- Is the pass-rush overly dependent on outside linebacker Cameron Wake having a breakout season?
- Will Randy Starks transition well to nose tackle?
- Is inside linebacker Karlos Dansby indeed worth boatloads of money?)
Davis is the better athlete, has outstanding quickness and the wheels to run deep with a receiver. He's confident in a playmaker sort of way. Smith brings to the table fantastic size (6-3, 214). He's stiff in change-of-direction, but his long arms allow him to take unique angles against receivers in one-on-one matchups.
The bottom line is the Dolphins have two high-drafted second-year corners who have both become starters. Few teams lay this kind of foundation at one of football’s most valuable positions. What’s more, veteran Will Allen is healthy again and should be one of the top nickelbacks in the league (that is, assuming Allen doesn’t blow everyone away in training camp and reclaim a starting job).
Long-term the Dolphins secondary looks set. Short-term it could still prove to be an Achilles' heel. The young corners are prone to mistakes (this showed up on film again and again last season). Exacerbating those mistakes is the weakness of the free safety position.
Gibril Wilson was awful in coverage and got released. In searching for a replacement, Parcells low-balled free agent Antrel Rolle and passed on former Saint Darren Sharper. Thus the Fins enter ’10 with Packers castoff Tyron Culver manning centerfield. Culver is athletic but better suited for dime duties. His only competition for a starting job, however, is fifth-round rookie Reshad Jones.
As Dolphins RapidReport correspondent Chris Perkins will address later today, much of the pressure falls back on the defensive front seven to take away the run game and prevent opposing quarterbacks from operating with a clean pocket in 2010. And if that happens, it's up to those young corners to make the most of the opportunities that come when pressure is applied in the trenches.
-- Andy Benoit
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