A converted quarterback who proved his cover skills at corner, West Virginia's Keith Tandy is a physical player who plays with tenacity. He’s 5’10” and 202 pounds, making him an undersized yet compact defensive back.
At West Virginia, Tandy benefited from the relentless pressure that defensive ends Bruce Irvin and Julian Miller placed on opposing quarterbacks, according to CBSSports.com. However, he did some good things on his own to warrant recognition.
In his first full year as a starter in 2009, Tandy recorded 61 tackles, four tackles for loss, four interceptions and seven passes broken up. In 2010, he was voted to the First-Team All-Conference team. Then, in 2011, he logged 64 tackles, two for loss, four interceptions and nine passes broken up.
As a converted passer, Tandy has a unique understanding of the passing game that most cornerbacks don’t. He uses his offensive experience as a defender to identify routes and patterns.
Because the NFL is gradually featuring bigger and bigger wide receivers, defensive backs with Tandy’s size can sometimes be overmatched. For that reason, undersized corners must play with a certain level of physicality and aggressiveness so as to overcome the height advantage. And Tandy has shown he can do that.
Heading to the NFL, he’ll need to continue playing with confidence.
According to CBSSports.com, Tandy’s overall strengths include his zone-cover skills, as he is able to keep wideouts and the ball in front of him, and his ability to close well after the catch and bring down bigger receivers.
On the other hand, the former Mountaineer is “not consistent with his footwork, is a bit choppy in transition and is slow to find the ball on deep routes.”
Though Tandy is a bit short, he is a physical corner who can tackle well and understand routes. With a little coaching, he should develop into a solid nickel corner in the NFL.
Tandy brings a unique perspective to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' secondary as a converted quarterback who understands the offensive-side of the passing game perhaps better than the defensive side. Consequently, he'll have to take his lumps as he transitions to the pro game, but he has time to learn from talented players in front of him and could evolve into a useful player despite his smallish size.