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2016 Dolphins depth chart: Breaking down Miami's roster VIII - Cornerbacks

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Part eight of our breakdown of the Miami Dolphins' roster and a projection of the depth chart for 2016.

The Miami Dolphins begin their Organized Team Activities (OTAs) this week, beginning on Tuesday for the first three days of practices. During Phase 3 of the NFL's offseason training program, teams can hold on-field 11-on-11 practices, without contact, over 10 days of OTAs and a three-day mandatory veteran minicamp.

It is also during this time that players can really begin working to secure a roster spot for the 2016 NFL season. NFL teams are allowed to carry 90 players during the offseason and into the preseason, but have to cut that down to the league's regular-season limit of 53 players.

The Phinsider Dolphins roster breakdown continues, looking to project the Miami 53-man roster, broken into a depth chart format, for every position on the field. This afternoon, the breakdown moves to part eight, with a look at the cornerbacks.

Starters

Byron Maxwell - 6th year

Xavien Howard - Rookie (2nd round)

Nickel: Bobby McCain - 2nd year

The Dolphins head into the 2016 season with a completely revamped cornerback position, but one that still leaves a lot of questions in need of answering. Can Maxwell play like the cornerback he was in Seattle, or did Miami land the player who was overpaid in Philadelphia? Will rookie Howard be able to immediately step into an NFL starters role? Will McCain grow into the nickel corner that would appear to be his natural position as a professional?

Reserves

Tony Lippett - 2nd year

Jordan Lucas - Rookie (6th round)

Lippett spent most of last year as a spot-reserve player, working to convert from being a college wide receiver to a full-time NFL cornerback. He has the skills to be able to make the transition and seems to fit the exact mold defensive coordinator Vance Joseph wants in his cornerbacks. Lippett could challenge Howard for the starting position at the beginning of the season. Lucas is the in-between player, having spent time at both safety and cornerback in college. The Dolphins seem to view him as a cornerback, but he is going to be raw and need some time to develop - though he could make an immediate contribution as a special teams player.

Only carrying five cornerbacks at this point is offset by the presence of Michael Thomas, who will make the roster as a safety but is naturally a cornerback. He provides depth and the ability to play a big-nickel type of package in a role similar to Jimmy Wilson a few years ago.

Bubble Watch

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - 1st year

There was demand for Ekpre-Olomu when he was waived by Cleveland this offseason, but it is based solely on potential. He is probably a nickel type of corner, and could be in a battle with McCain for the top spot - if he is healthy. The former first-round prospect saw his draft stock plummet in 2015 when he sustained an ACL tear near the end of Oregon's 2014 season. Selected in the seventh round by Cleveland, Ekpre-Olomu missed all of the 2015 season for Cleveland. Miami claiming him off waivers made a lot of sense in April, and it still does now with little owed to him against the salary cap and a player who could return to his college form if his knee finally becomes healthy - but that is a big "if." At this point, without seeing him back on the field, Ekpre-Olomu ends up on the bubble.

Practice Squad

None

Not having any cornerbacks on the practice squad is a little disconcerting, but the practice squad is filling up quickly and a position had to be created. Could one of the younger cornerbacks still claim a practice squad position? Absolutely.

The Rest

Chimdi Chekwa - 5th year

Tyler Patmon - 3rd year

Lafayette Pitts - Rookie (UDFA)

53-man roster prediction (35/53)

Quarterbacks (2)

Ryan Tannehill

Matt Moore

Running back (4)

Jay Ajayi

Kenyan Drake

Damien Williams

Daniel Thomas

Wide receiver (5)

Jarvis Landry

DeVante Parker

Kenny Stills

Leonte Carroo

Jakeem Grant

Tight ends (3)

Jordan Cameron

Dion Sims

Thomas Duarte

Defensive ends (6)

Cameron Wake

Mario Williams

Andre Branch

Terrence Fede

Chris McCain

Jason Jones (Updated after article)

Defensive tackles (4)

Ndamukong Suh

Earl Mitchell

Jordan Phillips

Chris Jones

Linebackers (6)

Jelani Jenkins

Kiko Alonso

Koa Misi

Neville Hewitt

Zach Vigil

Dion Jordan

Cornerbacks (5)

Byron Maxwell

Xavien Howard

Bobby McCain

Tony Lippett

Jordan Lucas

Bubble Watch

Cleyon Laing - defensive end

Isaiah Pead - running back

Deandre Coleman - defensive tackle

Matt Hazel - wide receiver

Griff Whalen - wide receiver

Spencer Paysinger - linebacker

Jake Stoneburner - tight end

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - cornerback

Practice squad (8/10)

Brandon Doughty (rookie) - quarterback

Farrington Huguenin (rookie)- defensive end

Charles Tuaau - defensive tackle

Tyler Murphy - wide receiver

Rashawn Scott (rookie) - wide receiver

Mike Hull - linebacker

James Burgess (rookie) - linebacker

Gabe Hughes (rookie) - tight end