5 safeties to partner with Jeremy Chinn in the 2021 NFL Draft

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) Andre Cisco /

Andre Cisco – Syracuse

  • Projected round – high to mid-second round
  • Projected role – deep ball safety

The Good

There was no better ballhawk than Andre Cisco during his tenure with Syracuse. Hauling in 12 interceptions in his first two seasons with the Orange.

A true long ball goalkeeper with excellent reads and closing speed in deep coverage, Cisco showed a distinct skill for seeing a deep ball and sprinting to make a play on it. Always getting his hands up to knock it away or go for the pick.

Cisco’s ability to recognize the open receiver or primary target cannot be understated as well. If someone broke free deep you could count on him either making a play on the ball or flashing into the frame at some point.

That ability to keep deep balls from becoming long scores is something that every NFL team looks for and needs in a free safety.

The prospect was also not easily tricked with screens or other movements. Cisco had a true gift at sniffing out short passes and at least affecting them if not blowing them up entirely.

The Bad

Cisco is coming off an ACL injury which has made his stock fall somewhat as the NFL has quite a bit of bias when evaluating prospects who have these sorts of complications.

The former Orange is also vulnerable to double moves on routes and especially from runners when playing closer to the line. Having a real issue with taking bad angles when coming up to challenge running backs. He also almost stands beside receivers when they run downfield and tries to run stride for stride at points instead of taking an angle and knocking them out of bounds.

Cisco also is a pass-first reader in most situations which is great when playing deep but becomes a liability, especially near the goal line. A tendency that can leave open space for runners.

Cisco’s fit on the Carolina Panthers

Cisco is a true deep safety with great skills in reading deep balls and playing in zone coverage. His liabilities mostly coming when positioned closer to the line, a place filled by Jeremy Chinn for the Carolina Panthers if he’s moved to the backend as expected.

While he has some things he will have to clean up and learn at the next level, Cisco is basically a mirror of Chinn’s game and would fit very well alongside the second-year Panther.