Our pre-draft series continues with one of the best names in this year’s draft class.
He’s built like one. He plays like one. And he’s named after one.
Cornelius “Tank” Carradine is a physical specimen to say the least. The Florida State defensive lineman enters the NFL Draft with much attention and it’s not just because of his catchy nickname.
The Seminole defensive end is four months removed from an ACL surgery that ended a productive senior season. Even so, he’s not letting it get to him down.
Carradine posted 11 sacks, 13 tackles-for-loss and 80 tackles in 11 games last year before his senior season was cut short due to a knee injury suffered against Florida on Thanksgiving weekend.
A positive outlook remains important for the defensive prospect viewed as an intriguing player by many draft experts. He's also not the only FSU defensive player with first-round talent. Carradine is joined by teammate Bjoern Werner as potential first-round selections. But if Carradine wants to join his teammate in the first round, he'll have to prove his health is just fine.
“I think I did a pretty good job of helping my team out, even though I got hurt I got over the injury,” Carradine said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “I’m healed and I’m ready to go for this year, so everything worked out.”
Carradine continues to make strides in his rehab. He didn’t work out at the combine, but has slowly progressed with his running and feels ahead of schedule while he rehabs twice a day for five days per week.
Because of his impressive recovery, the FSU defensive specimen could be one of this year’s best pass-rushing prospects. He projects as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme or as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 system.
“I expect to be 100 percent in April,” Carradine said back in February. “Before the draft I’m gonna do everything they did at the combine.”
Carradine hasn’t focused on what draft experts are saying about him these days. Instead, he’s concentrating on his recovery and getting prepared for his rookie season.
“I hear stuff,” he said. “I really don’t pay it no attention, I know with my knee situation you never know how things are going to work out.”
All Carradine can control is his recovery and his attitude once he’s drafted into the NFL. He’s eager to show teams his true character and hard-working nature.
What will an NFL team get if they draft a tank?
“They’re going to get a great person, a guy that’s passionate about the game of football, a guy that’s a team player, cares about his team, loves to win, just a great guy overall. A guy that’s got a motor, a guy that is physical against the run, disruptive against the pass, and a guy that can shoot through gaps, and a guy that’s just all over the field, and a guy that you’ll want on your team that will come in and make impact plays on your defense.”
That sounds pretty good, but the health of the injured knee has to hold up. Carradine, himself, feels like he’s just scratching the surface of what he can become.
“I think just refining my technique and everything, just working on getting a little quicker off the ball, that’s something that I have plenty of time to work on.”