Devin Cates: 2020 Pro Prospect Interview
Name: Devin Cates
Q: What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
The biggest goal I had for myself was to simply stay on the field as much as possible. In the past we had utilized many different personal groups and were constantly bringing skill players on and off the field. I wanted to be versatile and be able to stay in the game through all personal groups. This meant lining up at FB, TE, slot, wide receiver and H back. I was able to contribute many different ways to help my team be successful.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
They would emphasize my work ethic. I’m an extremely hard worker who doesn’t take days off. Whether it is in the weight room, a film session or at practice, I am 100% dialed at all times. I’m extremely competitive and always pushing others around me to be their best.
Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?
A big thing I focus on is tendencies. Both team tendencies and individual tendencies. When you are able to have an idea of what a defenses is most likely go to do depending on the offense formation, you have a leg up. Additionally I look for tendencies in players that I will be matched up against. It helps allow me to have a better idea pre snap of how to execute my block or route. I think the mental aspect in football is overlooked at times but it can really play a massive role in the outcome of a game.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
I think my versatility and athleticism is what sets me apart. I lined up all over the place in college and I’m prepared to do the same thing at the next level. I can read coverages like an experienced WR, sit down in zones, and win at the catch point. I also am willing to grind out blocks and stick my face into a defenders chest. I feel that I am one of the more athletic TE’s in this years draft. I showcase that with my ability to like up all over the field and make plays from various positions. I also have tons of experience playing special teams. I played all 4 units in college and I am excited about the potential role I can play on special teams at the next level.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
I have been Training at Cooper Sports and Performance in Tampa, FL. My training was geared mostly towards producing great pro day numbers. After having a virtual pro day due to the pandemic, I have shifted my training more towards on field drills, footwork, route running, and blocking techniques. I am still lifting and staying as strong and explosive as possible as well. I am trying to fine tune all the little parts of my game that will make a difference at the next level.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
I think my worth ethic will stand out for sure. People will be able to see that I am a grinder and willing to sacrifice whatever to become the best football player I can be. I also feel that my attitude and competitive personality will stand out to coaches and payers alike. I feel I am extremely coachable and receptive to criticisms. I know that being coachable is a big deal at the next level and you need to be willing to do whatever is asked of you. I am extremely committed and determined to contribute and play any role for a team.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL/CFL or any other pro leagues?
My final pitch is that you’re getting a selfless player who is willing to sacrifice for his team. I will always strive to be the hardest worker in the room to elevate both myself and teammates. I am a student of the game and will always be looking for ways to improve. I bring a lot of energy and passion to the game and I will always give 100% to any team that gives me a shot at the next level.