Dolphins Secondary may be one of the strongest
The Dolphins secondary is stacked from top to bottom, and they’ll be looking to prove that they are, arguably, the strongest group in the NFL.
If there’s one bad thing to say about the Miami Dolphins secondary is that you know they won’t be able to hold on to all of them. The hope there is that whoever the Dolphins decide to let go doesn’t come back to make Miami pay. But through four days of training camp it’s clear to see that this is a very solid group, and Dolphins fans should be extremely pleased.
In addition to first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick, T.J. McDonald, and Pro Bowler Reshad Jones manning out a very impressive safety group, Miami has one of the most intriguing battles going on at the cornerback spot. Xavien Howard has one starting position locked down as he is really starting to come into his own since the second half of last season and into training camp. Howard has locked down DeVante Parker through the first week of practice, keeping things very quiet for the former first-round receiver looking to finally have that breakout performance we’ve all been craving for.
The side opposite of Howard is up for grabs, however, and the battle has been fun to watch so far. A combination of Cordrea Tankersley, Tony Lippett, and Torry McTyer, have all seen reps with the starters, and they have all performed admirably in doing so. McTyer, an undrafted free agent in 2017, has been a hot topic surrounding camp. He’s not only solidified himself a roster spot, but he has a legitimate shot at becoming a starter as well.
Lippett is coming off an injury that caused him to miss 2017, but he had been improving every year up to that point, and looks fully healthy as of right now. Tankersley is another guy who Miami is very high on that continued to show his improvements on the field, particularly when opposing teams tried to target him last season, and he responded very well.
Behind them, Miami has Bobby McCain, who the Dolphins handed out a hefty contract to this off-season. McCain had the best season of his career last year, and he was rewarded for it. So far in training camp he’s been all over the place. Most notably, in the face of new Dolphins player Danny Amendola.
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Another secondary player guaranteed a roster spot in 2018 is Walt Aikens. Aikens, a special teams ace, signed a new two-year deal with Miami back in March that guarantees his full salary for season one. Rookies Jalen Davis and Cornell Armstrong round out the remaining players on Miami’s cornerback slots.
With already a strong group of players at the position, and not much to talk about the first few days of camp, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher as to why Miami chose to use a sixth-round pick on Armstrong. I’m sure they see potential in him, but my guess is that they will look to place both him and Davis on the practice squad for this season.
Davis has outperformed Armstrong so far, however, and there’s a good chance that another team will look to sign him down the road. There’s no denying, however, that this is a deep group of guys, and Miami may choose to keep an extra player or two to avoid losing a really good player.
The Dolphins secondary is so deep at this point that I’m willing to guess that they will go into the season with only two quarterbacks. In a passing league where solid defenders are crucial, it’s not necessary to have that third quarterback holding up a roster spot. Especially when we all know that if Ryan Tannehill goes down, the season is over with anyway.
Despite what the media outlets may be saying, the Dolphins have an opportunity to be pretty good this season, and a lot of it will be dependent on their secondary. They’ve performed terrifically these first few days, and if they can carry that momentum into the regular season, they’ll have an opportunity to be one of the best secondaries in the NFL.