2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Lewis Cine
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: The Georgia defense was loaded with NFL talent in 2021 and led the Bulldogs to a National Championship. Many evaluators felt that the team's best player in the secondary was strong safety Cine, who put together an excellent 2021 campaign while locking down the middle of the field for the Bulldogs. He totaled 73 tackles, an interception and nine passes batted on the year. As a sophomore in 2020, Cine recorded 52 tackles and three passes broken up.
In the ground game, Cine is a physical safety who can function well as the eighth man in the box. He is a reliable tackler and willing to take on any back. While Cine is a tad undersized, he could play somewhat as the eighth man in the box because he is very natural near the line of scrimmage. He is a lightning bolt coming downhill to make tackles in the ground game.
Cine is reliable in zone coverage against the pass. He covers ground well and is adept at picking up receivers who come into his area. Cine shows some coverage ability and movement skills, but he is not as natural as the deep single-high free safety. Cine is a more natural strong safety for the next level but the has flexibility to switch safety roles because he is fast, smart and instinctive. Cine is better suited to play man coverage against tight ends, or helping against big wide receivers along the sideline.
Teams like interchangeable safeties who can execute both strong and free safety. Some schemes require that as they like to flip responsibilities pre-snap to make it hard for quarterbacks to know where defenders will move and what they will be responsible for. Cine could offer that pre- and post-snap flexibility.
Sources from around the league raved about Cine after his combine interview. They loved his football IQ, intelligence, passion, and work ethic. They say he has super intangibles and will be a locker room leader. Cine is likely to be a second-round pick at the lowest in the 2022 NFL Draft, and he could sneak into the late first round.
Player Comparison: Justin Reid. Reid and Cine are both quality athletes with a combination of size, speed and intelligence. Reid has become a very good starting safety who can defend the run and contribute in pass coverage. Some teams had Reid graded as a late first- or early second-rounder, and Cine has some similar projections around the league.
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