The Dolphins have completely revamped the cornerbacks from where they were heading into training camp last year. With Vontae Davis and Sean Smith in Indianapolis and Kansas City, respectively, the new look Dolphins cornerbacks groups is more focused on turnovers and ball hawking than any time in recent memory.
Brent Grimes - The former Pro Bowler came to Miami on a one-year deal in order to prove his health after missing much of last season with an Achilles' tendon tear. Heading into the preseason, he seems to already have done that. He's showing his speed, agility, and ball-skills are all back, and he is clearly the number one cornerback on the team.
Richard Marshall - Marshall returns to the team after missing the last 12 games of 2012 with a back injury. He was slotted as the starting cornerback from nearly the moment training camp opened last year, and was the reason Vontae Davis could be traded. This year, he will either start opposite Grimes, or will be the team's nickel cornerback.
Dimitri Patterson - Patterson will battle Marshall for the second starting corner position, and could beat him out for the job. If he falls behind Marshall, he will likely be the third corner, with Marshall moving inside as the nickel. Whatever happens, Patterson seems to have done enough early this year to validate his expensive salary cap number, and should be easily on the roster, if not starting.
Nolan Carroll - Carroll frustrates fans almost as much as Daniel Thomas on the offense. However, when he is not asked to start, or cover the first or second wide receiver on a team, Carroll is actually a solid cornerback. Last year it was not pretty, because of injuries to those on the depth chart in front of him. However, this year, with the depth Miami has, Carroll should be fine as a fourth or fifth cornerback. His ability on special teams alone will keep him in consideration for the roster.
Will Davis - Davis is shooting up the depth chart based on his early training camp performance. The rookie is making an argument that he needs to be on the field as much as possible.
Jamar Taylor - Really, there's no way to know where to put Taylor on the depth chart. The rookie has missed most of the first two weeks of training camp, thanks to a sports hernia that had to be surgically repaired. He makes the reserve list here based solely on being a second round draft pick.
R.J. Stanford - Stanford saw playing time with Miami last year, and should be in consideration for a roster spot again this year. However, the depth at the position, and the fact that he has not made may plays early in training camp, has him down to the bubble level.
DeAndre Presley - Presely is another hard one to place on the depth chart at this point. He is listed as dead last on the cornerback chart, but is the second kick and punt returner. Does that mean he is in danger of missing the roster based on his performance on defense, or that he is likely to make the team for his special teams play?
Julian Posey - Posey is going into his third season in the league, having spent two weeks on the New York Jets' practice squad in 2011, the 2012 preseason with the Jets before being waived, then joined the Dolphins' practice squad in October 2012. He has not appeared in any games yet, and could be destined for the practice squad once again.
The Dolphins' safety group looks an awful lot like it did last year.
Reshad Jones - The question around Jones is not whether he will make the Dolphins, but if he will make the Pro Bowl.
Chris Clemons - Clemons is a player who many fans look at and want to see replaced. He's someone who does not make many big plays, and the fans want to see more from their safety. However, that's not Clemons' role in the offense. He has to be the solid, last line of defense player that gives freedom to Jones to roam and play ball hawk. Clemons does that job perfectly.
Kelcie McCray - McCray has been impressive this year already, and is clearly the primary backup behind Reshad Jones.
Jimmy Wilson - As a rookie, Wilson was a cornerback. In his second year, he was listed as a safety, but ended up playing cornerback more often following the injury plague that hit the team's secondary last year. In his third year, Wilson appears to be 100% a safety, and is the primary backup to Clemons. If anyone is able to push out Clemons, it's probably Wilson.
Practice Squad Level:
Don Jones - Initially, the Dolphins wanted to try Jones at cornerback, but they have moved him back to safety now. He could be headed for the practice squad, giving him a year of development before making the roster in 2014.
Keelan Johnson - An undrafted free agent with a lot of upside, Johnson needs time to develop. He's a great candidate for the practice squad, but may come up short based on the number of safeties fighting for the roster and practice squad.
Jordan Kovacs - Don't bet against Kovacs. He walked on at Michigan - twice. He was ruled out during his first tryout due to a knee procedure he had to have in high school. He underwent a second knee scope, just to prove to Michigan he was healthy and worth a second try for the team. By the end of his college career, he was the captain of the team. He needs time to develop, but who knows how much his determination and drive will mean in the end.