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The Roster Bubble: Cornerback

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I took a little bit of a break from these "roster bubble" break downs. But let's get back at them. Keep in mind that they serve no purpose other than laying things out for camp and (perhaps) sparking some healthy discussion/debate.

I do plan on bringing back the popular "Depth Chart Bubble Watch" feature for when camp does finally begin late next month. For now, though, these quick snapshots are good food for thought as we enter the doldrums of the NFL offseason.

If you missed the previous installments, you can click here for the first one (QBs and RBs) and here for the second one (WRs).

Safe: Sean Smith, Vontae Davis, Will Allen
Bubble: Jason Allen, Nolan Carroll, Evan Oglesby, Nate Ness

First off, I know I left off two undrafted rookies. That wasn't an accident. Until either of them show anything in camp, they are long shots to even make the practice squad.

We should also preface this by saying that Will Allen isn't a "lock" to be on the 53 man roster. Depending on how his recovery from a torn ACL is going, he could be a candidate for the PUP list. However, I think that's unlikely. We'll know more by August I'm sure.

For the purpose of this post, though, let's assume Will is ready to go, meaning he and the two second-year kids (Vontae and Sean) are the top three on the depth chart. Most teams will keep up to five corners on the 53 man roster. If that's what the Dolphins plan to do, we will see an interesting battle for that last roster spot.

Everybody's favorite whipping boy (other than Ted Ginn, of course) has been Jason Allen, the safety turned corner turned safety turned corner. This is an interesting year for Allen. With no new CBA in place, the Dolphins could release the first round bust with minimal consequences thanks to the lack of a salary cap.

On the other hand, Allen is only owed $1.27 million in 2010 and just $980,000 in 2011. That final year of his deal (2011) is also a voidable year. Therefore Allen is essentially playing for his next contract. And truth be told, Allen was not too bad in his very limited role last season. How limited? The kid played about 80 defensive snaps all season. But on ten passes thrown his way, Allen allowed 6 completions for just 37 yards.

Allen was also second on the team in special teams tackles. Considering the team leader in that category, Nathan Jones, is no longer with the team, Jason's special teams contributions should be enough for him to stick on the final roster.

If that is indeed the case and the Dolphins decide to keep five corners, then the final spot will likely come down to rookie Nolan Carroll and veteran Evan Oglesby.

Carroll was drafted with the fifth round pick the Dolphins got in exchange for Ted Ginn. He's got good size and great speed, reportedly running a sub 4.4 40 at 6'1, 200 pounds [correction: the team's official site has Carroll listed at 5'11]. He's received praise from the vets, too, throughout this offseason. But he is injury prone - and that could be a major issue.

Oglesby is a five year veteran who has played in 37 career games for three different teams - mostly as a special teamer. He was signed in late November by the Dolphins last offseason and only played in one game as a member of this team. But he does have a connection to some members of this coaching staff, having spent the 2007 season with the Cowboys.

But you have to imagine Carroll is the favorite to make the squad, if he can stay on the field for all of training camp.

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