Earlier this week, I projected the 2013 seasons of cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. Today, I’ll take a look at nickel cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Scandrick had an underrated 2012 season. He had a few crucial penalties and missed a big tackle late against the Atlanta Falcons, and those plays tend to stick out in people’s minds.
However, Scandrick also allowed only 20 completions on the 39 attempts that came his way—a low 51.3 completion rate for a slot cornerback. He didn’t record an interception, but he also didn’t allow any touchdowns. He gave up 222 yards in 221 snaps in coverage—good for 1.00 yards per snap. Compare that number to 1.17 yards per snap for Carr and 1.21 yards per snap for Claiborne. When you consider that Scandrick plays an even more difficult position on the inside, you can start to see why he played so well in 2012.
This year, Scandrick will need to fend off rookie B.W. Webb. Webb is a talented player, but Scandrick should be able to retain third cornerback duties if he plays like he did in 2012. Last season was perhaps Scandrick’s best; in comparison, he allowed 1.36 yards per snap in 2011 and 1.32 yards per snap in 2010. Based on those numbers, we can effectively project Scandrick at around 1.20 yards per snap in 2013.
If Scandrick plays a full season, he’ll likely see around 400 coverage snaps, meaning he’d allow 480 receiving yards. Scandrick has historically been targeted on around 18 percent of his coverage snaps, which would equate to 72 targets in 2013. Scandrick allowed a completion on nearly 70 percent of passes his way in the two seasons prior to 2012. If we project a 65.3 percent completion rate, Scandrick would give up 47 completions on the 72 looks his way—6.67 yards per target.
Since 2010, Scandrick has made a tackle on 7.1 percent of his snaps. If that number remains steady in 2013, Scandrick should fall in the range of 43 tackles. Unfortunately, it will probably always be a challenge for Scandrick to haul in a lot of interceptions because, when he’s on the field, the Cowboys are usually in man coverage. With his back turned to the quarterback, it’s difficult for Scandrick to make plays on the ball.
Final 2013 Projection: 47 receptions on 72 targets (65.3 percent) for 480 yards (6.67 YPA), 1.20 yards per snap, 43 tackles, one interception
Jonathan Bales is the founder of The DC Times. He writes for DallasCowboys.com and the New York Times. He's also the author of Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft.