In part one of our cornerback preview, we looked at the team's starters and primary reserves. In part two of our cornerback preview for training camp, we'll take a look at the roster odds for James Dockery, Trevin Wade, Emanuel Davis, Tashaun Gipson, and Antwuan Reed.
5. JAMES DOCKERY - BACKUP CORNERBACK
James Dockery (#31)
Experience: 2 years
College: Oregon State
Note: Made team as UDFA in 2011...could see some action at safety.
Teams typically carry five or six cornerbacks. If we assume that number is five, then Dockery's roster spot could be in jeopardy. The four people ahead of him are locked in, and seventh-round draft pick Trevin Wade will be trying to lock up the next spot in camp.
Dockery had a strong camp and preseason a year ago, but only saw action on special teams during the regular season, finishing with 2 tackles and 3 assists. I could see a scenario in which the team keeps both Dockery and Wade, and that is because the team tested Dockery out a little bit at safety last year.
Safety is a position the team is really thin at after the top three guys, so he could actually make a significant contribution there. The team stopped pushing Dockery to be a safety in last year's camp because they didn't want to overwhelm the undrafted free agent with so many duties (cornerback, safety, and special teams), so they cut out the role at safety. Maybe that changes this year. If not, I still think he is a viable option at cornerback due to his aggressiveness and ability to break up passes.
Final Roster Odds: 40%
6. TREVIN WADE - ROOKIE CORNERBACK
Trevin Wade (#26)
Note: 7th-round pick...if not for a bad junior year, could have gone in rounds 3-5.
Wade is a tough one to judge. He had impressive freshman and sophomore seasons in college, but then had a disappointing junior year and a decent senior season. The pre-draft speculation seemed to be that Wade would go somewhere between the third and fifth round. Cleveland got him in round seven. That hasn't stopped Wade's confidence, though -- he firmly believes he can rise to the challenge of making the Browns' roster:
"I’m smart, I have great ball skills and I can anticipate things that are coming, so I don’t miss a lot of tackles," he said. "I’m trying to bring a new, all-around cornerback to the Cleveland Browns."
We'll see just how good Wade ends up being. He has average speed, but displayed many of the traits needed to be a solid cover corner in his first two years at Arizona. During his junior year, he reportedly had consistency issues (getting beat up and down the field), looked uninspired, and battled injuries. If he can be inspired by the fact that he is trying to make an NFL team, there's an outside chance that he compete with Buster Skrine for the dimeback role.
Final Roster Odds: 75%
Practice Squad Odds: 90% (if he doesn't make the final roster)
7. TASHAUN GIPSON - UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT CORNERBACK
Tashaun Gipson (#39)
Note: Versatility as corner and safety...durable...not very physical.
Gipson could be another cornerback/safety tweener. He started all 50 games at Wyoming over four years. During his senior year, he recorded 95 tackles and three interceptions.
NFL.com called him extremely productive, making the switch from CB to S at the end of his senior year. They said he had "fourth-round value based on his ability to play safety and cover well in nickel packages."
Gipson has pretty good size along with proven durability to play the position. He has average speed, isn't known as a very physical guy, and can sometimes be inconsistent with his tackling ability. Out of the three undrafted free agents at cornerback, he has the most potential heading into camp.
Final Roster Odds: 5%
Practice Squad Odds: 40%
8. EMANUEL DAVIS - UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT CORNERBACK
Emanuel Davis (#38)
College: East Carolina
Note: Made a few plays in offseason practices...lacks proper footwork.
Davis made some noise during some of the team's offseason practices in May, breaking up or intercepting a couple of passes. Can he continue that trend in training camp?
Per NFL.com, Davis "had an up-and-down career at East Carolina, but he has good speed and at times displayed the skills that make him worthy of a late-round draft pick." Obviously, Davis didn't get drafted by anybody.
Davis made 38 starts in college, finishing his senior season with 62 tackles and 1 interception. The scouting reports on Davis say that he is good in press coverage and making tackles in the open field, but lacks proper footwork and can often get beat on short patterns by turning his hips too soon.
Final Roster Odds: <5%
Practice Squad Odds: 20%
9. ANTWUAN REED - UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT CORNERBACK
Antwuan Reed (#34)
Note: Could compete for work on special teams...he's the final player we covered.
During his senior year at Pittsburgh, Reed had 30 tackles, 7 passes defended, and 3 fumble recoveries. According to NFL.com, Reed "is an all-around player who is reliable to make a tackle but won't make many special plays."
Other scouting reports say that Reed still isn't the most polished player at cornerback (he has "balance" issues) and is more suited for zone coverages. Even though he doesn't make "special plays," he has experience on special teams, something he'll undoubtedly be fighting for at the NFL level. The roster odds of the two guys ahead of him aren't the greatest, and they come in with superior reputations. There's just way too many guys ahead of Reed for him to make an impact.
Final Roster Odds: <1%
Practice Squad Odds: 5%
That wraps up our final positional training camp preview. Whew! It was a blast being able to review each of the team's ~90 players, but I'm glad it is over because now comes the really fun part -- I get to predict the 53-man roster for the first time. That, as well as other general training camp previews, will commence over the next few days, leading up to Saturday. Until then, it's time for one last positional poll: will Dockery/Wade make the final roster?