Scouting Report: Cordrea Tankersley

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By: Shae Dougall

Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson

6’1”, 199lbs

Tankersley

Tape Viewed:

Clemson vs Ohio State (2016)

Clemson vs Virginia Tech (2016)

Clemson vs Troy (2016)

 

OVERVIEW

Nothing really stands out to me about Cordrea Tankersley, except his awesome name. As you read on, you’ll find that I view the former All-American third teamer to be slow to react, stiff, upright, and not particularly good in coverage. Currently projected as a fourth round pick, I wouldn’t touch Tankersley until the sixth round as a project pick. He’s a press corner with a lot of stuff that needs to get coached into him. He was able to get away with his deficiencies at Clemson because of the ridiculous talent around him, but will struggle to make a name for himself in the NFL except in very specific, beneficial circumstances.

 

COVERAGE

 

Play Recognition: 6 out of 10

Tankersley is consistently befuddled by deep routes with a lot of cuts. He might recognize the play, but it’s hard to tell. I’m not confident in his chances to successfully make the leap to the NFL because his reaction time is just too slow.

 

Speed: 3.5 out of 5

Tankersley perplexes me. His combine 40 yard time of 4.4 should speak to excellent straight-line speed, and yet…it doesn’t show up on tape, especially on deep routes. I feel like this indicates some sort of mechanical issue. He definitely seems to play a little bit stiff and upright, which isn’t conducive to maintaining top-level change of direction speed at all times. Until Cordrea can get coached up, a 3.5/5 his speed score shall remain.

 

Mirroring: 7 out of 10

Tankersley can blanket the receiver on just about any quick route, making it difficult on them and occasionally bumping them off of the route completely. This ability scales back the longer he has to cover and deeper the route gets.

 

Pursuit: 3 out of 5

Takes too long to come back to the ball on any route that ends with a hitch, although he does usually make a strong, squared-up tackle in those situations. He can catch up to some guys that have burned him, but usually only when the pass is inaccurately thrown.

 

Man: 8 out of 15

Tankersley has a bad tendency to get beat deep. Even worse, he gets called for pass interference a lot on those plays. He has the size necessary to cover bigger receivers, but the tape indicates that he doesn’t have the speed, despite his 4.4 40 yard dash time at the scouting combine. He also lacks the lower body explosiveness to go up and get the ball in jump ball situations. Finally, Tankersley allows way too much separation on off-coverage routes, failing to quickly close on the ball. This is either due to lack of recognition or lack of athleticism (or both).

 

Zone: 8 out of 15

Whiffed badly in some of the zone situations I watched on tape. On one play, Tankersley was so far out of position that he had to run nearly 8 yards downfield just to get to the receiver…and then he promptly missed the tackle. Simply lacks the instinct and reaction speed necessary to play effective zone coverage.

 

Press: 5 out of 5

I’m most confident in Tankersley when I see that he’s right on the line of scrimmage. Assuming the receiver doesn’t blow him off the line immediately, he’ll be able to compete with them for a while using bump-and-run technique. This almost always causes enough of a problem for the quarterback’s timing to be thrown off, which allows Tankersley to compete for underthrown passes, whether in zone or man coverage.

 

Tackle: 3.5 out of 5

I saw more than one occasion on tape where Tankersley was in position to make the tackle and made the tackle…and then there were some other times where he was in position to make the tackle and missed the tackle. So, he’s basically like a lot of cornerbacks.

 

Ball Skills: 5 out of 5

Despite mechanical issues and slow reaction time, Tankersley sure did seem to be in the right place at the right time a lot in college. He came away with 8 interceptions with just two years of starting experience at Clemson and he consistently plays the football very well when it’s not going over his head for a huge gain.

 

RUN SUPPORT

 

Tackle: 3.5 out of 5

Tankersley won’t be pulverizing guys in the open field too often, but he seems to have the mechanics of tackling down pat. You could certainly do worse at the cornerback position.

 

Play Recognition: 2.5 out of 5

Like on passing plays, Tankersley is often slow to react to a running play. Curtis Samuel made him look foolish on a cutback in the college football playoff, catching Tankersley out of position and blowing by him for a huge gain.

 

Willingness: 5 out of 5

On every running play I saw, Tankersley showed the want-to that a lot of cornerbacks don’t possess at any level. He consistently ran towards where the ball was going, even when it wasn’t close to his side of the field.

 

GENERAL

Injury: 8 out of 10

Missed a couple of games due to injury in 2016, but that might have been due to Clemson’s coaching staff not wanting to risk him aggravating something that was pre-existing (read: resting him because they were playing mediocre South Carolina and something called South Carolina State).

 

Total Prospect Rating: 68/100

Pro Comparison: Jonathan Banks, CB, Chicago Bears

Tankersley 1

Banks

Both have the prototypical size to match up with number one receivers and absolutely lack any further abilities necessary to do so. Whether in zone or man, these players look lost more often than not, though certainly not due to their prototypical size and tantalizing athletic abilities. Banks was a second round pick, a fast-riser following a solid pre-draft season. Tankersley could follow the same path to be horribly over-drafted as teams scramble to make sense of the absolute cluster-f of cornerbacks graded between the second and fourth round. 

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Scouting Report: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

6’1 196 lbs.

conley

Tape Viewed: 2016 vs. Clemson, 2016 vs. Penn State, 2016 vs. Indiana, 2016 vs. Oklahoma, 2016 vs. Wisconsin

 

OVERVIEW

Conley is an above average athlete who excels in coverage but benefits from the strong Ohio State defense that surrounds him. He looks comfortable in all game situations, but is a very spotty tackler and isn’t highly involved in run support.

Ohio State liked to use Conley as a blitzer out of various spots on the defense, and this seems to be because of his strong short-area burst, but on tape, he didn’t finish a single one of those blitzes for a sack, despite having many opportunities. He notably bounced right off of Clemson QB DeShaun Watson despite a free release.

Conley is a very confident player, constantly attempting to read the QB’s eyes, and rarely allows large separation. This leads to excellent disruption on the ball at the point of the catch.

There are some red flags with his game, including his technique and tackling. Conley often looks like he’s playing out of control in coverage, which leads to wasted movement that he has to use his athleticism to compensate for, that will burn him at the next level. His tackling is atrocious at times, and this is also due to poor technique, as he doesn’t seem to understand how to square up and use leverage to his advantage. He’s often in the wrong position when attempting tackles as well.

 

COVERAGE

 

Play Recognition: 8 out of 10

 

While Conley has some fine moments on tape in this regard, particularly in breaking up a would-be TD on a 5-yard-out to receiver Dede Westbrook against Oklahoma, Conley struggles to diagnose read options and certain complicated route patterns.

 

Speed: 4 out of 5

 

While his straight line speed is exposed a few times on tape, especially by strong receiver prospect Mike Williams of Clemson, he more than makes up for it with explosive burst. This is the main reason Ohio State likes to put him in blitzing situations.

 

Mirroring: 9 out of 10

 

While he can get loose at times, Conley doesn’t have much trouble sticking to his receivers, and more than once on tape, he ran the receiver’s route better than the receiver.

 

Pursuit: 5 out of 5

 

On those plays where Conley gets behind his receiver, be it from a pick play or just beat off the line on a fly, he’s always putting in maximum effort and uses his explosion to close gaps in a hurry.

 

Man: 13 out of 15

 

Conley likes to play man coverage, you can tell watching tape he feels he’s the best player on the field and he brings that swagger every down, he’ll need to clean up his footwork and hip swivel at the next level, but he rarely allows separation.

 

Zone: 13 out of 15

 

A natural eye-reader, Conley uses his cognitive abilities to his advantage in zone coverage. While his spacing isn’t always perfect, his explosion helps close gaps and disrupt catch attempts. This is on display in the best possible way against Wisconsin, where Conley closed seven yards from the time the QB decided his target on the play to when the ball reached the receiver. Conley jumped the route and made the easy pick.

 

Press: 4 out of 5

 

While Conley likes to press, he sometimes misses his bump which leads to issues on downfield throws against faster receivers, this was on display against Mike Williams.

 

Tackle: 2 out of 5

 

Far too many missed tackles to garner a positive rating. His technique is often terrible and he’s usually out of position, though he has a few really solid form tackles on tape and shows a willingness to try to bring receivers down in his area.

 

Ball Skills: 4 out of 5

 

Conley is often at his best when the ball is in the air. He dropped a couple of interceptions and misused his hands on a few 50-50 balls leading to catches on tape. For the most part, though, he’s very disruptive at the catch point and locates the ball early while it’s still in the air.

 

RUN SUPPORT

 

Tackle: 2 out of 5

 

Same story as in pass defense, He flashes correct technique and contain principles, and on some plays just looks like a joke out there.

 

Play Recognition: 3 out of 5

 

With the exception, glaring though it is, of read option runs and designed quarterback runs, Conley seems able to read the direction of a running play well and takes nice angles to limit big gains.

 

Willingness: 3 out of 5

 

You get the feeling watching Conley sometimes that he wishes the offense wouldn’t run the ball, because he looks so much more comfortable in coverage, but he rarely shies away from the contact and doesn’t mind attempting tackles, even in the open field.

 

GENERAL

 

Injury: 9 out of 10

 

A minor shoulder injury was likely an anomaly. Conley’s health is not an issue going into the draft.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 79/100

 

Pro Comparison: T.J. Carrie, CB, Oakland Raiders

Ohio State v Michigan

carrie

Carrie has been an above average cover corner in this league for a couple of years now, really coming on in late 2016 after the injury to fellow Raiders corner D.J. Hayden, but that hasn’t helped his absolute deficiencies in tackling ball carriers. Conley and Carrie share similar frames, similar swagger, and similar technique issues that likely limit their ceiling as pros, at least in run support.

A Prospect A Day: Wide Receivers, Michael Thomas Scouting Report

Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State

6’3 210 lbs

Thomas

OVERVIEW

Thomas is the classic example of wasted potential. He’s a true NFL receiver with dominant traits who has the ability to run a full route tree and the savvy and athleticism to dominate against both man and zone.

However, he was criminally underused in the Ohio State offense by quarterbacks incapable of putting him in favorable positions consistently. It’s very clear that defenses respected his immense ability as he constantly drew flags and double coverage.

Still, there are a couple of knocks on Thomas’ game: he has uneven hands, especially on contested balls and he doesn’t seem to have the demeanor or swagger of a number one receiver.

He’s also an extremely skilled blocker.

RECEIVER BREAKDOWN

Hands: 14 out of 20

Thomas shows the ability to catch nearly any ball when he’s coming back to it. When running away from the ball, he shows much more inconsistency. While he’s willing to fight through contact. He doesn’t use his superior frame and athleticism nearly well enough to go up and snag contested balls.

Route Running: 17 out of 20

His route running isn’t quite razor-sharp, but it’s adequate to create separation and he shows the ability to read zones and sit in the soft spots to make a QB-friendly target.

Blocking: 14 out of 15

Thomas consistently shines in blocking situations, springing runners for big gains several times per game. He shows incredible latching ability and awareness to disengage at the right time. He’s, however, not quite aggressive enough if the play is shifting away from him.

Athleticism: 14 out of 15

I fully expect Thomas to be among the leaders at the position at the combine. He clearly has excellent long-speed and agility. Though he doesn’t use it often, he also has excellent jumping ability. The main problem is he doesn’t often use these traits to dominate competition like one would expect.

Run after catch: 14 out of 15

Look no further than a hitch Thomas took to the house against Rutgers. He slid between two defenders and delivered a punishing stiff-arm to spring free for the touchdown. On that play, he showed all the major traits: speed, power and vision, which will allow him to dominate on the next level with the ball in his hands.

Size: 9 out of 10

He’s big and tall, ideal for his position, though he could stand to add a bit more weight in his legs, he looks a little bit lanky at times.

Body Control: 3 out of 5

Though he shows strong ability to break tackles with proper pad level through contact, he’s not able to contort his body in ways that allow him to win on downfield throws.

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 85 out of 100

NFL Comparison: Julio Jones, WR, Falcons

JulioThomas 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He may be one of the best receivers in the league, but Thomas has nearly an identical frame with the same combination of athleticism, strength, savvy and crisp route-running that has made Jones such a matchup nightmare. Thomas must improve his hands and ability to win the contested catch, but could have a Jones-like impact.

A Prospect A Day: 4-3 Defensive Ends, Joey Bosa Scouting Report

JOEY BOSA, DE, OHIO STATE

6’6 276 lbs

Bosa

OVERVIEW:

The ideal 4-3 edge player. He could likely play as a DE or a LEO in a scheme like that of the Jaguars or Seahawks.

He sets the edge better than any prospect I’ve ever seen coming out of college. He’s disciplined and because of that, teams don’t run outside to his side.

This is one area where he improved tremendously from 2014 to 2015. He, however lacks the bend around the edge to consistently produce sacks against the double teams and chips he saw much more of in 2015.

Because of this, his potential as a pass rusher in the pros will be limited if he is forced to continue taking on those double teams. One-on-one, though, he’s a mismatch against most tackles.

PASS RUSHING

Technique: 3 out of 5

Bosa typically bull rushes for the quarterback inside or speed rushes outside. He rarely uses any varied moves to get off tackles, relying on his athleticism and motor over sound technique.

Effectiveness: 4 out of 5

A standout pass rusher in 2014, Bosa saw near constant double teams in 2015. From what I reviewed though, he was a constant disruptive force as a much smarter and more patient rusher in his junior season.

Potential: 3 out of 5

Still, Bosa lacks the natural balance and ability to bend around the edge with speed and power that’s typical of premiere pass rushers. He’ll likely command double teams early in his career but he could have some excellent games if teams leave him one-on-one.

RUN STOPPING

Technique: 5 out of 5

In 2015 Bosa was elite at setting the edge of the Ohio State defense. Teams simply didn’t run to his side very often and they had a very difficult time getting outside his shoulders when they did. He never over-pursued plays like he did in his sophomore season.

Effectiveness: 4 out of 5

The main problem with this was that he was so steady and patient that often teams could find lanes inside his shoulders, and the strength of Ohio State’s defense is not on the inside. He also had less tackling opportunities overall. Still, he was an ideal edge player.

Potential: 5 out of 5

Bosa should immediately step in as one of the dominant run stoppers in the NFL, he should help lock down a side of the field in the running game while getting effective push on that side of the line with his brute strength.

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 24/30

NFL Comparison: Cam Jordan, DE, New Orleans Saints

JordanBosa tackling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In his first pro season, Cam Jordan came from Cal to New Orleans and immediately became the best run stopper on the team. In 2013, seeing far fewer double teams due to the emergency of fellow edge rusher Junior Gallete, Jordan notched 12.5 sacks. I expect a similar trajectory for Bosa.

Projection: Top 5 pick