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2018 Training Camp Preview: Safeties


Players On The Roster

Walt Aikens, Trae Elston, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Reshad Jones, T.J. McDonald, Maurice Smith


Offseason Transactions

Walt Aikens, Nate Allen and Michael Thomas became unrestricted free agents (March 14) … Re-signed unrestricted free agent Walt Aikens (March 15) … Selected Minkah Fitzpatrick in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft (April 26) … Signed rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick to a four-year contract (June 1).

What Stood Out In The Spring

While it would be a mistake to read too much into what happened in spring practices, it nonetheless was encouraging to see first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick show off his playmaking ability — he almost invariably was among the players mentioned whenever someone was asked about interceptions. Fitzpatrick also drew praise from coaches and teammates for his professional approach, which only reinforced the scouting report on the former Alabama star.


Training Camp Focus

Between Fitzpatrick and veterans Reshad Jones and T.J. McDonald, the Dolphins essentially have three starting safeties on their roster. So probably the biggest issue at safety during training camp will be evaluating how best to utilize the three to get the most out of their talents. Defensive coordinator Matt Burke said in the spring all scenarios would be explored, including having all three on the field at the same time.

Players To Watch

As the first-round pick, Fitzpatrick obviously comes to mind here, but it also will be interesting to see the progress of second-year player Maurice Smith, who showed intriguing potential as a rookie free agent in 2017 before his season was cut in December by an abdominal injury.