Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
There has been major flux at cornerback recently, and it could be a sign of changes coming in the defensive scheme.
What kind of cornerbacks will they be targeting: those who excel in man coverage, zone coverage or are scheme versatile? That will do a great deal in revealing the Dolphins' plans on the back end in 2013.
Are there any trends that can give us an idea of what direction they'll go? The Dolphins haven't shown any true pattern in either size or style of cornerback when it comes to the draft.
Here's a rundown of the cornerbacks drafted in the Jeff Ireland era.
- First round, 2009—Vontae Davis: 5'11", 205 pounds
- Third round, 2009—Sean Smith: 6'2", 215 pounds
- Fifth round, 2010—Nolan Carroll: 6'1", 202 pounds
- Seventh round, 2011—Jimmy Wilson: 5'10", 193 pounds
Smith and Carroll are on the bigger side, with Wilson and Davis both slightly under six feet tall. Davis and Smith are more prototype man-cover corners, while Carroll and Wilson are a bit more versatile.
In quickly reviewing the combine stats put up by each (using pro day numbers where combine information was unavailable), the only notable common threads are that all four ran a 40 of 4.51 seconds or faster, and all had a vertical jump of at least 34 inches and a broad jump of 119 inches.
The fact that the Dolphins moved on from Davis and Smith over the past 10 months strongly suggests they are looking to move away from straight man coverage in the secondary and toward a more versatile coverage scheme. That would also seem to eliminate a corner such as Florida State's Xavier Rhodes.
One name to consider in the first round is Washington State's Desmond Trufant. He's right in the middle of the size range at 5'11" and 190 pounds, and can line up both outside and in the slot. The No. 12 pick may be considered a bit rich for Trufant, who is projected at the end of the first round, but he is capable in both man and zone coverage and was called "one of the most versatile corners [in this year's draft]" by NEPatriotsDraft.com.
If it's versatility they want, Trufant could be the one to deliver it.