It’s Cordrea Tankersley’s job to lose — but what if Tony Lippett gets healthy for Miami Dolphins?

Dolphins cornerback Cordrea Tankersley deflects a pass away from Atlanta’s Austin Hooper, which resulted in a Reshad Jones interception to seal a win for Miami. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS)

(Note: This continues a series in Daily Dolphin spotlighting members of the team individually. In addition to reliving highlights and lowlights of the past season for each, we’ll provide analysis and criticism, plus take a look at how each player fits — or doesn’t fit — into the team’s plans for 2018.)

CB Cordrea Tankersley

Height, weight: 6-1, 200

College: Clemson

Age: 24

Experience: Second NFL season, both with Dolphins

Acquired: Third-round pick in 2017

Contract: In second year of four-year, $3.2 million rookie contract

Pro Football Focus rank: 93rd out of 121

In 2017

Stats: Started 11 games; had 31 tackles and seven passes defensed

Notable moments: Broke up a Matt Ryan pass that Reshad Jones intercepted with 47 seconds left to clinch a comeback win in Atlanta. … Had six tackles and two passes defensed vs. Bucs.

Straight talk: Tankersley says he’s not looking over his shoulder. The Dolphins don’t want him to.

Tankersley said he considered it a “no-brainer” that “it’s my job to lose” — before coach Adam Gase said he wanted Tankersley to look at it that way.

It’s entirely possible that it will become more of a competition if and when Tony Lippett, the 2016 starter, rebounds after tearing his Achilles during the 2017 preseason. More on Lippett in a moment.

First, Tankersley. He never had time to catch his breath when making the leap from a big-time college program to the NFL, which is a luxury you’d prefer with cornerbacks.

Gase gave a lukewarm review of what he saw last season: “It’s hard to say. I think he got better. I think there were times where he wishes he could go back and do some things different. But that’s the rookie year.”

Now, it’s Year 2.

“My next step is to become one of the best corners in the league,” Tankersley said.

Prospects for 2018

Xavien Howard has the other cornerback spot nailed down. The wild card is Lippett, the converted receiver who started 13 games in 2016 and had four interceptions.

Lippett clearly had a way to go health-wise in the spring. Gase said the approach was to get Lippett “feeling as 100 percent as he possibly can for training camp.”

Lippett wasn’t necessarily pointing toward getting his starting job back. It was too early for that.

“Right now I’m just taking it one day at a time,” Lippett said. “Just getting better. Knocking off the rust.”

Lippett has gotten advice from ex-Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes, who overcame the same injury and made the Pro Bowl.


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