Caraun will be a 23-year old NFL rookie in 2014. He was a two-time all-league selection before earning all-city and all-state honors as a senior at Mount St. Michael Academy, Bronx, NY.
In 2009, he recorded 34 total tackles, 4.5 tackles-for-loss and a half sack as a true freshman. In 2010, he only played in one game and redshirted after suffering a season-ending pectoral injury. In 2011, he registered 68 total tackles, 16 tackles-for-loss and eight sacks with a forced and recovered fumble and earned first team All-Ivy League. Last year as a redshirt junior, he was tabbed second team All-American by the Sports Network and was again a unanimous All-Ivy League selection after accumulating 40 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, forcing a fumble and blocking 3 kicks.
Through six games in 2013, he has 14 total tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 5 hurries and a blocked kick. Caraun was granted a fifth season of eligibility last December and he opted to return to Princeton in order to graduate and boost his NFL draft stock. He is majoring in Psychology and will graduate at the end of this fall semester.
Caraun is a fifth-year senior and fourth-year starter on the defensive line for Princeton. The Tigers play a 3-4 front and he generally aligns as the “field” defensive end, but also takes reps as the Nose. Not ideally suited for this scheme, he has the build of a 4-3 DT (3-technique) with a shorter frame, thick arms, thighs and calves. He has superior initial and lateral quickness and should have no worries attracting interest across the NFL as a Base DT for the 4-3 teams and as a Sub inside pass rusher for the 3-4 clubs.
Against front-side runs, he will spread his feet and try to anchor down, but may be outsized when confronting pro blockers. Still, his hands are inside and he is capable of punching off and making a tackle. When he is on the back-side of a run, his athleticism really shows up when he stays on his feet and works through the trash in chasing the football. He has light feet, keeps his balance and can accelerate in a short area.
As a pass rusher, at this level, he flashes everything needed to develop in the future. He is almost too good for his competition because he not only can bull rush these opponents, but he also has a knack for splitting a gap and slicing open the pocket. Caraun has the versatility to play a number of roles on the DL with the movement skills to fire-zone and drop off in coverage, too.
For the NFL, because of his active hands and feet, he is a perfect fit for a 4-3 system as a penetrating 3-technique. Two viable comparisons might be Brandon Mebane/Cal and Seahawks (2007/3rd round) or Earl Campbell/Arizona and Texans (2010/3rd round) -- both players with questionable height, but excellent athletic ability and overall quickness. Because of his effort and competitiveness, Caraun should be able to contribute as a rotational backup in his rookie campaign with the potential to earn a starting nod within his first contract (4 years).
WHAT NFL SCOUTS WANT TO SEE IN 2013: Caraun’s checklist will include dominating his individual matchups in the Ivy League, elevating his play during all-star season and running sub-4.90 times at the Combine.
-- Phil Savage, Reese's Senior Bowl Executive Director
2013: Lehigh, Georgetown, Columbia, Lafayette, Brown
(Practice) Tuesday, October 15