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Miami Dolphins 2020 Position Preview: Safeties

Photo Credit: AP/Elise Amendola

Ahead of the 2020 NFL Season, let’s examine the Miami Dolphins‘ safeties position group and provide intel on what to expect this year.

Related: Miami Dolphins 2020 Position Preview: Cornerbacks

Brandon Jones

  • Free Safety 
  • Age: 22
  • Height: 6-foot
  • Weight: 205 pounds 
  • College: Texas
  • Drafted: 2020 Round 3 (No. 70 overall)
  • Contract: 4 years at $4,873,092

Dolphins fans that liked the idea of having a safety with the last name Jones roaming in the Dolphins secondary are in luck. After parting ways with former Pro-Bowler Reshad Jones in the off-season, Miami selected Brandon Jones in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. 

The rookie, however, is not the same player as his predecessor. Reshad was much more of a ball-hawk, but there are some similarities. Reshad was a solid tackler and some of his biggest moments were of him making plays at the line of scrimmage.

Brandon was an excellent tackler in college. He racked up 233 tackles in his college career. 14 of those tackles were for a loss, including one sack. The new Jones is versatile and will provide Brian Flores with multiple options in his defense. 

Steven Parker

  • Strong Safety 
  • Age: 24
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 210 pounds 
  • College: Oklahoma
  • Drafted: 2018 Undrafted
  • Contract: 2 years at $1,080,000 (final year of contract) 

Steven Parker entered the league as an undrafted rookie free agent for the Los Angeles Rams. Parker did enough to get a job on the Rams practice squad in 2018. Unfortunately, he was the odd man out with the Rams in 2019. Parker was cut following the last preseason game. 

Miami signed Parker to a two-year deal just a week ahead of the season opener. He made his debut in that game against the Ravens. Both the Dolphins and Parker would like to forget the 59-10 loss. 

In 2019, Parker played in 13 games and started four. He picked off a pass in a win against the Colts and another against Sam Darnold and the Jets. Parker will be looking to build off of these performances and solidify a future role for him with the Dolphins.

Kavon Frazier

  • Free Safety 
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6-foot
  • Weight: 222 pounds 
  • College: Central Michigan
  • Drafted: 2016 Round 6 (No. 212 overall)
  • Contract: 1 year at $1,047,000 (final year of contract) 

Frazier signed a one year prove-it deal with the Dolphins on April 28, 2020, after spending his entire professional career with the Dallas Cowboys. Early on with Dallas, Frazier made a name for himself on Special Teams. His contributions on Special Teams led to increased use in the defense. 

Later on his career, Frazier battled injuries limiting his playing time. In 2018, a potential blood disorder sidelined him. The 2019 season ended with Frazier on injured reserve due to a pectoral injury. The uniqueness of the 2020 offseason so far has been impacting Frazier’s opportunities to solidify his role in the Dolphin’s defense. 

Adrian Colbert

  • Free Safety 
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 205 pounds 
  • College: Miami
  • Drafted: 2017 Round 7 (No. 229 overall) by San Francisco 49ers 
  • Contract: 1 year at $1,150,000 (final year of contract) 

Colbert started six games as a rookie for the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. He was a young role-player providing depth on a team that had a philosophy of defense and ball control. 

Colbert joined the Dolphins in November of 2019 and played in six games. He started five of those games at free safety and finished the season with 22 tackles. The Dolphins liked what they saw enough to sign Colbert to return for the 2020 season.

Clayton Fejedelem 

  • Strong Safety 
  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6-foot-0
  • Weight: 205 pounds 
  • College: Illinois 
  • Drafted: 2016 Round 7 (No. 245 overall) by Cincinnati Bengals
  • Contract: 3 year at $8,550,000 (first year of contract) 

Clayton Fedejelem was one of Miami’s key free-agent additions in 2020. The Dolphins addressed multiple areas with this signing. Clayton will add depth at safety. Fejedelem has had double-digit tackles every season with the exception of his rookie season.

More importantly, Fejedelem is expected to make an immediate impact on Special Teams. He joins the Dolphins as the former Special Teams Captain for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Eric Rowe

  • Strong Safety 
  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 205 pounds 
  • College: Utah
  • Drafted: 2015 Round 2 (No. 47 overall) by Philadelphia Eagles
  • Contract: 3 year at $16,150,000 (first year of contract) 

Rowe is the projected starting strong safety for the Dolphins in 2020. The 27-year old won the hearts of Dolphins fans with a 35-yard pick-six against Tom Brady in Brady’s last game as a Patriot. 

While Rowe’s season ended on a high note, his 2019 debut with the Miami Dolphins did not start out that way. Rowe initially lined up at cornerback with the Dolphins. Miami still had a former first-round pick, Minkah Fitzpatrick, on the roster at the time. Many opposing offenses starting with the Ravens adopted a gameplan to target Rowe rather than challenging pro-bowl corner Xavien Howard.

This strategy worked initially and Rowe was on a path to being a casualty of the Dolphin’s rebuild. However, Miami adjusted as the season went on. With the Fitzpatrick departure to Pittsburgh and the emergence of other young corners, Rowe was moved to safety.

He flourished in this role and finished the season with a forced fumble, interception, and 81 tackles. His play was so solid at the end of the season that Miami rewarded him a 3-year, $16 million extension.

Bobby McCain 

  • Free Safety 
  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5-foot-11
  • Weight: 207 pounds 
  • College: Memphis
  • Drafted: 2015 Round 5 (No.145 overall) 
  • Contract: 4 year at $27,000,000 (third year of contract) 

Coincidentally, Miami’s starting free safety, like their staring strong safety, is also a converted cornerback. McCain was drafted to play cornerback by the Dolphins and served in that role for a few years.

McCain was solid a corner for the Dolphins but began to emerge as more of a role player as Miami continued to invest in that position. The current coaching staff noticed McCain’s complementary style to the star corners. The defense is more dangerous when he is on the field with Howard and company, rather than as a rotational backup.

As such, McCain will be looking to make himself a household name in the 2020 Dolphins defense.

For more Miami Dolphins Football, like us on Facebook and follow me on twitter @TheJamieBahamas

Lead Writer for primarily covering the Miami Dolphins. Jamie is a lifelong sports fan and a student of the game. Jamie religiously attends Dolphins Home Games and considers Miami the coolest city on the planet. You can follow Jamie on Twitter @TheJamieBahamas and Instagram @JamieBahamas

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