captured an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship.

Cash earned All-American honors as a first-year starter in 2013, finishing with 121 total tackles, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. He repeated those honors in 2014 with 111 total tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles and 5.5 sacks. Through six games in 2015, Cash leads the Blue Devils in tackles with 42, leads the entire ACC in tackles for loss with 9.5, has 1.5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. The 6-2, 210-pound native from Miami has helped lead Duke to a 5-1 record this season and spearheads a top ten nationally ranked defense.

Duke runs a 4-3 system, and Cash excels as an in-the-box strong safety who has a knack for making plays from the perimeter. The Blue Devils like to use him to pressure both the run and the pass but not necessarily always as a designed blitz. Cash is simply a smart football player that diagnoses well and reacts quickly to make plays behind the line of scrimmage.

Scouts like his versatility and also his instinct in zone coverage. Duke has used him as a nickel corner and also at the linebacker position in addition to his primary roll as a strong safety. He is a wrecking ball on defense with a non-stop motor who loves to lower his pads and play with violence.

After seeing Carlos Hyde run roughshod over the Vikings, a tough-nosed playmaker like Jeremy Cash is now at the top of my wish list. With a good NFL Combine performance, Cash will be well on his way to earning first round consideration.

His Tulane tape of 2014 (below) is pretty good stuff!

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Carl Knowles

Carl Knowles (Contributor) is a former member of the Professional Bowler Association and an avid lifelong Vikings fan. When he is not bowling you can find him on websites and forum pages sharing his creative insight and enthusiasm for the Minnesota Vikings any chance he gets. Carl was a Phoenix Institute of Technology and Purdue University standout who currently enjoys the challenge of being a graphic director in the printing business. You can follow him on twitter @carlknowles_vt.

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    1. Why??? We may only have one spot (RG) on the online to fill?

      You think they are just going to give up on Fusco, Sullivan and Cummings just like that???

      We need to get a new o-line coach


      GO VIKES!!!

      1. Jesse, thanks for the comment. Hot, hard hitting comment about finding new coaches at oline and wr. I think Jeff Davison and George Stewart are very well liked by the Vikings organization. They were with the Vikings before Mike Zimmer was hired. Unless Zimmer or Norv Turner have issues (which I don’t think they do), these coaches probably are not in any danger.

        Both have had enough success developing young talent like Fusco, Sullivan, Loadholt, Jarius Wright, Adam Thielen, Charles Johnson and Stefon Diggs that I would be surprised if coaching changes were made. But then again, no coaching job is really all that secure anymore.

        1. Yes I Agree they have had some success.

          But George Stewart can he develop really WR prospects with serious athletic talent but need refinement the finer points of the NFL WR position?

          Rice only really had one good yr with the Vikings and that was with Favre, CP84 is he getting him to progress, Harvin meh I don’t know? Charles Johnson has been invisible this season. Jarius Wright is adequate. Theilen while is up to to the task and seems to be dependable is average NFL WR (and am glad as can be he is on the team no doubt). Diggs has the chance to be great but I would not say Stewart has done that much developing since w/Diggs has he has been a Viking for a whopping 5 months.

          It just seems to me, and i think a lot of other Vikings fans would agree that Stewart, although well liked and respected, is living off his past accolades more so than is current coaching prowess.

          Oline coach sure he has had some success but I think I change of style and philosophy would be good for everyone.

          If lets say we had the University of Wisconsin Oline coach T.J. WOODS–yes sign me up!

          GO VIKES!

  1. Jeremy Cash looks like a great player. His tape definitely makes him look like a Zimmer guy. Instead of drafting someone to fit in at strong safety. What are your thoughts on the vikings drafting a free safety and moving Harrison Smith to play that strong safety role? Smith seems great at getting in the back field and making plays up at the line a scrimmage. Would the vikings consider this or is Smith too valuable in his safety role?

    1. Good question, actually on tape the Vikings safety position looks interchangeable. Usually they line up in a 2 deep safety look, but as you can see in the tape, they like to roll a safety up in the box from time to time especially against the run. When they do, Harrison Smith is in the box almost as often as our strong safety.

      Harrison is great in the box or as a single high safety. It doesn’t matter where you line him up or what you call him.

      Finding another Harrison Smith is probably what Zimmer would wants.

      That interchangeability seems important. Learning this system, knowing when and where to line up and what your roll is, is probably what’s slowing Exum’s progress.

      The Vikings may have to simplify some things in order to get Exum on the field if the poor play at strong safety continues.

  2. carl, good look at our weakest link on D. almost like playing with ten on defense. the draft is a long ways off. we need better than sad safety play now

    1. Zimmer has talked about wanting “safe play” not flashy play from the SS. I think that is probably what he expects from the veterans. If poor play continues from them, Exum will get an opportunity. Zimmer is probably not seeing safe, smart play from Exum in practice. I expect highs and lows with him.

  3. How is USFA S Anthony Harris progressing? In the preseason I wondered if we could try Kendricks at safety to get Hodge Barr and Cole on the field at same time. And while I’m at it did we enough for our starting LB? Am I missing something? The safety position had been devalued over the course of a few years, witness how few taken in the first round. Parts of the problem is teams only play two, high school, colleges and the pro’s making the available pool smaller than alot of other positions. Last year I think only one from was drafted in the first round, mid 20’s, and the Giants drafted run supporter SS Landon Collins at the top of the 2nd round.

    1. Anthony Harris is still on the Vikings practice squad. Harris is an interchangeable safety that can play deep safety and also in run support. He fractured his tibia at the end of his junior year and he had shoulder surgery before this season. I think the Vikings would love to hide him on our PS for the rest of the year to bulk him up. He is very thinly built lanky guy with a history of injuries. His 11 solo tackles in preseason however put him near the top of the Vikings leader board. I think he has a bright future in the NFL and I think he is progressing well.

      I think Kendricks has the speed (4.61) to play safety but he is much more valuable in the middle where the d-line can keep him somewhat clean allowing him to be the tackling machine that I think he will become. I think in time Kendrick is a guy that can lead the NFL in tackles (at MLB). He would never reach that potential a SS.

  4. How about getting Mike Tice back as O-LINE coach I personally think that we could not have a better guy that him but I always liked him just not as a head coach. He was a hard nosed smash mouth take no shit type guy and that’s what I see Zimmer as too. I think they would be great together. I also think that a new receiver coach would be good maybe cris carter but that’s unlikely. Strong safety is about the only hole left on defense so going there wouldn’t surprise me but I want O-LINE O-LINE O-LINE if you think right guard is our only need watch some film and watch the O-LINE IF YOU STILL THINK THAT WAY STOP COMMENTING BECAUSE YOUR NOT SMART we need quality depth all over the line so if we can get a stud at SS go for it otherwise go O-LINE protect Teddy and open holes for AP