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Dolphins depth chart through two OTAs - defense

The Miami Dolphins are complete with three Organized Team Activities in their offseason workout programs. As they prepare for the third workout, we take a look at an updated defensive depth chart for the team.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are in the midst of their offseason workout program, with two of three Organized Team Activities complete.  While the media has only been allowed to watch the first day of each of the first two OTAs, enough information has been published to give us a better idea of the team's depth chart.  Earlier today, we took at look at the Dolphins' offensive depth chart; now, we add the defense.

First-and-foremost, this is an early June depth chart.  Much will change between now and the end of the preseason in August.  This also takes some assumptions into who will have the starting role by the end of training camp, or once injuries have completely healed.

Defensive Ends

Cameron Wake Olivier Vernon
Derrick Shelby Dion Jordan
Terrence Fede Tevin Mims

The battle at defensive end will come down to Shelby trying to hold off Fede and Mims.  Wake, Vernon, and Jordan will be splitting time at the two starting positions, with the ultimate goal of being Wake and Jordan on the field at the same time.

Defensive Tackle

Randy Starks Jared Odrick
A.J. Francis Earl Mitchell
Garrison Smith Isaako Aaitui
Kamal Johnson Anthony Johnson
Micajah Reynolds

Like defensive end, the Dolphins should have three starters for two positions, with former Pro Bowler Starks, Odrick, and Mitchell rotating into the game.  Behind them, Miami has six players all looking to make the roster.  Franics and Aaitui should have the early lead on that battle, based on their familiarity with the system, but any of the others could crack the roster as well.  Reynolds is a hard player to place after playing both offensive and defensive line in college, then starting his NFL career this year as an undrafted free agent guard with the New Orleans Saints, but was waived and has now joined Miami, where he is listed as a guard on the website, but appears to be playing defensive tackle.


Dannell Ellerbe Koa Misi Philip Wheeler
Jonathan Freeny Jason Trusnik Jelani Jenkins
Derrell Johnson Jordan Tripp Marcus Thompson
Tariq Edwards Chris McCain
Andrew Wilson

The team officially has started the Misi at middle linebacker experiment, moving Ellerbe out to the strongside with Wheeler at the weakside position.  Behind those three, the second string players seem to be Freeny at strongside, Trusnik in the middle, and Jenkins on the weakside.  Tripp should battle Trusnik for the number two MLB position, while Johnson, Thompson, Edwards, McCain, and Wilson all fight to claim a special teams role that will keep them on the roster.


CB Nickel CB
Cortland Finnegan Jimmy Wilson Brent Grimes
Jamar Taylor Will Davis Jalil Brown
Walt Aikens Anthony Gaitor
Steven Clarke

The real question for the cornerback position is simply who is going to start opposite Grimes.  Finnegan is the likely early favorite, but Taylor is not going to make it easy.  Wilson appears set to again be the nickel cornerback, while Davis and Gaitor could try to earn the job and let Wilson focus on safety.


Louis Delmas Reshad Jones
Jordan Kovacs Don Jones
Michael Thomas Demetrius Wright

While the safety position is set at the top, with Delmas and Jones ready to start, Wilson is the wildcard.  He could push Delmas to start, and he has to be ready to play free safety if anything should happen to Delmas.  Jones, Kovacs, and Thomas all could make a claim to land on the roster this year, while Wright has an uphill battle ahead of him.

Special Teams

Caleb Sturgis Brandon Fields John Denney

Nothing at all of note here, just adding them so all 90 players are represented between the two posts.