Buffalo Bills 2021 NFL Draft Prospect to Know: S Caden Sterns

Oct 31, 2020; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive back Caden Sterns (7) looks over the Oklahoma State Cowboys offense during the third quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Texas won 41-34. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2020; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive back Caden Sterns (7) looks over the Oklahoma State Cowboys offense during the third quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Texas won 41-34. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports /
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The loss of Dean Marlowe this offseason for the Buffalo Bills creates a big question mark in terms of depth behind the team’s starters, Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde. While the focus has been on finding big body safeties who could play a big nickel role, the team should also be looking at safeties who could step in for the starters if the need were to arise. One of those players is the University of Texas’ safety Caden Sterns.

Let’s take a look at his profile and how he might fit with the Bills.

Measurables/Stats

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 202 pounds

Arms: 32.125″

Hands: 9.5″

Caden Sterns played in 29 games for the Texas Longhorns and finished with 173 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, five interceptions, and eight passes defended. There is no question that Sterns’ best season came as a freshman in 2018 when he had 62 total tackles, one sack, and four interceptions. The interceptions and pass breakups were two categories that saw a significant drop as he only had one interception and four passes defended over the final two seasons.

NFL.com Scouting Report by Lance Zierlein

"The size, length and aggressiveness as a hitter are still intriguing traits, but Sterns has moments where he really struggles with diagnosing play design and staying ahead of what the offense is trying to do. He lacks optimal instincts to play single-high, and man coverage can get away from him. He’s shown signs of becoming a more reliable open-field tackler and he has the traits to be a better downhill safety than one playing backward. His eye-popping pro day numbers could push him up the draft board by a round, but the concerns about his play remain the same."

Highlights

How he fits with the Buffalo Bills

Caden Sterns is a player that the Buffalo Bills would look at and believe they can develop into a starting safety. He has the physical traits that teams would want in a safety and is a player that probably could step in for either Poyer or Hyde if the need were to arise.

The Buffalo Bills like to change up the responsibilities of their starting safeties to give opposing offenses and Sterns could certainly continue that trend.

However, the concern as Zierlein notes in his scouting report is that the production hasn’t necessarily aligned with the potential. He had a tremendous freshman season but his play tailed off a bit the last two seasons.

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For the Buffalo Bills, if they believe coaching and a little development is the missing piece, a player like Caden Sterns is someone who could eventually take over as starter for Micah Hyde or Jordan Poyer.