Predicting the Miami Dolphins cornerbacks isn’t easy because Brian Flores loves his secondary and that will make cuts harder.
When the Miami Dolphins finally pair down their roster to the league-mandated 53, cornerback may be one of the hardest units to predict.
There is no question that Brian Flores’ favorite position is cornerback. His previous coaching experience in New England was with the secondary and his defensive system is designed around the versatility that the position can provide. It is one of the reasons why predicting the roster is difficult.
Miami will enter the season (at the time this was written) with 10 cornerbacks listed on the roster. One of those, Eric Rowe will not see time at corner but instead will most likely resume his role at safety. Despite that, he is listed as a corner on the team’s roster.
Locks for the roster:
Xavien Howard – Howard needs to return to his form but he has the best chance to recover from last year’s injury because Miami shelved his 2019 season early. He will also benefit from having a top corner on the opposite side of the field.
Noah Igbinoghene – The Dolphins used their 3rd first-round pick in 2020 to take Igbinoghene. He looks to be a challenger for the starting slot corner role but the question will be whether or not he picks up Flores’ defense quickly. He will need to show versatility and willingness to play multiple roles for Flores but he is a lock to make the roster.
Byron Jones – The Dolphins made Jones the highest-paid corner in the NFL so there is no chance he gets cut unless he seriously screws up off the field or gets suspended. Paired with Howard, Jones could have his best NFL season ahead of him.
Eric Rowe – Rowe is listed as a corner but he will primarily play safety in 2020.
Most likely to make it:
Clayton Fejedelem – The Dolphins targeted Fejedelem in free agency but not for his play on defense. Fejedelem is a very good special teams player and he will make a big impact on that unit this year.
Nik Needham – Through the first quarter of the 2019 season, Needham struggled and it looked as though his NFL career would be a short one. Then something clicked and the undrafted rookie started to show why Miami valued him enough to sign him. He went from a longshot who was given a shot during a rebuild and roster dismantling to a corner who has a high ceiling and another shot in 2020.
Ken Webster – Miami likes Webster but he has to stay healthy and this year’s camp will showcase competition between him and Tankersley.
Cordrea Tankersley – This could be the final year Tankersley is a Miami Dolphins corner. He needs to step up as his time is running out.
Practice Squad candidates:
I am predicting the Dolphins will keep eight corners to go with the two safeties we discussed earlier. Those players are Howard, Jones, Igbinoghene, Needham, Rowe, Fejedelem, Webster, and I think Tankersley gets one more shot.
Number of roster spots taken: Eight
Number of total spots allocated thus far is 13: 8 – CB’s, 3 – ST players, and 2 – safeties