Dolphins couldn’t pass up Cordrea Tankersley’s athleticism at No. 97

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.”


Brandon Howard joined the Sports Talk Florida team to cover the Miami Dolphins in April 2017 and will work diligently to provide daily Dolphins content and give accurate analysis of the roster, coaching and front office. Last season, Howard was the curator of content for Miami Dolphins Wire/ USA Today while aggregating high school sports results in Broward and Palm Beach counties for the Sun Sentinel. Prior to moving to South Florida Howard developed NFL content for Pro Player Insiders while covering the Cleveland Browns from 2014-2015. Howard, a Columbus, Ohio native graduated from West Virginia in 2004 in Athletic Coaching and Education. He also was a scholarship track and field athlete and walk-on football player. Howard was the 2003 Big East Long and IC4A long jump Champion and was a provisional national qualifier in the event. He also maintained his status as a member of the Athletic Director Academic Honor Roll during his time as a Mountaineer.