Dantzler played 35 games, starting 22, for Mississippi State primarily as a boundary cornerback. He was tasked with following the opponent’s top receiver on many occasions, which included moving into the slot at times. Dantzler played mostly from bail technique into his deeper zone assignments or from an off-man alignment.
Most of Dantzler’s success comes from playing an off-man alignment whether in man or zone coverage. He’s best when he plays zone coverage, which allows him to read the quarterback and route concepts to jump the pass. With a very good understanding of route combinations and the ability to read a quarterback’s movement, Dantzler thrives in zone coverage. Relying on sound technique and awareness, Dantzler puts himself in good positioning to make plays on the ball or take away throwing windows. He has good reactive athleticism, but his length and technique are more beneficial. Keeping him in smaller areas is more beneficial with just adequate closing speed, however.
At the line of scrimmage, Dantzler has some mixed reviews. While he possesses great length, his poor play strength limits his ability to jam receivers to throw off their route or timing consistently. When playing from a soft press, Dantzler hops off the line of scrimmage. It looks as if he would bounce backward a step to provide more time to read the release of his assignment. Transitioning to a bail technique at a three-quarter turn, the same hop appeared instead of rotating his hips.
While he has better hip flexibility than you would expect to see from someone of that length, he does have some lag when fully turning upfield with receivers. His kick slide in the bail technique provides him more ability to dictate the route of the wide receiver and proved more fluid than his backpedal. Dantzler doesn’t have the speed to keep up with the top competition deep down the field. He also lacks the reactive athleticism to remain in phase following breaks at the top of routes against top competition in deeper areas of the field.
When utilizing his kick slide, Dantzler does a good job of crowding the boundary when receivers want to run vertically. He makes it very difficult to target down the sideline. Even if he is unable to fully disrupt the route with his jam, his physicality and competitiveness shine when near the red zone.
In the next clip, we see that he gets a good two-handed punch into the receiver, and while it doesn’t knock him far off his path, it does just enough. Dantzler continues to squeeze to the sideline while reading the quarterback. He wasn’t able to get his hands on the ball, but Dantzler made sure the receiver wouldn’t land in bounds if he came down with it. Great awareness and enough physicality to prevent the touchdown.
Here, Dantzler displayed good ball skills to high point the ball with an excellent catch radius. He has no problem making contact to make a play on the ball. Whether he’s playing man coverage or coming downhill, he will attack the ball like a wide receiver.
Given his length, he brings surprisingly good flexibility in his upper half when adjusting for the catch point. His ability to turn and look for the ball without losing balance or giving up the line was impressive as well. Dantzler is fiesty at the catch point, no matter the competition, and uses his length to his advantage.
If Dantzler feels that he won’t be able to make an interception or simply bat down a pass, he proved very good at attacking through the hands of the receiver. He will have to adjust to some extent at the NFL level, though, as he tends to get too hands-y downfield. Some yellow flags are to be expected to be thrown during his early stages.
Against the run, Dantzler is highly inconsistent. He gets handled by bigger wide receivers and tight ends with little ability to get off blocks. Most of the time it looks as if he doesn’t have an interest in shedding the block. He’s more of an observer. There are times when playing eight to ten yards off the line of scrimmage that he is willing to come downhill and lay a hit. Lowering his head has led to some whiffs and is concerning from a possible injury standpoint.