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 Champion Seattle 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 the Philadelphia 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 tenth area for consideration is:
Is there a fourth corner for dime packages?
Yesterday, we established Jimmy Wilson as the Dolphins' nickel cornerback. Today, we turn right back to the cornerback position, this time looking for the fourth option, someone who can fill in as the team's dime option. For Miami, there are three possible answers.
As was pointed out yesterday, there's a battle for the starting cornerback position opposite Pro Bowler Brent Grimes. Cortland Finnegan and Jamar Taylor will likely fight for that depth chart position. Whoever does not win that spot immediately becomes the dime corner, and can even spell Wilson as the nickel. Plus, the Dolphins have Will Davis who can take the dime responsibilities as well.
The Dolphins really are deep at cornerback, and should not have a difficult time finding players to cover four wide receiver sets.