We continue looking at prospects in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft from a decidedly Cowboys point of view. Taking the Cowboys current personnel, draft position, scheme, and needs into consideration; defensive line, linebacker, defensive backs, as well as complementary offensive pieces at tight end and right tackle, we hope to profile the majority of the potential prospects that could realistically end up as Cowboys within the first two rounds. Once all of the “official visits” leak we’ll add prospects that are possibilities in the later rounds.
Today’s Prospect - (Reported pre-draft visitor)
#25 - Cordrea Tankersley - Cornerback - Clemson - 6-1, 200
Games Watched: Ohio St., Virginia Tech, Troy
Pros: Ideal height/weight/speed (timed) prospect with good length. Extremely productive with 9 interceptions and 20 pass deflections over the past two seasons. Flips his hips well from press position and shows ability to play press/trail technique, looks like a natural Cover-3 type of outside CB. Shows a willingness and physicality to battle against bigger WR’s downfield and at the catch point, he did really well vs. Bucky Hodges (6-6, 250+) of Virginia Tech. Very good ball skills, shows good awareness to get his head turned back towards the ball when downfield in coverage. Shows a decent feel for zone coverage and when to come off primary receiver to make a play. Has experience at both outside corner spots, as well as coming off the edge on blitzes. Physical and drives well on the ball from off position but doesn’t look very comfortable in space, especially when moving backward from off position where he gets lost in space at times, doesn’t show good awareness, and can get turned around while watching the QB. Has experience in press, off, man, and zone, but looks most comfortable in press position, either man or zone.
Cons: Change of direction and footwork are especially mechanical and lack fluidity when in space in off coverage. Has a tendency to hop downfield instead of a smooth backpedal when he doesn’t have a receiver to mirror. Timed speed doesn’t always show up in games due to issues with change of direction, and starting, stopping, then starting again. Inconsistent tackler in the running game, seems to be willing but isn’t especially physical or effective, lacks aggressiveness to fight off blocks, and doesn’t break down well in space. Shows a tendency to grab downfield. Can get off balance when in space and not on the usual Cover-3, press/flip hips/bail track. Despite playing a lot of press coverage you don’t see him jam very often. Played on extremely talented defenses the last two seasons, especially as far as defensive line talent.
Conclusion: The ball skills, size, and physicality are extremely intriguing, and I believe he would be an excellent fit as a strictly outside corner, particularly in a press and/or Cover-3 heavy scheme. With that said, he lacks versatility as far as being able to play in the slot, and he is especially poor playing in space, lacking fluidity and ideal change of direction. He also has a reputation for grabbing and attracting flags downfield. For these reasons I feel like there will certainly be better options on the board at 28, and likely even somewhere in the 40-45 range if the Cowboys were to trade down. However if he is available at 60 I think he would make for an excellent pick at that point, projecting as a potential long-term starting “number two” type of cornerback.
I do not have access to coach’s film or anything of that nature, I just watch plenty of football (television broadcast version) and go off what I see out of a prospect.
Special thanks to DraftBreakdown for posting the videos that help provide a more in-depth look at this year’s prospects.