Kevin Coyle is about to start his second season at the helm of the Miami Dolphins defense, and these days he is surely smiling ear-to-ear as general manager Jeff Ireland has added younger and faster defensive players through free-agency and through the NFL draft. Dion Jordan is going to be awesome (article on Jordan is HERE) and Coyle’s history is that of a guy who creates turnovers through his secondary. For years now, the ‘Phins have been putrid at creating turnovers, but rookie corners Jamar Taylor and Will Davis should help with that right away.
Brent Grimes and Richard Marshall will be the starters (right here, right now anyway) but the team wanted to get younger overall at the position so they used a pair of draft picks on Taylor (Boise State University) and Davis (Utah State). Both of these guys became Dolphins in the first 93 picks.
Taylor is a physical player who can contribute to stopping the run, but his value is as a guy who can make a play on the football. The fact that he played several different schemes in college will be huge for a Dolphins team that was forced to change schemes/strategies several times last season. His versatility may even earn him a spot on the depth chart ahead of Marshall (time will tell, we have to see how Marshall looks as he comes back from injury). I feel like Taylor’s upside is better than fellow Boise State corner Kyle Wilson (2010 first round pick by the New York Jets). Taylor has speed and agility to go along with high athleticism and if he can finish the play (i.e. make a play on the ball — CATCH the ball!) then he will become a fan favorite very quickly. This guy should be really good and legit on the NFL stage.
The way the Dolphins traded out of the third round only to re-enter in order to nab Davis was an odd scenario. The six-footer is perhaps clairvoyant as he said he had a feeling he would become a Dolphin. I am not as high on Davis as I am on Taylor, but I do acknowledge Davis has a chance to be good on the NFL stage due to his ability to track the football and disrupt the pass (believe it or not he is in same breath as Dee Milliner in this area). If Coyle can get him to take that to the next level (once again I am talking about CATCH the football … INT!) then Davis will earn plenty of playing time in the passing-era.
Davis should be coach-able for Coyle as he just started playing football in his final year of high school so not a lot of bad habits already established in his game. It is likely man coverage that will have him most comfortable. When he does earn an INT we are in for a treat as he has a history of taking picks back a long way (2012 — five INTs for 100 return yards and a touchdown).
I have to wonder if the addition of these two will mean the end of the line for Dimitri Patterson in Miami as he is owed $10 million over the next two seasons (if he remains) and both of these rookies will get a shot right away to pass him on the depth chart.