Last year, the Miami Dolphins advanced to the NFL Playoffs for the first time in a long while where they eventually fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wildcard Round.
But for a franchise that has struggled to get back to where it once was it was a step in the right direction. The Dolphins continued taking steps to get back to a Super Bowl in the 2017 NFL Draft when they drafted former Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley in the third round.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound corner was a two-year starter for the Tigers where he led the team each year in passes defended, while recording nine interceptions in the process. Tankersley was a called a shutdown corner at Clemson where he primarily played a lot of press man coverage.
“Of course I consider myself a man corner,” Tankersley said to the Miami media via Sun Sentinel.com on Friday after he signed his contract with the Dolphins. “I’m a hardnosed corner, but I think I can adjust well to playing off or in zone and stuff like that.
“Of course there is a lot of technique stuff I would love to clean up. That’s why I am here and we got the coaches that can help me improve on that.”
In each of his two seasons as a starter at Clemson, Tankersley totaled 11 passes breaks. As a junior he had five interceptions to lead the team, while last year he totaled 11 more PBUs and had four interceptions, which ranked second on the team.
“Coming from Clemson, I played a lot of man, but whatever the coaches want me to do, it’s what I’m willing to do,” he said. “I’ll probably do a lot of different things, but I’m willing to adjust to it.”
Tankersley also tallied 65 tackles this past season and six tackles for loss as he improved as a better tackler and in run support.
The cornerback also brings a winning attitude to the Dolphins. Clemson went 28-2 the last two seasons and appeared in the national championship game both seasons. This year of course, the Tigers won it all by beating Alabama, 35-31, in the title game.
“At Clemson we always worked hard and we were always prepared,” Tankersley said. “We did not take a game for granted, just go out and compete every week.
“I think we kind of found each other after we lost that game against Pittsburgh and everyone was wondering how we were going to respond that next week. I think it is all about how our team responded every week and we came out, competed and won the national championship.”
Now Tankersley is hoping he can help Miami win a Super Bowl again, something the organization has not done since the early 1970s when they won Super Bowls VII and VIII in back-to-back years. Tankersley likes what he sees in head coach Adam Gase and he likes the direction the organization is heading under the young head coach.
“I love Coach Gase. There is a lot of energy,” Tankersley said. “He wants what is best for his players from just watching him and being around him. Obviously, he is a young coach by he brings a lot of energy to the team.”
And so does Tankersley.
–Photo Credit: Kim Klement—USA TODAY Sports