Will Davis to Dolphins: How Does the CB Fit with Miami?

Alessandro Miglio@@AlexMiglioFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2013

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

With the Will Davis pick, there is no doubt pass defense was an area of concern for Jeff Ireland and the Miami Dolphins. How else would you explain three-of-four picks designed to fix just that?

Dion Jordan will bolster the pass-rush, which will directly help the secondary. Jamar Taylor was a nice addition to that secondary.

Davis was the latest, a little-known cornerback out of Utah State.

Ireland moved out of the third round only to jump back in to take Davis, despite having Brent Grimes, Richard Marshall, Dimitri Patterson, Jimmy Wilson, Nolan Carroll and Taylor.

It is obvious one or two of these guys will have to be cut before the season starts.


Davis' primary role as a rookie will likely be ferrying baggage for the veterans.

In all seriousness, that role is murky given how many cornerbacks there are on the roster. Even if two get cut, it seems most likely that Davis spends most of his time on special teams.

He could wind up like Michael Egnew—unable to crack the active roster, though for depth reasons more so than talent.

Here is what Bleacher Report's B.J. Kissel had to say about Davis:

Davis will need to develop his ability to get off blocks in run defense before he'll be counted on as a full-time starter at the NFL level. He'll also need to work on his tackling technique before he'd not be somewhat of a liability out in space.

Davis possesses all the physical ability to be a solid cover corner in the NFL. But he needs time to develop the rest of his game to match the ability he already has in coverage.

Kissel also mentions that Davis' poor tackling technique and inability to shed blocks means he is poorly suited to play special teams. It seems like a rookie role will be difficult to find.

Roster Fit

Assuming Patterson or Marshall are cut, given their cap figures, Davis will slide into the cornerback depth chart behind Wilson.

It's possible Davis will surprise in training camp and climb the depth chart, but he has some ground to cover. Granted, he is adept at doing that in the defensive backfield, but there are a lot of guys with experience ahead of him.

"Another prototypical cornerback who can play inside and outside. Doesn't have a lot of experience," Jeff Ireland said about Will Davis.

— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) April 27, 2013

Incidentally, drafting Davis put Carroll's job in jeopardy as well.

Early Projections

Given his likely slot at the back of the Dolphins' depth chart—if he can even crack the active roster as a rookie—it seems unlikely Davis will put up much statistically in his first year.

Here are his stats from his time at Utah State:

TacklesPass Defense

His 22 passes defensed led the entire NCAA last year, a promising statistic.

But none of that will translate as a rookie unless he is a rock star during the preseason. For now, the Dolphins appear to be stockpiling talented cornerbacks with plenty of potential.

Unfortunately, it might take some time to realize that potential.


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