Our series taking a look at depth of an NFL team reaches part nine today, with a look at the nickel cornerback position. CBS Sports' Pat Kirwan recently asked what it means to have depth in the NFL, then developed 13 different questions about each NFL franchise, looking at key positions on the field and who would fill in if needed, in an effort to find the clubs that do have "depth." Kirwan ultimately reached the conclusion that two teams, the defending Super Bowl ChampionSeattle Seahawks and the Cincinnati Bengals, best fit the idea of "depth" on a roster.
He also listed five teams that could be considered "honorable mention" franchises when it comes to the ever-important depth: the Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, and a "tossup" between thePhiladelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. Kirwan explained the honorable mention list, writing, "they don't satisfy all the categories but they did better than most teams hitting on at least nine of the 13."
The depth questions start with an entry criteria question, one that if you answer no, you do not move on to the rest of the fields and simply do not have depth. Since the Dolphins met the entry criteria for the depth discussion by having a backup quarterback that "can go at least 2-2 in a four-game stretch" with Matt Moore, we have been breaking down the rest of the questions Kirwan poses. The ninth area for consideration is:
Is there a quality nickel corner on the roster, since most teams are at least 50 percent sub defenses?
I believe we have hit yet another question that is a fairly easy yes for Miami. The team may still have a battle for the starting cornerback position opposite Brent Grimes, but the nickel position should be pretty well locked down. Reserve safety Jimmy Wilson has proven his ability as the inside cornerback over the past three years.
Since coming to Miami in the seventh round of the 2011 Draft, Wilson has played 46 games out of a potential 48, starting eight of them. He has two career sacks, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, and 95 tackles.
The Dolphins could also look to use Cortland Finnegan or Jamar Taylor, whoever does not win the starting position, in the nickel position, as well as possibly flexing Will Davis into the slot. Any of those three could challenge Wilson for the position, or take it over if Wilson were needed back at safety.
Miami has a solid rotation of cornerbacks who should be able to fill the nickel position if needed, headlined by a proven commodity in Wilson. Nickel corner should not be an issue for the Dolphins.