From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
Jeremy Cutrer/CB/Middle Tennessee State — 6’2”, 170 Lbs
-Able to read and react quickly to what’s happening in front of him
-Solid, technical tackler with good form
-Good punch in press to stun receiver; above-average single-arm punch
-Appears most comfortable in zone coverage where he can read quarterback’s eyes
-Disruptive length that allows him to get his hands on the ball in the air
-Really labors to get off blocks on the boundary against the run
-Thin frame that raises durability concerns at the next level
-Struggles to pattern match against adept route runners; gets turned around easily
-Lack of long speed for position, which hinders him in recovery phase
-Cutrer originally committed to LSU coming out of high school but ended up at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
-Second-team All-Conference USA selection in 2015 (31 tackles, three interceptions, 13 pass breakups, two blocked kicks)
-Missed two games in 2015 with ankle injury
-Stood out in senior year, racking up 64 tackles, 4.5 for loss, breaking up 10 passes and picking off three others on his way to first-team all-conference honors.
-2016 First Team All-C-USA selection
-Invited to 2017 East-West Shrine Game, but missed showcase due to injury
A former high-end recruit that was originally slated to join the LSU Tigers, Cutrer opted to go the JUCO route, eventually latching on with Middle Tennessee State, where he played a big part in forming a stout secondary over the last two years for the Blue Raiders.
Standing 6-feet-2, Cutrer is one of the larger cornerbacks in the 2017 draft class, in terms of high only. Because outside of his impressive height and length for a corner, he has a rail-thin frame that raises plenty of durability concerns heading into the NFL, where running backs and receivers are much bigger than they are in C-USA action.
However, Cutrer certainly has the football pedigree.
As a former high-end recruit (No. 16 safety in the country, No. 6 prospect in all of Louisiana), Cutrer has a good tool bag of traits that should translate to the next level, regardless of what system he gets drafted into.
Cutrer has exceptionally long arms and really good hands for the position, hauling in six career interceptions over the last two years at MTSU, while adding another 23 pass breakups.
He seems most comfortable sitting in zone coverage though, where he can read the quarterback’s eyes and make a break on the ball.
Late in the game against Alabama at the start of the 2015 season, Cutrer does a nice job of staying patient in zone coverage, allowing the receiver to work towards him, baiting the quarterback into the throw.
Once the throw is made you can see the break on the ball by Cutrer, who nearly returns the interception for a score against the Crimson Tide.
Once again in zone, you can see Cutrer read and react quickly, closing on the throw with an impressive burst while also being able to slip around a block on the boundary before going low for the stop at the line of scrimmage.
Despite being rail thin, Cutrer is surprisingly willing to stick his nose into the pile to make stops. Sometimes that’s the only thing you really need when it comes to tackling: the want-to.
We all know that current Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is a massive load to bring down, but Cutrer does a good job of attacking him in the backfield here, riding the running back to the ground for the stop.
It’s not a massive standout play in the grand scheme of things on film, but I just love the way that Cutrer is willing to mix it up with bigger players, showing that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make a play.
However, he’s very inconsistent against the run.
Here against Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl, Cutrer is slow to react to the run, allowing the Hawaii receiver to get into his pads, walking him off the ball on the run.
You can see here in this clip that he lacks the necessary strength to work through blocks to make a play, which is a concern at the next level where receivers are much better run blockers than the ones he faced in C-USA over the last two seasons.
Overall, with his length and ball skills, I think Cutrer can carve out a decent career in the NFL as a rotational cornerback in sub packages, but unless he gets better at pattern matching and somehow adds speed and weight, he’s going to have a hard time staying on the field consistently.
He’s definitely worth a shot early on day three though.
Projection: Early Day Three
Games watched: vs. Alabama (’15), at Missouri (’16), vs. Hawaii (’16)