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NFL Draft Profile: Mississippi State Cornerback Cameron Dantzler

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Scouting one of the many talented corners coming out of the SEC.

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Mississippi State v Tennessee Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Cameron Dantzler has been one of the most productive corners in the SEC over the last two year. Dantzler played quarterback, and defensive back in high school before redshirting at Mississippi State to play for the Bulldogs.

He finally got a chance start in his sophomore year, starting in all 13 games and racking up 43 tackles, two interceptions, nine passes defensed, and posted a 41.0 QB rating into his coverage. In 2019, his junior year, Dantzler sat out three games midseason with injury, but posted similar numbers - 40 tackles, two interceptions, eight pass breakups, and a 42.0 QB rating. In both years combined, Dantzler allowed a just a 48.3% completion rate and only gave up one touchdown, according to Pro Football Focus.

Posting those kind of numbers playing game in and game out in the SEC West is impressive. Dantzler went up against the likes of Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, Henry Ruggs, and Jerry Jeudy and held those guys in check.

Cameron Dantzler

Corner | Miss. State | r-Junior

Height: 6’2” | Weight: 188 pounds | 40-time: 4.64 seconds

Arm Length: 30 5/8” | Hands: 9”

Film Room

Scouting Report

  • Eats up receivers from press alignment
  • Quick feet. Turns nicely out of press to stay in phase downfield
  • Played against NFL level competition in the SEC and shut receivers down. Held LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase to 1 catch for 6 yards.
  • Really skinny.
  • Willing tackler, but poor technique often has him bouncing off guys.
  • Show competitiveness and toughness despite size.
  • Get’s handsy sometimes. Will need to dial it back after the five yard window at the next level or he’s going to struggle with penalties.
  • Adept at both man and zone
  • Allowed a 41% and 42% completion rate in the his two years at Miss. State.
  • Tested poorly with a 4.64 40 at the combine. Plays faster on tape, but still not a top end burner.
  • A lot of good pass breakups, but could’ve had at least two more INTs last year if he hung onto the ball.

What analysts are saying about Cameron Dantzler

Pro Football Focus

Biggest Pro: Shutdown SEC wide receivers in press
Dantzler shut down SEC receivers all throughout his career with the Bulldogs — he allowed just a 42.7% catch rate while combining for 20 interceptions and pass breakups and surrendering just one touchdown. He played a good amount of press in that span, and his numbers on those reps are incredible for an SEC corner. Dantzler logged 278 press snaps in his career and allowed just a 23.9% catch rate (11 of 46) with more forced incompletions (13) than first downs given up (seven).
Biggest Con: Slender with poor speed
As much as I wish Dantzler actually ran a 4.38 40-yard dash like his virtual pro day suggested, we’re going to have to roll with the electronically timed 4.64 from the NFL Scouting Combine. Mix that with his slender build (a shade under 190 pounds) and poor length (30 1/2-inch arms), and we have legitimate concerns with his press skills translating to the next level. NFL wideouts will eat that size up if he doesn’t get stronger.
Summary: If you could guarantee me Dantzler could add 15 pounds of muscle, he’d likely be the second cornerback on our draft board. With a talented all-around profile, his lack of any sort of strength is worrisome projecting to the NFL.

The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs

Cameron Dantzler projects best in a zone role as an outside cornerback at the NFL level. Dantzler brings desirable skill in keying the quarterback and illustrates great awareness of route combinations and anticipation of attacking the football in the air. Dantzler needs to continue to work on adding functional strength and weight to his frame, in the meantime he may be something of a developmental investment for his first NFL contract.

NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein

Very long, stringy cornerback with surprising strength and a competitive mindset that had quarterbacks looking for easier battles elsewhere. He looks to suffocate and contest the route from start to finish and does an excellent job of maintaining phase in the vertical plane. His cover style will draw attention from NFL game officials early on, but the athleticism and length should allow him to trust his technique. He won’t give up many explosive plays through the air, but is a high-risk tackler in run support and needs to do a better job of wrapping and finishing. Dantzler can play in a variety of coverages but is a future starter as a confident press-man corner with early starting potential.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler

A two-year starter at Mississippi State, Dantzler was the field cornerback in former defensive coordinator Bob Shoop’s 4-2-5 scheme. Primarily a quarterback in high school, he only played cornerback “a few times” in high school and credits former Bulldogs cornerbacks coach and 14-year NFL veteran Terrell Buckley for developing his coverage skills. Dantzler is quick-footed with slick hips to turn and run on command without losing balance, staying attached to receivers. He doesn’t shy from run support, but his thin frame and lack of body armor are concerns vs. NFL competition. Overall, Dantzler needs to better find the football and limit his contact downfield, but his reactive athleticism, length and competitive mentality are the baseline traits for starting press-man work in the NFL.

Does Cameron Dantzler make sense for the Denver Broncos?

I think Dantzler is a great fit for Fangio’s scheme. Denver’s head coach has shown the propensity to adapt to what his corners do best on the outside. Although Denver didn’t play much press this past year, in 2018 Prince Amukamara played primarily out of a press alignment under Fangio, and I think Dantzler fits perfectly into that role.

The one concern I do have about him is his tackling ability, but I think some of that can potentially be coached, and perhaps mitigated by adding some strength in the offseason. It’s not a willingness issue, from what I’ve seen, more of a technique one.

Due to the poor showing at the combine, it’s likely Dantzler could slip a bit. If he does, and is available in the 2nd or 3rd round, Denver should pounce on him. I’m not concerned with his 40 time when watching him on tape, and the Broncos would be getting one of the most productive corners in college football who could come in and compete for an outside corner spot from day one.

Poll

If Cameron Dantzler is available in the 2nd or 3rd round, would you take him?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Yes
    (169 votes)
  • 63%
    Yes, but only in the 3rd
    (358 votes)
  • 5%
    No
    (33 votes)
560 votes total Vote Now