3 reasons Nik Needham moving to safety makes sense for the Miami Dolphins

Is a move in the secondary on the way for Nik Needham?
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Nik Needham appears to be a new member of the Miami Dolphins safety unit, and fans should be thrilled about this move. With Needham potentially making the switch to a new spot, Miami has more than just added competition there.

Needham is an unlikely rising star on the Dolphins roster, and this move to safety could take him to another level. If Anthony Weaver runs his 3-high safety defense, Needham might be the final piece in making it work. The question is, why is this such a good move for the Dolphins? Here are three reasons why:

3. Nik Needham has versatility

Needham has played well on the boundary. It was his natural position coming out of college. While he couldn't crack the starting lineup outside of injuries opening the opportunity, Needham showed enough in camps and on the field to warrant finding him a role. Miami moved him into the slot, and Needham played well there as well. An injury ended his season in 2022, and he couldn't quite get things going with Vic Fangio in 2023.

Now, fully healthy, the Dolphins need help at safety so naturally, Needham is the guy to go to. His ability to play inside and outside makes him a perfect player to put in a 3-high role at safety where he will be able to use some of the same skills he has used at corner.

2. Nik Needham isn't afraid of making a hit

Some safeties in the NFL would rather use their shoulder to hit ball carriers and try to knock them down rather than wrap them up. Needham isn't that type of player. He will hit when he needs to, but he will wrap and drive his body to control a ball carrier. In his five NFL seasons, Needham has 199 combined tackles.

Of those, 143 are solo tackles. Those numbers may not look great to some, but consider he was hardly used last year and recorded only seven tackles, and in 2022, he recorded only 21 after missing 11 games. Miami needs a player that can equally cover and tackle. Needham can do both.

1. Nik Needham's read and react skills are perfect for a safety

Needham doesn't have to be the fastest player on the field. He has a good vision of the plays in front of him, and his anticipation is equally solid. He has a great range to cover a tight end or slot receiver and can read the play quickly enough to support the run of a coverage route. Needham's ability to play the boundary and inside as a corner also gives him the skill set to play man coverage off the line or as a roaming safety who can support the front seven.

The Dolphins don't have a lot of players to put back at safety, but Needham's window to make the 53-man roster opened much wider with this potential move to the deep secondary, given the depth of players at the corner. At safety, Needham should see more than just his name on the unit; he should see actual quality playing time all year.

With Needham taking on this role now, before offseason training begins, it's a good move by Weaver. It gives him the entire summer to learn his new role on the defense.