With the departure of Erik Harris to the Atlanta Falcons, one could argue that safety is currently the biggest need position on the Las Vegas Raiders defense.
Johnathan Abram is the one young pillar the team has but is coming being ranked by Pro Football Focus as dead last among safeties this past season.
The Raiders could use a natural ballhawk in their defensive backfield, and Syracuse safety Andre Cisco could be that player.
From the time that he arrived with the Orange as a true freshman, there haven’t been many more players in college football that have made any many plays as Cisco.
In 13 games his freshman year, Cisco had 60 total tackles, seven interceptions, and nine total pass breakups.
As a freshman, his interception total was both first in the ACC and was first in the entire NCAA.
Cisco also ranked as the 33rd best safety in college football, according to PFF.
In his sophomore season, the numbers came again, as he finished with 65 total tackles, five interceptions, and a pick-six.
The overall quality of play went way down, however, with PFF ranking him in 2019 as the 417th best safety, 384 spots are lower than from 2018.
It was going to be a question of what kind of player Cisco would be in 2020, but unfortunately, he tore an ACL in the second game of the season.
When Cisco is healthy and right, he has the tools to be an elite playmaker on the back-end.
He’s rated as having unparalleled range at the position, with legit 4.3 caliber speed.
He also has great size at 6-feet and 209 pounds, and scouts noted that he was let down at times in Syracuse’s defensive scheme.
Cisco, though, can also get in a lot of trouble with his reads, as things like double moves have often burned him.
He needs to work on his tackling technique, and he probably could be more physical in the box with the size he has.
All of this is without saying he’s coming off a major injury.
Cisco has often been described as a roller coaster. A player good enough to accumulate 26 combined picks and pass breakups in 24 games.
He’s also been bad enough to give up six touchdowns in only nine games in 2019.
Whatever team drafts him needs to be confident that their defensive coaches will be capable of bringing out the best parts of his game.
With the Raiders having Gus Bradley, who coached arguably the best safety in the NFL for the past decade in Earl Thomas III, they might just have that.
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