Miami Dolphins pre-training camp starting defense and key back up roles

The final weekend of Miami Dolphins off-season is upon us as training camp begins in full this coming week and when it ends, football will begin on Sunday's once again.

Dec 17, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws the ball
Dec 17, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws the ball / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

While there will be important key positional battles in training camp, overall the defensive starter rolls should be pretty much set with maybe only one or two potential changes.

We know with some degree of certainty that Jevon Holland will start at one safety position and either DeShon Elliot or Brandon Jones will start at the other. Given the fact Jones is coming off injury and Elliot is a hard hitter with great run support, we might want to think this is the first real challenge of the defense.

My guess is that Eiliot will earn the starting spot opposite Holland and Jones will be the backup to both of them. It makes sense given the experience Elliot has.

At cornerback, this is all Xavien Howard and Jalen Ramsey but there is the question of where Ramsey will line up. Will he slide inside and play more of a free-style roaming corner or will he play outside? That may depend on how quickly Cam Smith can pick up the defense. If the 2nd round rookie can do well on the boundary, Miami will be able to move Ramsey inside where he can be more of a playmaker.

The front seven will also be interesting. We know that Christian Wilkins and Zach Sieler will start inside with Raekwon Davis rotating in and out with both of them. We know that Jaelan Phillips will start off the edge and Bradley Chubb will start outside at linebacker with Jerome Baker starting inside.

Overall, so far, the starters are Holland, Elliot, Ramsey, Howard, Wilkins, Sieler, Chubb, Baker, and Phillips.

The Dolphins will rotate both Andrew Van Ginkel and David Long, Jr. but on the other side, Emmanuel Ogbah should find himself starting on the outside and off the edge.

Obviously, not too unlike the offense, the defense will shift personnel given the situation. We could see five defensive backs or four down linemen with Ogbah and Phillips on the edge. We might see four LBs with Ogbah off the ball.

Defense is much harder to predict because it is very cut and dry on offense. You line up players in the same position with maybe one more WR or an extra RB or FB but the options on defense typically have so many more options.