It seemed almost inevitable that Cave would one day play for the Irish, growing up a stone’s throw from Notre Dame Stadium in Granger, Ind., and being named after former Notre Dame player Braxston Banks, who is most known outside South Bend for challenging the NCAA rule regarding the loss of college eligibility after declaring for early entry into the NFL draft. Cave has no issue there, however, as the senior center was on campus five years and, unlike Banks, has the talent to be a mid- to late-round draft pick.
The 2007 Indiana Mr. Football finalist and high school All-American saw action in five games as a true freshman snapping for placements, but wound up taking a medical redshirt. He returned as the Irish’s short-snapper for every game in 2009 before getting the starting nod at center in all 13 contests as a third-year sophomore. The injury bug bit him again in 2011, however, as a torn ligament in his left foot ended his season after nine starts. In Cave's senior season he started in all 13 games, and was named a third-team AP All-American.
Tough-as-nails center with good overall strength and the intelligence to lead an NFL line. Gives good effort to sustain run blocks through the play, whether it’s a reach block or chasing down Mike linebackers when asked. Good enough feet to move to correct blocking angle while engaged. Displays bend and a punch to knock linebackers away from the play in space. Flashes mirror ability when man-up in pass pro, won’t be bull-rushed when in balance. Brings a big punch to help either of his guards, knocks defenders sideways. Reliable shotgun snapper, hands get up quickly to handle tackles trying to beat him off the snap.
Not overly athletic and possesses average size and strength. Stiff, lacks quickness, and balance. Stops his feet and bends at the waist in one-on-one blocks, better tackles can pull down and disengage. Quicker second-level targets will avoid his advance or get back into play after initial contact. Struggles to recover when initially beaten.
Growing up about 20 minutes from South Bend and being named after a former Notre Dame player made it quite likely a high school All-American like Cave would suit up for the Irish. Cave earned third-team All-American honors his senior year in part due to his toughness, and intangibles. However, Cave isn't very athletic, or overally strong. He's not very quick, and rarely recovers when beaten. In order to improve, he will have to be more efficient in winning with his hands, and maintaining adequate balance.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.