Blanton was a reliable, if not flashy, cornerback at Notre Dame. At this point, he could step in as a stopgap but has work to do before he can be a starter in the NFL. Blanton is a heady prospect who plays to his strengths. He understands footwork and technique in man-to-man coverage, but is not athletic enough to run freely with any receiver. He could be a backup as an outside corner or even in the nickel spot, and is worth a third-round pick.
Blanton can work in both man-to-man and zone coverage and provide support against the run. He has copious experience playing the nickel position in the slot and should be able to provide an NFL team with depth at that spot. He can recognize routes and jump on them quickly in zone coverage, and he can use his long arms to recover and make plays on the ball in man coverage. There are small inconsistencies in his technique, but he is able to use his size and length to make plays.
Blanton has struggled with his backpedal and his technique at the top of routes, though he is able to recognize when he's off-line, stick his foot in the ground and redirect himself. He has a tendency to widen his feet and lose ground, which could prove costly at the next level. He also lacks the elite speed he would need to cover top-tier NFL receivers man-to-man.
Analysis from NFL.com.
Hear from Vikings GM Rick Spielman, who sat down with Mike Wobschall at the conclusion of the 2017 NFL Draft to reflect back on the last three days, and also offer
Go inside the Vikings draft room and listen into the calls made to DT Jaleen Johnson and LB Ben Gedeon, the team's two fourth round picks.