#21 Brent Grimes – 5’10” 190
Brent went undrafted coming out of Shippensburg University in 2006. He was allocated to the Hamburg Sea Devils of NFL Europe, in which the Sea Devils won the Championship. Grimes then signed on with the Atlanta Falcons in 2007. In his 6 year career with the Falcons, Grimes established himself as one of the better cover corners in the NFL, with 13 INT’s in 4 years. In 2010, Grimes had finally become a full time starter. In 2012, Grimes suffered a torn achilles, which led to the Falcons letting Grimes become a free agent.
The Dolphins were more than happy to take a chance on the talented CB, and signed him in 2013. In 2013, Grimes started every game for the Dolphins and in impressive fashion, coming back from a brutal achilles injury. Grimes had 4 INT’s (1 for a TD), 60 tackles (52 solo) and 16 passes defensed. Quite a season 1 year removed from a torn achilles. In 2014, Grimes continued his excellent play, and made possibly the play of the year going high and reeling in an INT with one hand in similar fashion to the great catch by NYG WR Odell Beckham Jr. Grimes finished with a team high 5 INT’s (1 for a TD), 1 FF, 13 passes defensed, and 58 tackles (48 solo). This fiery CB will no doubt be starting at LCB for the Dolphins.
#25 Jamar Taylor – 5’10” 200
Jamar Taylor was drafted out of Boise St. in the 2nd RD of the 2013 NFL Draft, pick #54. Very fitting I’d say, if any of you are old enough to remember the TV sitcom “Car 54”, and the famous line “Car 54, where are you?”. Dolphins fans can easily mutter “Pick 54, where are you?” Since being drafted relatively high, Taylor has only played in 21 games, and has only started 3. BTW, this is the Vontae Davis draft pick we received in the trade with the Colts.
In 2 seasons, Taylor has 34 tackles. When drafted, Taylor came in injured (Sports hernia). Were any of Ireland’s early picks healthy in that draft??? Dion Jordan and Jamar Taylor, the very first picks were damaged goods, and we’ve been suffering through this for 2 years now.
Taylor has talent, and that’s why he was drafted in the 2nd RD, but his body continues to fail him. Hopefully he can finally get healthy and truly compete to lock down a starting spot at CB.
#29 Will Davis – 5’11” 186
The Dolphins selected Will Davis with the 93RD pick in the 3rd RD of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Utah St. Davis has played in 15 games with no starts for the Dolphins. Last season, Davis had his ups and downs until he suffered a torn ACL and was done for the season after the Dolphins defeated the Bills 22-9. Davis got hurt on ST’s where he was the gunner. Another guy with potential, but so far, still very much a question mark.
#24 Brice McCain – 5’8”185
McCain was drafted in the 6th RD (188th pick) in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. He played 5 years for the Texans playing in 70 games, with 10 game starts. In that time, McCain mostly was the nickel corner (slot CB). In the 5 years with the Texans, McCain 33 passes defensed, 5 INT’s and 92 tackles (74 solo).
McCain played for the Steelers last season, playing in 14 games, with 9 starts. He played both on the outside and in the slot, as he did occasionally for the Texans. McCain had his best production last year with 3 INT’s (1 for a TD), 1 FR, and 21 tackles (10 solo). As of now, McCain is going to compete for the slot CB position, but may also be considered for the perimeter, depending on how the competition goes.
#30 Zack Bowman – 6’1” 197
Bowman was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 2008 NFL Draft in the 5th RD (142nd pick). Bowman played 6 years for the Bears playing in 73 games, with 19 starts. Bowman has played both LCB and RCB. In 6 seasons with Da Bears, Bowman had 10 INT’s , 3 FF’s, 5 FR’s (2 for TD’s). Bowman has racked up a lot of tackles (167) with CHI, and all but 17 were solo.
Last season Bowman played for the New York Giants, played in 16 games with 5 starts. Bowman had 24 tackles (19 solo), 6 passes defensed, 2 INT’s, and 1 FR. With Bowman’s size, I would expect him to be in the running for a starting position.
#28 Bobby McCain – 5’10” 192
Bobby McCain, named after the famous song “Me and Bobby McCain” was drafted by the Dolphins this year in the 5th RD (145th pick). McCain is of similar size and stature to Brent Grimes. McCain is expected to compete for the nickel (slot CB) position with Brice McCain.
In 4 years of College at Memphis, McCain played in 55 games with 136 tackles (80 solo), 12 INT’s (4 for TD’s), 16 passes defensed, and 1 FF. McCain also returned kicks at Memphis averaging 25.3 YPR.
#36 Tony Lippett – 6’3” 195
The Incredible Mr. Lippett was drafted by the Dolphins in the 5th RD (pick #156) (seems like a lot of our CB’s were drafted in the 5th, right?)
Tony Lippett is an interesting player. He starred as a WR at Michigan State, and had a very successful Senior year, with 65 receptions, 11 TD’s and 1198 yards, good for 18.4 YPC. Lippett also played some at CB, but didn’t register an INT in his time there. When the Dolphins drafted Lippett, he was drafted to play CB, not WR. In his first action in OTA’s, Lippett burst onto the scene and opened up plenty of eyes, with 3 INT’s! He has the size the Dolphins really wanted (6’3”), as we currently have a lot of CB’s 5’10” or smaller. Whether Lippett starts immediately is not important, but he will definitely be getting plenty of reps to see what he can do, and I wouldn’t be shocked if no one else steps up and grabs the job, that Lippett gives everyone a run for their money.
In summation, I’d say we have a nice mix of veteran CB’s, and some young guys who can make a difference. Brent Grimes at 31 is still a top NFL CB. The big question is WHO STARTS OPPOSITE GRIMES?
Between young vets like Jamar Taylor and Will Davis, older vets like Zack Bowman and Brice McCain, and the newly drafted Tony Lippett, someone has got to just step up and make it clear the job is theirs. Last year we picked up Cortland Finnegan late in the offseason, almost an afterthought, and he never looked back. I’d love Jamar Taylor to finally emerge, or Will Davis, so we have a young player that can grow with the team. I can’t lie, even though it was just OTA’s, I can’t stop thinking how great it would be if Lippett stole the job. He has the size we could definitely use, and he most certainly has the ball skills as an accomplished WR, so ideally, if it were Lippett, I’d be ecstatic. It can happen, especially knowing the history of Taylor and Davis, and their inability to stay on the field. Of course, it could be Zack Bowman or Brice McCain too, but like I said, it’s about time for a young CB that we drafted to step up and take the reins, and become our long term starter! GO LIPPETT!