As we get closer to the start of the Miami Dolphins 2023 Training Camp, it's time for another installment of the annual position preview series on MiamiDolphins.com.
Here's a look at the Dolphins safeties:
(in numerical order)
6-1 | 210 | Oregon '21
Holland is entering his third NFL season after joining the Dolphins in the second round (36th overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft. He started all 17 regular season games in 2022 as well as the AFC Wild Card game at Buffalo. Holland led the team in solo tackles (76) and interceptions (2) and posted the third-most passes defensed (7) last season. He made 13 starts in 16 games played during his 2021 PFWA All-Rookie campaign, recording 2.5 of his 4.0 career sacks and three fumble recoveries. The Coquitlam, Canada native played two seasons at Oregon (2018-19).
#21 DeShon Elliott
6-1 | 210 | Texas '18
Elliott signed with Miami as an unrestricted free agent on March 17, 2023 after spending one season in Detroit (2022) and the first four years (2018-21) of his career in Baltimore. He tallied career highs in tackles (95) and tackles for loss (5) last season. In 2020, Elliott started all 16 games and became the third defensive back in Ravens history to record at least 80 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in a season. He was originally a sixth-round pick (190th overall) by Baltimore in the 2018 NFL Draft. Elliott played collegiately at Texas, where he was teammates with current Dolphins safety Brandon Jones and offensive lineman Connor Williams.
#29 Brandon Jones
6-1 | 191 | Texas '20
Jones was a third-round pick (70th overall) by Miami in the 2020 NFL Draft and has played in 38 games with 24 starts in three seasons. He has 184 career tackles (111 solo), 8.0 sacks, and a forced a fumble all three years. In 2021, Jones was Miami's fourth-leading tackler (76) and led all NFL defensive backs with five sacks. His 59 tackles in 2020 were tied for 11th among all NFL rookies. Jones played collegiately at Texas.
#32 Verone McKinley III
5-10 | 195 | Oregon '22
McKinley signed with Miami as an undrafted college free agent on May 13, 2022 and began last season on the practice squad. He eventually signed to the active roster and played in 10 games with two starts. In addition to his 16 total tackles (10 solo) as a rookie, McKinley recorded his first career interception in Miami's 30-15 win over Houston on Nov. 27, 2022. He was a three-year starter (2019-21) at Oregon and played alongside fellow Dolphins safeties Jevon Holland and Bennett Williams and wide receiver Daewood Davis.
#35 Bennett Williams
6-0 | 206 | Oregon '23
Williams signed with Miami as an undrafted college free agent on May 12, 2023. He played three seasons (2020-22) at Oregon and appeared in 25 games with 18 starts. Williams earned honorable mention All-Pac 12 recognition as a senior in 2022 after starting all 13 games and leading his team with a career-high 72 tackles (48 solo). He recorded five interceptions in his final two seasons at Oregon. Williams began his collegiate career at Illinois (2017) and spent two seasons (2018-19) at College of San Mateo (Calif.).
#36 Keidron Smith
6-2 | 201 | Kentucky '23
Smith signed with Miami as an undrafted college free agent on May 12, 2023 after playing his final collegiate season at Kentucky. He earned second-team All-SEC honors in his lone year with the Wildcats, totaling 46 tackles (32 solo), two interceptions, seven passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He spent the first four seasons (2018-21) of his college career at Mississippi, where he played in 47 games with 29 starts. Smith is from West Palm Beach, Florida and played high school football at Oxbridge Academy.
The team will hold 10 practices open to fans at the Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens, beginning July 30. Attendance is free for all practices, but guests must show a mobile ticket for entry. Get tickets here.