The Miami Dolphins don’t have a lot of major camp battles but corner-back is shaping up to be one of the bigger questions.
Miami is in day two of their training camp sessions and so far the news out of Miami is positive on both sides of the ball. For the most part, as much as it can be two days into practice. Emerging from this news is the potential battle at corner where newly acquired Alterraun Verner could create a few problems for some of the Dolphins youth.
Last season the Miami Dolphins kept a total of nine secondary players. That included four safeties and five corners. The five corners were Chimdi Chekwa, Tony Lippett, Xavien Howard, Byron Maxwell, and Bobby McCain. But things have changed this year.
Miami added corner Cordrea Tankersley in the draft this year and added Verner a few days ago. Verner isn’t just camp competition. He has a legit shot to take the slot corner role and that would not be good news from McCain. Looking at the Dolphins current roster shows some tough cuts coming later in the pre-season.
It’s almost impossible to imagine Larry Hope making the roster. He is definitely the odd man out of the competition this year. The others competing for a roster spot are LaFayette Pitts, Jordan Lucas, and Tory McTyer. Pitts is interesting because the Dolphins like his potential and Lucas has been here for two seasons but something has to give when the coaches begin clearing the roster.
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We know that Maxwell, Tankersley, and Howard are all locks to make the roster barring injury and today Tankersley left the field with trainers after an unknown injury (Update: Tankersley was reportedly dehydrated – Welcome to Miami rook!) That would leave about two spots if the Dolphins once again go with five corner’s. Two spots between, Verner, Lippett, McCain, Pitts, McTyer, and Lucas.
McTyer made a lot of heads turn on the first day of camp but he is going to have to continue that every practice and pre-season game if he is going to really have a shot to take one of the two maybe at most three spots.
So who goes? Assuming that Verner is going to get a legit shot to compete, McCain stands to lose a roster spot but we should also assume that one of the last, lets say three, spots go to one of these two. We can also say that Tony Lippett is pretty much a lock as well. He started in place of Howard when he was injured last season and took over for Maxwell when he was benched. Lippett still has to develop more but Miami is very high on his talents.
At most that leaves one spot. Lucas, Pitts, and McTyer. If the Dolphins go with six corners I think that spot goes to Pitts and Lucas is outside looking in. This will be an interesting camp for many of the corners so if you are going to watch a certain unit this camp, corner might be the one to watch.