Top Three Dazzling Dolphins Defensive Battles: Training Camp Battles Part Two

August 5, 2022

The top three Miami Dolphins defensive battles are analyzed in the Dolphins training camp battles part two.

We are officially underway with the 2022 Miami Dolphins training camp. I previously focused on the offensive battles, and the hype has lived to the expectations. On Saturday, training camp was open to the public for the first time, and we got to see a glimpse of a Mike McDaniel offense compete against arguably a top ten defense. However, the defense has stepped up due to the level of talent they are facing.

Three Dolphins Defensive Battles

This week the focus is on the defensive battle. Most of these players are incumbents but we do have more of an infusion of young talent along with a few veterans to add depth. Miami Dolphins Defensive Coordinator Josh Boyer will look to prove himself outside of the shadow of ex head coach Brain Flores and continue the success they achieved last season.

Strong Safety– Miami will need to find a consistent strong safety to play next to second year standout Jevon Holland. Reporters are asked not to reveal personal packages but based on what little has been reported, it seems third year player Brandon Jones has received most of the snaps thus far. The Dolphins also have veteran Eric Rowe and Clayton Fejedelem.

I don’t foresee Miami keeping all three, so it will come down to who can contribute more elsewhere. Also, keep in mind dark horse rookie Verone McKinley III who is listed as a free safety but can play strong safety. He was an undrafted free agent pick up and I can only imagine he will have a cohesive relationship with Jevon Holland from their time together at Oregon.

Prediction: I believe Brandon Jones will take the role as starter when the Dolphins play their first game against the New England Patriots on Sept 11th. However, the snaps will be split based on what personnel our opponents present us. The tighter end usage you see the opposing offense the more you will see Eric Rowe. Brandon Jones will serve more as a traditional strong safety in run coverage and blitzing. Clayton Fejedelem will be a casualty due to the enticing possibility of Verone McKinley and his continued growth.

Inside Linebacker– It is no secret Miami will disguise its looks to confuse the opposing quarterback. This happens more so with the front seven, especially when it is in cover zero. Traditionally a 3-4 defense, the inside linebacker position seems to be set with veteran Jerome Baker and Elandon Roberts back at the helm. Miami’s inside linebacker depth chart is listed as, Jerome Baker, Elandon Roberts, Duke Riley, Channing Tindall, Sam Eguavoen, and Calvin Munson. I was a big fan of rookie Channing Tandall as a linebacker at Georgia as his speed was so noticeable to anyone who watched.

Prediction: I believe Miami keeps five linebackers with one of those linebackers covering as depth for the outside linebacker position. Jerome Baker and Elandon Roberts will return this year as the starters, but we will see a lot of Duke Riley in for Roberts at time. I can envision a more prominent role for Channing Tindall next too Baker as the season progresses. Sam Eguaveon will also make this team with his pass rushing abilities.

Outside Linebacker– The outside linebacker position is equally as loaded with depth as the inside linebacker position. The Dolphins have the following players rostered: Andrew Van Ginkel, Jaelan Phillips, Melvin Ingram, Brennan Scarlett, Cameron Goode, Porter Gustin, Darius Hodge, and Deandre Johnson. We will continue to see Van Ginkel continue to play the left side, but the right side is where it gets interesting. It will be an open competition between Jaelan Phillips and Melvin Ingram to play on the right side. Along with this battle, the thing to watch with this group is who makes the team.

Prediction: Van Ginkel will start at LOLB, and Jaelan will play ROLB. However, I can see a situation where they will move Melvin Ingram to either side to add to the steady wave of pressure and using our depth as a weapon. Brennan Scarlett and rookie Cameron Goode will finish the out in depth.