One thing John Dorsey has made very clear is that he wants to have the best defensive back unit in the entire NFL. Starting with free agency, he changed the entire game. Making huge pickups with T.J. Carrie, E.J. Gaines and Damarious Randall. That still wasn’t enough for John as he still took Denzel Ward with the 4th pick in the draft. While still keeping Jabrill Peppers and Briean Boddy-Calhoun on the roster. It has been a nearly complete overhaul of the position, so training camp will be very interesting for the defensive backs.
There will be a lot of competition for the DBs.
The only player that I can see being a lock to start is Damarious Randall. Denzel Ward is also someone who could be a lock, but I think we’ll definitely have to see him perform against actual teams in preseason at the level he has done in OTAs to really secure the spot. Training camp won’t be enough for him to really prove himself, since he is a rookie he’ll need to show that he’s got what it takes in game situations.
With Damarious locking up one of the safety spots and Denzel, possibly securing a cornerback spot, that still leaves another safety and cornerback starting spot open. Jabrill is probably a safe bet for the second spot; he’s kind of a wildcard. While for the most part he was misused by Gregg Williams last year, he did have some bright flashes, but one player I think could give him a run for his money at safety is Justin Currie. While he’s not quite the size of a safety, I have been hearing rumblings about him from OTAs and it sounds that Gregg Williams really likes him as a safety.
The second cornerback spot is going to be very interesting to watch play out.
As of right now, it appears that T.J. Carrie has the starting spot, but there are three guys that could make this the most interesting battle this offseason. The obvious two are Briean Boddy-Calhoun and EJ Gaines, but a dark horse in the battle is Michael Jordan. I think Michael has some potential if utilized right and given the right coaching. His scouting report coming out of college was glowing about his footwork and man press skills. I think if he gets a shot he might surprise some people.
The ideal starting DB room for me would be Jabrill and Damarious at safety. Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Denzel Ward, TJ Carrie at cornerback while switching out for Jordan and Gaines. The DB room is so crowded that it’ll definitely be a position to watch in the preseason and training camp.