The Dolphins selected Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft. Tankersley collected four interceptions en route to helping the Tigers earn their first national championship in 36 years last season.
The Dolphins have a penchant for selecting long-levered cornerbacks with tremendous athleticism and at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, the speedy cornerback out of Clemson certainly fits the mold according to general manager Chris Grier.
“He’s long-limbed, he’s over 6-foot, 200 pound guy, he ran 4.38. You can see a lot of the traits. … In a press corner, there are a lot of things you look for so so we just think there’s tremendous developmental upside still for him to get better as a corner.”
Tankersley would’ve preferred to hear his name called earlier in the draft, but he believes his athleticism and style of play makes him a perfect fit in Miami.
“They’re a great man [coverage] team,” Tankersley said. “They run a lot of man . . . they want to match up and I feel like I fit their scheme. Also if they want to do some zone and mix it up, I feel like I can fit that scheme as well. I feel like they have an aggressive style which I’m accustomed to at Clemson.”
Tankersley will have Clemson alum Byron Maxwell to help him through his rookie year and he expressed his excitement about the prospect of being mentored by the veteran cornerback.
“Me and Byron [Maxwell] have a close relationship. I watched Byron play when I was being recruited out of high school so I’m quite familiar with his game and I kind of model my game after him. … To be on the same team as him and to have the opportunity to play opposite of him — that’s a blessing.”
While Tankersley does possess the combination of size and athleticism to play on the boundary, Grier wouldn’t tip his hand as to how he planned to utilize the rookie cornerback.
“I think the coaches are just going to let it play out this summer,” Grier said. “I think it’ll be a fun thing for us as well as you guys [media] to track how they do. I don’t want to limit what guys can do, or can’t do, so we’re just going to let them go out and compete.”