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2018 Training Camp Preview: Cornerbacks

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Players on the roster: Johnathan Alston, Cornell Armstrong, Taveze Calhoun, Jalen Davis, Xavien Howard, Tony Lippett, Jordan Lucas, Bobby McCain, Torry McTyer, Cordrea Tankersley

Offseason transactions: Signed Taveze Calhoun and Tracy Howard to futures contracts (Jan. 2) … Tendered exclusive-rights tender to Jordan Lucas (March 14) … Alterraun Verner became an unrestricted free agent (March 14) … Re-signed exclusive-rights free agent Jordan Lucas (March 21) … Selected Cornell Armstrong in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL draft (April 28) … Waived Tracy Howard (May 10) … Signed Jalen Davis and Johnathan Alston as undrafted rookie free agents (May 10) … Signed Bobby McCain to a four-year contract extension (June 1).

What stood out in the spring:

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Perhaps the most encouraging sight at this position during the spring was the presence of Tony Lippett after missed the entire 2017 season because of an Achilles injury sustained in training camp last summer. Head Coach Adam Gase said the main objective for Lippett in the spring was for him to work out the kinks and work himself back to where he was before the injury, and Lippett did look good in the practices open to the media. Rookie free agent Jalen Davis also deserves mention for what was, by all accounts, an impressive performance during OTAs and minicamp.

Training camp focus:

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With McCain, Lippett, Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley, the Dolphins have four cornerbacks who have started a good number of games over the past two seasons, so this shapes up as an interesting battle for starting jobs. Based on how the 2017 season played out, it might be safe to assume that Howard will man one cornerback spot and McCain will be the primary nickel corner, leaving Lippett and Tankersley to battle for the other spot. There also should be a good battle for the final roster spot or two at cornerback among a group that includes rookie sixth-round pick Cornell Armstrong, second-year player Torry McTyer, third-year player Jordan Lucas and promising rookie free agent Jalen Davis.

Players to watch:

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This has to go back to Lippett because he clearly was on an upswing after the 2016 season when he started 13 games and led the team in interceptions. Lippett has the kind of size the Dolphins like in their boundary cornerbacks and he’s also got good ball skills, the result of his time as a wide receiver at Michigan State. It also will be interesting to see how much progress Tankersley can make in his second season. Tankersley had his moments as a rookie in 2017 when he started 11 games and he said he went into this offseason with the mentality that the starting job was his to lose.

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