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2013 NFL Draft Player Preview: TCU Linebacker Kenny Cain

Jamie begins his previews of each TCU Horned Frog entering the 2013 NFL Draft with senior linebacker Kenny Cain.


Kenny Cain was supposed to be the second best linebacker on the team in 2012. He was supposed to be the guy that flew under the radar, because everyone was focusing on stopping Tanner Brock.

But, when Brock made easily the worst decision of his life, Cain became the far and away most experienced linebacker TCU had.

Of course, being thrust into an unfamiliar role is something Cain has grown accustomed to. After all, when Brock went down with a foot injury in 2011, Cain was asked to step in and be "the man".

But now, after two years of dominating running backs and guys coming over the middle, Cain is headed to the NFL. Here's a look at Cain's final numbers from TCU.

Tackles: 189

Tackles for Loss: 9.5

Sacks: 2.5

Interceptions: 3

Fumbles Recovered: 3

Currently, Cain sits at 6'1", 225, which is small for an NFL linebacker. He's got good speed to the edges, and is capable of filling up a hole on the line to stop the run.

Ideally, Cain would need to load up and add about 15-20 pounds to really fill out and get closer to the ideal weight for a linebacker. However, if this causes him to lose a step, it may be detrimental to his career. Right now he's got the range of an outside linebacker in a 4-3, but he's not big enough to support the run. Conversely, he's too small to be an inside linebacker, but he makes good reads off the snap and can get to the line or into coverage quickly.

I think Cain's best fit at the next level will be as the Will in a 3-4, but I could see him possibly playing the Mike if he bulks up a little more.

With his stats, and measurables, it's all about his pro day at this point. If he can run somewhere around a 4.6, he should start to garner some attention. Again, he's a little small, and that will hurt his stock, but with his speed I could see an NFL team grabbing him and seeing how much weight they can pack on without costing him his range.

Projected Round: 6th

Possible Teams: Steelers, Jets, Ravens

Current NFL Player Comparison: Sean Lee

I don't really see Cain going before the 6th round, simply because he's small. To compare, people thought Tank Carder was a little undersized, and he was 6'3", 237 coming out of school. However, a team could really like Cain's football IQ, which is supposedly very high, and go get him in the 5th round.

In terms of best fits, like I mentioned above, I feel he's best suited to be either the Will or Mike linebacker in a 3-4, depending on how much he bulks up. The three teams listed all work off of a base 3-4 defense, and have a specific need at linebacker.

I compare Cain to Sean Lee because their measurables aren't too far off (Lee is 6'2" 240) and they play a similar style of football. Both are very fast in pursuit, and are very good at pre-snap reads/putting themselves in positions to make the play.

Cain has the potential to be a productive special teams and depth linebacker in the NFL but again, it all relies on how much muscle he can add.