Name: Orlando Scandrick
Height/Weight: 5’10”/195 lbs
Drafted: 5th Round, 2008
Orlando Scandrick was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 5th round of the 2008 draft. Criticized for leaving a year too early, many wondered if Orlando had the discipline to “up” his game to NFL standards. Scandrick proved them wrong almost instantly, studying hard and making plays his rookie year. In fact, it wasn’t long before Scandrick began contending for a starting spot in the Cowboys’ secondary
In college he was a leader on his team, often calling the coverages of his very young and inexperienced secondary at Boise State. He was intelligent and aggressive, routinely diagnosing and making plays in the backfield. He brought those skills to the Cowboys and worked to add a few more as he established himself as the top slot defender and reliable tackler.
Scandrick rated as the top Dallas Cowboys cornerback last season, beating out oft-injured Morris Claiborne for a starting role. Despite playing better than Claiborne and Brandon Carr in 2013, Scandrick looks to fill the #3 role and play predominantly nickel-corner.
The nickel corner is the most difficult of the cornerback spots. The nickel corner covers the inside receiver (sometimes TE). He does not have the benefit of a sideline and must cover a receiver who can cut both inside and out. Whereas the outside corners can use the sideline to bracket a receiver, the nickel corner must be ready to break in any direction.
Scandrick thrives in short yardage coverage and becomes less effective deep down the field. Often criticized for lack of INTs, Scandrick plays his coverage safely and reliably, limiting big plays in either direction.
Orlando Scandrick enters Training Camp in very familiar territory this year: He’s competing for a starting spot. From the time Scandrick was drafted in 2008 he was competing for a starting spot whether it was against first rounder Mike Jenkins or #6 overall pick Morris Claiborne, Scandrick always fought.
The trend looks to continue in 2014 as Scandrick eyes Claiborne’s starting spot once again. The Cowboys prefer Scandy on the inside but if Claiborne falters, they will not hesitate to give Scandrick more opportunities on the outside.
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