(Editor's Note: With less than one month until the start of the 2017 NFL Draft on April 27, the staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is Clemson's Cordrea Tankersley.)
Name: Cordrea Tankersley
Honors: In 2016, Tankersley was named an All-American by various outlets and was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's best defensive back, and the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the nation's best defender.
Key Stat: A senior on Clemson's 2016 national championship team, Tankersley played the second-most career games (55) in school history and made three interceptions in his final three games: two in the ACC Championship win over Virginia Tech and one in the semifinal shutout against Ohio State. He had six pass deflections in the title game thriller against Alabama.
Where He's Projected: Although the depth of this draft could keep an accomplished corner like Tankersley out of the first round, most draft observers believe he won't slip past the second.
How He Helps The Cowboys:Dallas needs more numbers in the secondary, plain and simple. In March, the Cowboys signed seven-year veteran Nolan Carroll to help replace free-agent departures Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. Carroll and Orlando Scandrick bring experience, and last year's sixth-round pick Anthony Brown showed promise in nine starts, but Carr and Claiborne did have a combined 123 starts since 2012. Like many of the top corners in this year's class, Tankersley could step in and compete for snaps right away. At 6-1, he has good height and arm reach that assists him in press man coverage.
Scout's Take: Perfect build for a corner. Is best when he can play in press. Very good reactions to stay with his man and drive him wide. Can get into the body of the receiver and cause them to become off balance. His size really gives receivers problems. Will fight for position the entire route. Not a one shot guy then release. Can stay with his man. Strong in upper body. Long arms really help him when it comes to defending the ball. Has a high rate of success when it comes to denying the ball. Very disruptive. Every pass that is thrown in his direction is a fight. Rare for him to give up on a play. Competitive to the point where he's grabby with his technique. Will draw his share of flags and they're not that hard to call. Much better player on than off. Doesn't even look like the same player. Technique is poor and all over the place. Finds himself in bad position when playing off coverage. Almost comes to a stop when receiver is driving on him. Doesn't have the burst in off coverage. Will contest the ball in the air. Aware for screen and reacts accordingly. Tackles well. If playing a ton of press man coverage, this guy is your player.
- Bryan Broaddus