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2015 Dolphins Draft Picks
QUESTION: What is the most important thing this training camp?
RICH: ... the trenches.
Despite suspect offensive line and defensive front seven play last season, the Dolphins won 10 games and made the playoffs. Imagine what could happen if both fronts were solidified. A defense that can now stop the run would put opposing offenses in 3rd and long more frequently, and they could unleash the plethora of pass rushers that are along the defensive line. An offense that can consistently run the ball and protect the quarterback would extend drives, keeping opposing defenses on the field and keeping their own defense resting on the sideline. Now a team that scratched and clawed its way into the playoffs becomes a team that hosts a playoff game at home. The offensive line and front seven will be huge factors in determining whether this happens.
I try to keep a balanced point of view during the draft as I've seen them all in my 55 years. I'm not a "rah-rah" type of fan who thinks every pick is the greatest, and I'm not a "realist" who picks apart every draft pick. That being said, I really like picking Cordrea Tankersley in the third round. Several analsyts are trying to crap on the pick, but several are giving this a big thumb's up, such as FOX Sports' Dieter Kurtenbach who gave us a A grade and said that he had the talent to be picked in the first round. One thing that I've seen in the highlights is he is going to have to learn to keep his hands off the receivers or he'll see it raining yellow flags.
The Dolphins are planning on this year being a learning year for him, and that is ok by me. Neither Patrick Surtain nor Sam Madison were starters in their first year as Jimmy Johnson gave them a learning rookie year. Expect to hear his name on Special Teams as he does that very well, too
He’s a guy that’s still learning the corner position. He’s got a lot of traits we like. He’s long. He’s got length. He’s got speed. He has ball skills. Again, he’s got a lot of stuff that we like. We think that there’s a tremendous upside there. Again, we really like the kid. He’ll be a contributor on special teams as well, so for the depth, (to) come in and compete for the roster spot. This is a player we’re very high on so we’re excited to add him." Dolphins general manager Chris Grier.
Let me just say here really quick that since Miami got both their targeted first and third round picks, if this draft does not go well then it falls on Grier. I will say that I am impressed that Grier is getting players that fit their scheme, so, that has to be a big positive.
Overall Football Traits
Inside Linebacker Specific Traits
|Instincts/Recognition||3||Good game experience (30 starts). Has experience playing both sides and is scheme diverse. Good feel for leverage in zone coverage. Does not trust his eyes in off-man coverage. Inconsistent reading WR's routes. Can panic at times when his back is to the QB and the ball is in the air.|
|Cover Skills||3||Above average height (6012) and length (32 ¼' arms) with very good top-end speed (4.40 40-yard dash at Combine). Much more effective playing on the line than he is in off-coverage. Capable of playing press-man and also press-zone. Effective in views versus pass-catching TE's Bucky Hodges (Virginia Tech) and Cole Hikutini (Louisville). When he opens in time, he's capable of running with most speed-receivers in the NFL. But gets in trouble when playing off (doesn't seem comfortable, tends to guess at top of WRs stem and makes too much contact). However, he does have some tightness in his hips and lacks ideal change-of-direction quickness. Slower-than-average short shuttle (4.32) and 3-cone (7.00) results confirm the tape. Tends to get very 'grabby' when he's in trouble.|
|Ball Skills||2||Good length to contend. Shows closing burst to the ball. Had one drop on tape but showed soft hands overall. Good ball production (20 PBUs and 9 INTs last two seasons) but also had eight pass interference calls against him the last two seasons. Inconsistent tracking the deep ball over his shoulder.|
|Run Support||3||Willing in support but lacks consistent aggressiveness. Has good size and adequate strength. Comes to balance and will wrap up as a tackler. Typically does a good job of keeping outside contain. Did not love his effort in backside pursuit in the run game.|
Status ReportCordrea (cohr-DRAY) Tankersley played mostly on special teams his first two seasons (2013-14) before taking over as fulltime starter in 30 games the past two years (2015-16). He has good height-weight-speed combination. He's at his best playing on the line and he had great ball production during his two seasons as a starter. However, Tankersley has some tightness, he's not nearly as effective in off-man coverage, and he's had pass interference problems as a result of ball tracking inconsistency. For teams with heavier press-man/zone schemes, Tankersley could be a mid-round fit. April 1, 2017
1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal
Cordrea (pronounced cohr-DRAY) got his nickname "Tootie" from his older brother Codarius, who repeated the word several times after seeing his young sibling for the first time. The name stuck from there, in the same manner that Tankersley sticks to receivers in coverage. He struggled to find time in the secondary in his first two seasons, primarily playing on special teams (13 tackles in 2013; 11 tackles in 2014) as the Tigers' veteran defensive backs ruled the depth chart. Once his opportunity arose, Tankersley took full advantage, garnering third-team All-ACC notice after leading Clemson with five interceptions (one returned for a score) and nine pass breakups. He was a first-team all-conference pick and third-team Associated Press All-American for his efforts in the Tigers' national championship season of 2016, intercepting four more passes and breaking up a team-high 11 throws.
• One of the best in the class at using his length at the line of scrimmage and staying with the receiver on short routes. Initiates contact early in press and mirrors well.
• He wins at the line of scrimmage with his strength and footwork. His ability to challenge receivers to break his press is great, and his physicality continues to the catch point to break up passes.
• Much better at finding the ball in zone coverage. He doesn’t give too much cushion in zone, allowing him to break downhill on underneath routes while still maintaining position on deeper routes. Great length and body control near the sideline.
• Solid tackler in space. A much more willing player when it comes to tackling receivers than backs, but nonetheless doesn’t hesitate at those opportunities.
• He was hidden a bit due to the talent around him. Opposing offenses didn’t target him much, which is good but gave limited opportunities to see his ball awareness and competitiveness.
• Deep speed and ability to turn and run with faster receivers left him vulnerable in man situations. He’s not slow but also not a burner.
• Gets tunnel vision onto the wide receiver more than following the ball, which is an issue against the run more than anything. Doesn’t give much effort into stopping the run.
• Likes to get a little grabby on downfield routes. His hand checks must be more controlled. The activity is good but the over-reliance on them can cost him when he doesn’t find the ball.
If you want a physical, long and effective press corner, then Cordrea Tankersley might be one of your favorites this year. He’s one of mine, as he can play both man and zone coverages. Tankersley isn’t the fastest player downfield, and he’s handsy in coverage, but his play strength is tremendous. Reigning in his hand activity and becoming more subtle with contact will be important to his man-coverage upside, to help avoid needless pass interference calls. Either that, or he’ll need to find the ball earlier and finish interception opportunities better. Regardless, a zone scheme fixes those concerns. Tankersley is aggressive and a great tackler to help limit yards after the catch. He’ll be an early contributor and should hit his stride quickly in the NFL.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS PICK.
Mike Mayock *
Tankersley is a highway speed guy. If you draw up a corner, this is the guy. He can run fast. He's a press corner. He's the least interesting defensive back in this entire draft in supporting the run. He was directly for support on two Dalvin Cook touchdowns and did not get involved at all.
FOX Sports *
Mel Kiper (ESPN) *
Better two years ago than this past season. In coverage, up and down. Was beaten more than you want to see. Gets grabby, which doesn’t work in the NFL. You can get away with some of that in college where they don’t throw penalties flags as much as the NFL. Decent awareness, decent anticipation but doesn’t always break down properly. I was underwhelmed this year with Cordrea Tankersley.
Louis Riddick (ESPN) *
He needs to play up at the line of scrimmage. When he’s reading from off, he doesn’t know what to look at. His vision gets lost. When you’re looking at too many things, you don’t really see anything. Then you grab people and hold them. He’s going to be called for a ton of PIs in the NFL if he doesn’t clean that thing up.
Todd McShay (ESPN) *
His best coverage came against tight ends… In this division, Patriots, it kind of makes some sense.