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NFL Miami Dolphins

Top 20 Miami Dolphins of 2013: No. 12 Chris Clemons

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are still searching for their next GM but will reportedly begin a second round of interviews with two or three finalists within the next few days. As we wait to see which candidate gets the nod, let’s continue our look back on the season that was by ranking the team’s top 20 players of 2013. Today, we’ll look at player No. 12, safety Chris Clemons.

2013 statistics

Tackles: 92
Interceptions: 1
Passes defensed: 8

Pro Football Focus breakdown

Position rank: 19 of 86
Coverage rank: 9 of 86
Run defense rank: 72 of 86
Snaps played: 1,158
Stops: 12
Missed tackles: 14
Yards allowed in coverage: 127
Touchdowns allowed: 2

Why he’s No. 12

With legitimate 4.3 speed, Clemons has tremendous range in center field which can be seen in his excellent coverage grades. According to Pro Football Focus, only eight safeties in the entire league fared better in coverage than Clemons did in 2013. Although he wasn’t asked to participate in man coverage often, the 0.19 yards Clemons conceded per coverage snap was by far the lowest figure in the NFL. His speed also helps prevent big plays at times when running backs break through into the secondary or a receiver gets loose after a missed tackle. Clemons, who is scheduled to hit the open market this offseason, is a nice asset to the Dolphins’ secondary and should be re-signed by the club’s new GM.

Why he’s not higher

Clemons may excel in coverage and rarely makes mistakes, but he’s far from a game-changer. He’ll never have the impact on a game safeties like Troy Polamalu, Jairus Byrd and Earl Thomas consistently have. There were several times in 2013 when Clemons had the opportunity to alter the outcome of a contest with an interception only to see that opportunity go through his hands. He’s never been a ball-hawk as evidenced by his one interception this past season and his four total in five years with the Dolphins. The former Clemson Tiger also graded poorly in run support and missed a career-high 14 tackles.

Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.

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