A very merry Draftmas to you! We continue our tradition of profiling an NFL Draft prospect every day in April, leading up to the NFL Draft on April 23rd. Every day, you’ll get a prospect profile that includes how they would fit with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Cornerback has to relatively high on the Kansas City Chiefs’ list of needs given how slim the current depth chart is at the position. Going back through Steve Spagnuolo’s preferences of cornerbacks, we know they like guys with length, height, ball skills and that play with an edge.
Let me introduce you do the guy who did that better than anyone else in the SEC:
Cameron Dantzler, Cornerback
6’2” | 188lbs | Mississippi State
Expected Draft Range: Day two
Combine: 4.64-second 40-yard dash, 34.5-inch vertical jump
2018 Stats: 40 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions and 8 pass breakups
One-sentence bio: Thinly-framed cornerback who had to fight to add weight throughout his college career after playing quarterback and setting a school record in the long jump in high school.
One-sentence scouting report: Despite the small frame, Dantzler one of the most physical cornerbacks in the SEC, using his length and ferocity to dominate wide receivers throughout the route.
Merry Draftmas, the present on the third day of Draftmas shall be Cameron Dantzler.— Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina) April 3, 2020
No CB had as impressive of tape vs Ala and LSU and despite not running a fast forty, Dantzler's physicality and patience off the LoS allow him to stay on top of routes. pic.twitter.com/0YRk9iViHx
How he fits in Kansas City: Despite Dantzler’s awful combine — it really looked like he had no idea how to run a 40-yard dash — Dantzler still remains an incredibly intriguing prospect for simply how well he performed against the top competition he faced. While mirroring Jamar Chase around the field against LSU and taking his swing at all the Alabama wide receivers, he only gave up four catches for 24 yards.
His ability to hang with NFL-caliber wide receivers when it mattered, whether inside or outside, can’t go unnoticed. Even with shorter arms, at 6 feet 2 and with great ball tracking ability, Dantlzer is at his best on the outside when allowed to press wide receivers near the line of scrimmage and then work with them vertically. He shows natural instincts, attacking the ball at its highest point, and he won’t let wide receivers get off the line of scrimmage without having to work.
The Chiefs are currently searching for a cornerback across from Charvarius Ward, and Dantzler sports a lot of the same strengths and weaknesses as Ward does. Despite only playing this past year in a zone-heavy scheme, he flashed patient feet and good eyes to pick up various route combinations and mid-point multiple routes at the same time. He fits the same general mold that Bashaud Breeland and Ward did for the Super Bowl-winning Chiefs, with the physical play and comfort in zone coverage.
With Tyrann Mathieu predominantly manning the slot cornerback role, the Chiefs are likely looking to round out their secondary with an outside cornerback to challenge Rashad Fenton, and Dantzler fits the mold. He brings the physicality to the run and screen game that helped the Chiefs win the Super Bowl while providing some high upside in the passing game with his ability to generate turnovers.
His draft position is extremely volatile right now without the ability to run a second 40 at a Pro Day, but his tape against the top competition should keep him on the second day of the draft. If the Chiefs are able to find good value at other positions early on, Dantzler could be a diamond in the rough at the cornerback position on day two.
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