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    Sebastian Castro’s Draft Profile | Iowa, S Scouting Report

    With his NFL Draft scouting report, Iowa's Sebastian Castro boasts a reputation as one of the most versatile and tenacious defenders in 2025.

    The Iowa Hawkeyes defense was one of the best units in college football in 2023, and defensive back Sebastian Castro was a big part of that. Where does Castro settle in within the upcoming 2025 NFL Draft with his scouting report? Can he sustain Iowa’s early-round representation?

    Sebastian Castro’s Draft Profile and Measurements

    • Height: 5’11”
    • Weight: 205 pounds
    • Position: Defensive Back
    • School: Iowa
    • Current Year: Sixth-Year Senior

    The Hawkeyes had one of the nation’s best defenses in 2023 and one of the most coveted defensive back prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft with eventual Philadelphia Eagles selection Cooper DeJean. And there’s still plenty more to come from Kirk Ferentz’s squad.

    On the defensive line, Iowa has Yahya Black anchoring inside. And in the secondary, the Hawkeyes have a talented duo at safety in Xavier Nwankpa and Castro. Nwankpa is younger, but Castro is the heart and soul of the unit — especially after his 2023 campaign.

    Castro started slow at Iowa. He was a three-star recruit, who ended up redshirting his first season in 2019. He spent most of 2020 watching from the bench as well and was only a rotational and special-teams contributor in 2021.

    2022 was Castro’s first season with legitimate defensive action. And through that window, he flashed plenty of promise. Castro amassed 33 tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack, five pass deflections, and two forced fumbles. It was a good year, but it paled in comparison to the next one.

    In 2023, Castro accumulated 67 tackles, eight TFLs, a sack, three interceptions, eight pass breakups, a forced fumble, and a defensive touchdown. Playing the team’s hybrid slot role, he earned second-team All-Big Ten honors and All-American buzz.

    While DeJean has moved on, Castro returns as a central member of the vaunted Iowa secondary, and this final season could similarly endear him to NFL evaluators.

    Castro’s Scouting Report

    Strengths

    • Fleet-footed accelerator with great explosive capacity on the attack.
    • Energized mover who employs fast strides and stellar short-area freedom across phases.
    • Has enough explosiveness and long speed to contend with vertical threats up the seam.
    • Flashes high-end swivel freedom and acute angle flexibility transitioning back downfield.
    • Plays with hazardous intensity, terrorizing offenses with unmatched energy and zeal.
    • Able to instantly recognize screens and crash downhill, blowing up schemed RAC plays.
    • Nuanced, efficient technician who can shift from shuffles to pedals, then plant and drive.
    • Uses energetic shuffle steps to match receivers upfield and maintain close positioning.
    • Plays square to slot receivers in off-man and can reset his positioning with fast feet.
    • Has good blind-spot awareness in zone and off-man, keeping hip leverage at speed.
    • Instinctive, adaptable processor who can get depth in zones after play-action fakes.
    • Incredibly physical, tenacious competitor who knows how to re-route WRs at stems.
    • Uses his physicality and play strength to slab and torque through blocks in open space.
    • Can effectively channel his momentum into force as a tackler and properly wrap up.
    • Versatile Swiss Army Knife who can play the slot, strong safety, or attack in the box.

    Weaknesses

    • Has below-average proportional length, which can impact his disruption radius.
    • Occasionally, lacking length baits causes him to overreach and lurch when jamming.
    • Doesn’t quite have elite initial explosive capacity on recovery, needing space to gear up.
    • With a relatively stout, muscle-bound frame, doesn’t quite have elite hip fluidity.
    • Doesn’t have elite long speed and can struggle to shadow rangier speed threats.
    • Occasionally carries routes too far upfield, leaving short corners and outs open.
    • Can be baited into oversetting against delayed diamond releases in off-man.
    • On occasion, drifts too far when getting depth, allowing RAC paths for flat routes.
    • Is sometimes uncontrolled with his short-area agility and matching footwork.
    • Sometimes turns his hips too early in man coverage, giving up vertical hip leverage.
    • Ball production is more a product of responsiveness and proactivity than innate skills.
    • Will turn 25 years old midway through his rookie season.

    Current Draft Projection and Summary

    Entering the 2025 NFL Draft cycle, Castro grades out as a fringe top-100 prospect and one of the more versatile defensive backs in the class. His experience, role flexibility, unhinged physicality, and play pace will particularly endear him to defensive coaches.

    Castro will be an older prospect — set to turn 25 years old in October 2025 — and there are positives and negatives that come with that. His prime at the professional level may be a bit shorter, but right out of the gate, he should be able to have a role in an NFL defense.

    At 5’11”, 205 pounds, Castro is rocked-up, explosive, energized, and a ruthless attacker with great play recognition and processing ability. He’s at his best when he’s able to manage short zones and match and trail in off-man and zone by keeping hip leverage, but Castro can also man up slot receivers to a degree.

    There are still things for Castro to work on, even as a sixth-year senior. In press-man, he can be more disciplined and controlled with his footwork against longer releases. There are also times when his pass-and-carry rules can be more defined in zone.

    Going further, without elite hip flexibility and long speed, Castro’s role at the NFL level may be more confined than it is in college. Nevertheless, he’s a slot-capable DB who can also function as an attacking box safety and front-line playmaker in zone-heavy schemes, with the zealous tenacity and tone-setting toughness to make his presence felt.

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