PPT: How High Can Cameron Dantzler Ascend?

Cameron Dantzler
Dec 20, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27) celebrates his interception during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In an ideal world, Cameron Dantzler can become the CB1 for the Minnesota Vikings.

Patrick Peterson is being relied upon to be a CB2, a corner who can provide strong play while also offering guidance to the young defensive backs. Many are hoping that Andrew Booth Jr. can be an immediate contributor, though there are no guarantees for a rookie. It’s plausible he can instantly make an impact in 2022; it’s plausible he needs to take some time to develop.

The corner context adds some of the reason why Minnesota is hoping Cameron Dantzler can be a great player. For what it’s worth, Dantzler’s first two seasons have resulted in some strong grades on PFF. He finished 22nd overall in 2020 and 17th in 2021, suggesting he is among the better corners in the league. Of course, the PFF grades aren’t the be-all, end-all in player evaluation. Rather, it’s merely one way of getting a sense of Dantzler’s play.

Another angle is to take a look at some of the advanced stats for his pass coverage. Last year, QBs only completed 54.1% of their passes in his coverage. Completions went for an average of 8.7 yards. Jalen Ramsey, the top corner on PFF, actually had worse numbers in these areas. Ramsey allowed 59.2% of passes to be completed and then an average of 10.2 yards per completion. By no means am I suggesting that Dantzler is better than Ramsey (or close to as good as the LA CB1). I’m merely pointing out that some of Dantzler’s more advanced stats are impressive.

Obviously, the most important thing a corner can do is excel in coverage. Nevertheless, it’ll be important for the corners to be strong tacklers. Ed Donatell will likely be leaving the flats open with some regularity, meaning the corners will need to step up for a hit. Cameron Dantzler, though smaller, hits really hard. He has proven to be a great tackler.

A new scheme should help simplify coverage for the corners. Partner that reality with the strong tackling and Dantzler has a good opportunity to flourish in the 2022 season.

Editor’s Note: This series considers a variety of questions that Minnesota will be looking to answer during training camp and the preseason. The point is simply to provide concise discussions of pertinent purple topics. We’ll do one per day leading up to training camp, which begins on July 24th.