THE NEW: Five rookies were added. CB Nolan Carroll (fifth-round pick), S Reshad Jones (fifth-round pick), CB A.J. Wallace (undrafted rookie), DB Ross Weaver (undrafted rookie), SSJonathon Amaya (undrafted rookie) are all competing to make the 53-man roster.
THE DEPTH CHART: CB – Vontae Davis, Will Allen, Evan Oglesby, Nolan Carroll, A.J. Wallace; CB – Sean Smith, Jason Allen, Nate Ness, Ross Weaver; FS – Chris Clemons, Reshad Jones; SS - Yeremiah Bell, Tyrone Culver, Jonathon Amaya
THE BREAKDOWN: The Dolphins have kept five or six cornerbacks and four safeties on the 53-man roster the past two seasons. They generally keep two more defensive backs on the practice squad, and this season likely will see the same.
There are a tone of new faces in the Dolphins secondary, but none of them are established NFL players. And even fewer have a respectable body of work (maybe Reshad Jones does) which hints it’s a certainty they’ll be immediate contributors at this level. Even though replacing Nate Jones with a healthy Will Allen should upgrades the nickel spot, it’s irresponsible to justify that this unit has progressed.
While Davis and Smith will likely hopefully improve now that they’ve got a year’s worth of experience under their belt, it’s highly likely that Wilson’s replacement at free safety (Clemons, Reshad Jones or Culver) will experience some growing pains as a first-year starter. Until one of this unit’s young newcomers proves he can contribute more to the secondary than Jason Allen has the past few seasons the Dolphins secondary has to go into the regression category. But there’s tremendous potential for growth across the board.