Turning the Corner

Second-round pick Sean Smith worked with the first-team defense during Tuesday's Organized Training Activity (OTA), which was open to the media. We shouldn't make too much of it in terms of the depth chart, but it does say something about depth.

Specifically, it says the Dolphins appear to have gotten themselves some impressive depth at the cornerback position this offseason, this after watching former starter Andre' Goodman leave via free agency.

The draft brought Smith and first-round pick Vontae Davis, and that was after Eric Green was signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Cardinals.

Green is a former starter who ended up being demoted by the Cardinals, so maybe there was reason to be nervous about him being projected as a starter, but there's little doubt he's a quality guy to have in a four-man rotation at cornerback.

It's obviously too early to project what kind of players Davis and Smith will become, but they both pass the eyeball test with flying colors.

Davis stands out with his physique, and you can expect him to quickly become one of the most physical cornerbacks in the league. He's also got the speed and athletic ability to excel in coverage.

As for Smith, he's shown in shorts that his great size (a little over 6-3) doesn't keep him from moving very well. And he's also a tremendous athlete, with great ability to make plays on the ball.

More than three months before the start of the regular season, it's difficult to predict who will start in Goodman's spot, although Davis still would seem the most likely candidate.

The other spot is in good shape with Will Allen, fresh off his new contract. The feeling with Allen has been for a while that some interceptions are all he needs to merit serious Pro Bowl consideration. His coverage has been solid since the time he joined the Dolphins as an unrestricted free agent in the spring of 2006.

Regardless of how it shakes out at the other spot, the Dolphins have developed tremendous depth at cornerback this offeason, turning a position of major concern into what should be one of strength.

Beyond the first four guys, there's also Nathan Jones, who not only showed special teams ability last season but also a knack for blitzing from the edge.

Joey Thomas also saw considerable action last year and he's serviceable as a No. 4 or No. 5 guy, his really bad start against St. Louis notwithstanding.

And let's not forget former first-round pick Jason Allen, although time is rapidly running out for him. The additions of Davis and Smith don't bode well for his chances of major playing time, maybe even just making the team.

It's really a good problem to have for the Dolphins. And with Will Allen signed for the next three seasons, the Dolphins figure to be in good shape at cornerback for a while.

It's a luxury they enjoyed when they had Sam Madison, Patrick Surtain and Terrell Buckley on the roster, and it's sure nice to be able to have it again.


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