Dolphins depth chart through Free Agency day 4 - Defense

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have had a busy free agency period, signing players on both sides of the ball. How has free agency impacted the depth chart? We take a look, continuing with the defense.

The NFL Free Agency period impacts a team's depth chart like no other time of the year. From players signing with other teams to new arrivals, a team can have a very drastic change from one year to the next, simply over a few days in March. For the Miami Dolphins, that is exactly what is happening, so we stop and take a look at the club's depth chart after the fourth day of free agency, continuing now with the defense.

Left Defensive End:

  1. Cameron Wake

  2. Derrick Shelby

Remarks: No question about how this portion of the depth chart plays out, and there's little likelihood the team makes any major roster moves that would change it.

Right Defensive End:

  1. Olivier Vernon

  2. Dion Jordan

Remarks: While left defensive end is set, the right defensive end is full of questions - and not because there's no talent at the position. In fact, it's exactly the opposite. Somehow, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has to get both Vernon and Jordan on the field, so throughout the season, we should see some creative solutions to the backlog the team has right now.

Defensive Tackle:

  1. Randy Starks

  2. Jared Odrick

  3. Earl Mitchell

  4. A.J. Francis

  5. Isaako Aaitui

Remarks: The Dolphins added Mitchell to replace Paul Soliai, who signed with the Atlanta Falcons, and re-signed Starks, so the defensive tackle position should be fairly well locked down. Starks, Odrick, and Mitchell should resume the three-man rotation at the position the Dolphins used last year. Francis and Aaitui both have potential, so it will be interesting to see if Miami finds a way to keep all five defensive tackles on the roster.

Linebackers:

  1. Dannell Ellerbe

  2. Philip Wheeler

  3. Koa Misi

  4. Jelani Jenkins

  5. Jason Trusnik

  6. Jonathan Freeny

Remarks: Linebacker is commonly listed as a need for Miami at this point, and it's mostly because of the disappointing play from Ellerbe and Wheeler. Personally, I believe Wheeler and Ellerbe will play better this year, having had a year to get used to Coyle's system and to each other, but I am not against adding competition to the position as well. Part of that could come from Dion Jordan, who may see time at linebacker as Coyle finds ways to get him on the field. Drafting a linebacker is an option, which would likely be bad news for Trusnik.

Cornerback:

  1. Brent Grimes

  2. Cortland Finnegan

  3. Jamar Taylor

  4. Will Davis

  5. Jalil Brown

Remarks: Grimes is clearly the head of the cornerback class. Behind him, Finnegan has to be assumed to have the second spot for now, though both Taylor and Davis should be considered competition for him. Drafting another cornerback could be an option, given the age of both Grimes and Finnegan.

Safety:

  1. Reshad Jones

  2. Louis Delmas

  3. Jimmy Wilson

  4. Jordan Kovacs

  5. Michael Thomas

  6. Don Jones

Remarks: The signing of Delmas puts the Miami starting tandem in place, though Wilson could make a run at the position - or he could be back into his nickel cornerback role. The final three all are developmental players, any of which could eventually become a starter. Unless a stellar draft prospect is on the board for Miami, there likely won't be much shakeup to the safety position this season.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Phinsider

You must be a member of The Phinsider to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Phinsider. You should read them.

Join The Phinsider

You must be a member of The Phinsider to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Phinsider. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker