A few days ago, we took a look at SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber ranking the 32 NFL franchises by the strength of their cornerback corps. Within those rankings, Vontae Davis, Sean Smith, and Richard Marshall earned the Miami Dolphins the 21st spot, and I disagreed with that ranking. Today, Van Bibber is back with a look at the NFL's safeties rankings by team, and I cannot argue against the Dolphins' ranking this time.
The top five teams, accoding to Van Bibber, are the Pittsburgh Steelers (Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark), Seattle Seahawks (Earl Thoms and Kam Chancellor), Arizona Cardinals (Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes), Buffalo Bills (Jarius Byrd), and the Kansas City Chiefs (Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis).
Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins took the 32nd position with Brandon Meriweather, Madieo Williams, and Tanard Jackson. The Minnesota Vikings (Harrison Smith and Mistral Raymond) and the Carolina Panthers (Haruki Makamura, Sherrod Martin amd Charles Godfrey) claim spots 31 and 30, respectively.
And, finally, we find the MIami Dolphins at 29. And, like I said above, I cannot make an argument that the Dolphins don't belong here. About the ranking, Van Bibber wrote:
Reshad Jones leveled off after a rough start to his second season. Chris Clemons missed all but a handful of snaps. The most intriguing name at safety in Miami might be converted corner Jimmy Wilson, giving the Phins some potential at the position.
Really, after quarterback, this is the Dolphins' most interesting position battle heading into training camp. Clemons and Tyrone Culver are fighting to start this season, while Wilson is learning the position. As you have probably gathered from my previous statements on the podcast and here on the site - I'm high on Wilson and really think he can do some great things as a safety. I would not be surprised if he is pushing for a starting position by the end of the season.
But, this group is one of the weakest - at least on paper - for Miami this offseason. After allowing team captain, and leading tackler, Yeremiah Bell to leave, there is a big hole at the safety position, and there are not a lot of players on the team with the past production to fill it. This will be a great battle to watch during the Dolphins' upcoming Hard Knocks coverage of training camp, and hopefully Jones, who seems to be solidified as the starter on one side of the defense, and whomever wins the other position, will produce better than expected once the season starts.