I think Coleman gets first crack no matter what. I’d say he’s competing with Answerth, Madden, Prior and Ah Chee to be the fourth small defender after Rich, Starc and Coleman.
I agree that those guys mentioned are likely competing for 2 spots. Coleman had a very nice finish to the year when he got the chance down back so he would be best placed to get one of those spots but I don't think he is a lock and there will be a heap of competition I think coming into year. One thing is certain though is that I see our defensive unit being much more athletic and I think much better actually defensively.
That is especially the case if there is improved running from Neale and we have a few of our top runners back to full fitness (thinking Berry and Sharp mainly) to increase the pressure in the midfield.
I am still a proponent of playing Payne instead of one of Adams or Gardiner. I really would prefer Andrews to be freed up and having Payne in there I think it the best chance of that. Payne has held his own defensively and is usually a better kick than Gardiner or Adams. He had a couple of brain fades each game which he needs to get out of his game but both Adams and Gardiner have done exactly the same for longer periods and been persisted with. I like the upside of Payne and the better balance he brings to the side.