Cordrea Tankersley – NFL Draft 2017 Prospect Profile


Cordrea Tankersley
6’1, 200 lbs.
Senior, #25


2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Third-team (media)
2015 Third-team All-ACC (media, coaches)
2015 Renwick-Flanders Most Improved on defense award
2016 All-ACC Football First team (coaches)


Stats: 2 Games-started 2 Games at Defensive back as a true Freshman, 5 Total Tackles, 0.5 Tackle for Loss, 0 Interceptions, 0 Pass Deflections, 0 Sacks, 0 Forced Fumbles


Stats: 9 Games started at 9 Games at Defensive back as a true Sophomore, 12 Total Tackles, 0 Tackles for Loss, 0 Interceptions, 0 Pass Deflections, 0 Sacks, 0 Forced Fumbles


Stats: 15 Games-started all 13 Games and Playoff Games at Cornerback as a true Junior, 48 Total Tackles, 3.5 Tackles for Loss, 5 Interceptions- 1 Touchdown, 9 Pass Deflections, 1 Sack, 0 Forced Fumbles

Games Watched: 7 Games (2015-2016) via Draft Breakdown

Film Notes (Play by Play Breakdown)

Against Georgia Tech-

Tankersley showed very good man coverage, had an interception in man coverage. He does use his hands more often than not but still remains with the receiver usually. Pretty physical with the receiver and in run support. Gave up a pass in zone coverage to the receiver and had too much room between him and the receiver. Other than that, Cordrea Tankersley had a really good game overall and I think this game was Tankersley’s best game in 2015.

Against Notre Dame-

Cordrea Tankersley had some high points but some lows. He had great coverage on 2 deep balls I saw; one where he used the sideline and boxed the receiver out and one where he had a nice pass deflection in the end zone. Another deep ball in double coverage near the end zone, Tankersley was in zone coverage, he didn’t bite the double move but allowed the receiver on the inside and the receiver dropped a nice ball in between the safety and Tankersley. Tankersley did allow the receiver to beat him a couple times; one on a curl in zone coverage and one on a slant and just got out ran and lost his man. There were a couple good coverages by Tankersley in man coverage especially. He also had a good run support tackle but missed one tackle.

Against North Carolina-

Tankersley had a nice interception on a tipped pass in the end zone. Had a couple times where he covered the receiver well but had some times where he got burned or didn’t have the speed to not allow an outside pass toward the sideline, one play the receiver flipped Tankersley’s hips and Tankersley was caught off balance. In the end zone, he was flagged for pass interference and I noticed he does get his hands on receivers to frequently and has to make up for the receiver beating him in coverage. One play Tankersley was burned by a receiver on the snap but wasn’t targeted.

Against South Carolina-

Cordrea Tankersley didn’t have as good of a game and I think this was his worst game of 2015. This game mostly highlighted his tackling, where he had 3 or 4 tackles that showed that he’s relatively good in run support and can tackle one on one pretty well. He had a decent amount of trouble in coverage in this game. Had an incomplete pass on a pass near the sideline; the receiver had a step on Tankersley but didn’t have enough sideline to catch the ball and the ball was overthrown. Another pass was dropped on a slant but the receiver was open inside. Other than that, Tankersley got beat by the receiver on a slant twice and was beat on a jump ball in the end zone that was scored for a touchdown. The receiver had an initial stutter step and the receiver had a step ahead of Tankersley.



Stats: 13 Games-started all 13 Games and Playoff Games at Cornerback as a true Senior, 52 Total Tackles, 6 Tackles for Loss, 4 Interceptions, 11 Pass Deflections, 0 Sacks, 0 Forced Fumbles

Film Notes (Play by Play Breakdown)

Against Virginia Tech-

Tankersley had decent coverage against Ford 4 times in press man coverage. This game he was clutch and made plays but he was really inconsistent in man and zone but mostly zone. Gave up a slant against Ford and gave up one to another receiver. He also gave up a deep ball in zone coverage where he was covering the short zone but was backpedaling and didn’t turn around for the football and tried to tackle Ford but whiffed the tackle also. Another deep ball he was called for defensive pass interference. I accounted for 3 missed tackles including the last play I mentioned but had 2 nice tackles in run support. Had a pass deflection in press man coverage against Ford also. In zone coverage, Tankersley gave up 2 curl routes, one short and one intermediate to Ford and another receiver. Against Hodges, he had 2 interceptions; one where he overran Hodges near the sideline and the other one was where Tankersley read the quarterback and jumped the route. He did really well against Hodges in coverage but against the other receivers, he struggled other than press man coverage where I thought he excelled and blanketed the receivers.

Against Troy-

I think Tankersley’s best game in 2015-2016 is going to be against Troy. He dominated in man and zone coverage, didn’t see much press in this game. I accounted for 2 times where Tankersley allowed a short route; one was a short comeback and Tankersley thought he had the ball and one was a short slant. Other than that, He had 3 pass deflections, one of which should’ve been an interception. The rest of the plays he was in, he had solid physical coverage against the receiver. He did have a pass interference on a deep ball but the receivers almost had no separation against him. Also had a nice tackle near the sideline.

Against Ohio State-

Cordrea Tankersley was better in this game. He gave up 2 curl routes in different coverages in man and zone. When he was in zone coverage, he played back even past 10 yards and played way too deep for a playmaker like Samuel. He gave up another curl route to Brown and whiffed a tackle. Tankersley did have another tackle and a nice tackle on Barrett and chased him down 5-10 yards when Tankersley was in run support. Tankersley was burned by another receiver in double coverage with the safety but Barrett overthrew the pass. He did redeem himself on an interception on a tipped play in zone, the pass was high for the receiver. Tankersley showed up in a big game and was very good against great competition.


Really good frame and size, also good enough speed to cover receivers pretty well at times

Really good in press coverage but can play other coverages (man and zone) decently well, relatively fluid in the backpedal

Can physically jam the receiver really well, maybe best press corner in the draft class

Can be good in run support, aggressive

Good range and ball skills when he’s looking for the ball, good instincts

In certain schemes, he can really excel

Could be a versatile defensive back, can cover bigger receivers and tight ends


Inconsistent overall, some plays he mirrors the receiver but other plays he gives up a pass on a route, especially short or intermediate curls or comebacks but against faster receivers

Struggles with the deep ball at times with faster receivers due to makeup acceleration gets burned usually due to this or just never turned his head around

Tends to use his hands too much when the receiver has an advantage sometimes and gets called for DPI

Inconsistencies in separation between him and the receiver in coverage overall, inconsistent tackler

Had talent behind him at Clemson


I can definitely say Cordrea Tankersley is a better prospect than his teammate that was next to him from last year’s draft, Mackensie Alexander. He has the size and the ball skills to be a rangy cornerback that has the ability to shut down receivers, especially bigger receivers. He was the top corner on the top-ranked Clemson defense in 2016 and was targeted a lot. He does get grabby when in trouble and gets beat pretty easily by faster receivers. He has the most trouble against comebacks and curls and deep passes against quicker receivers. Tankersley is a fluid athlete at times and has scheme versatility but I think he is a lot better in press and man coverage than zone. Although he can tackle pretty well for a corner, it is on and off and he whiffs some tackles. His best games were against Georgia Tech in 2015 and Troy in 2016. In both games he had relatively great coverage in all coverages; man, zone, and press coverage. Cordrea Tankersley did struggle in games against South Carolina in 2015. Tankersley has been beaten multiple times on slant routes and gave up a few big plays and a touchdown. Since 2015, he has definitely improved his game but some lingering issues are still there. With his physical traits, he can be really tough and aggressive as a cornerback. In certain schemes that value press coverage, he could really excel as a starting cornerback in the NFL. Tankersley may not be the best in zone or man coverage, but he most likely is the best press cover corner in this years draft class due to his physicality and ability to jam the receiver.

Range– Late Round 1- Early Round 2

Player Comparison: Byron Maxwell- When I watched Cordrea Tankersley, I thought he played really similar to Byron Maxwell but not as bulky but Tankersley is faster in my opinion. Both were known in Clemson and big press corners that could excel in certain schemes like in Seattle where Maxwell really did excel and if Tankersley were in a situation like that, he could be a complimentary piece next to Richard Sherman like how Maxwell was in 2014 before he left to Philadelphia and now in Miami. I think Tankersley is also better in coverage overall than Maxwell and might have better ball skills as he had a lot more turnovers than Maxwell did in Clemson. Pretty much I think Cordrea Tankersley is Byron Maxwell 2.0 and can help a team as a starting cornerback potential in the NFL.

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Andrew Kim
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