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Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Projecting the Dolphins' cornerback field

By James Walker

The Miami Dolphins made significant changes at cornerback in the first week of free agency. They cut Dimitri Patterson and let Nolan Carroll sign with the Philadelphia Eagles. That is seven interceptions lost for Miami. The Dolphins signed veteran Cortland Finnegan as a replacement.

But Finnegan had one of the worst seasons of his career in 2013. Does he have enough left in the tank to win a starting job? Let's examine the field.

1. Cortland Finnegan

Analysis: Finnegan recorded 27 tackles and one interception in seven games in 2013. Finnegan says he was injured most of the season and that contributed to his poor play. Finnegan is expected to be healthy again by spring workouts. His experience and contract (two years, $11 million) make Finnegan the early favorite.

Chances of starting: 50 percent

2. Jamar Taylor

Analysis: Injuries and health issues prevented the Dolphins' 2013 second-round pick from making an impact. But I'm hearing good things about Taylor this offseason. He may be my early sleeper pick for 2014. A strong offseason and getting back to 100 percent would provide Taylor an opportunity to show what he can do. A starting job and nickel position is there for the taking.

Chances of starting: 30

3. Will Davis

Analysis: Davis created a buzz in training camp by unofficially leading the Dolphins in practice interceptions. But a toe injury sidelined Davis early in the regular season and he never found his way back in the rotation. Davis, a 2013 third-round pick, has some flashes of good ball skills. Another strong showing in organized team activities, minicamp and training camp will help. But Davis has to prove it in a game situation to earn the trust of the coaching staff.

Chances of starting: 20