Miami Dolphins 53-man Roster Projection
by Brian Umbaugh, @NFLRosters
In the NFL, the rookies are getting their first taste of life in the NFL and the players who will eventually be on the roster bubble try to make the grade. It’s about time to set the stage for a plethora of camp battles and try to determine which of the 90 or so rostered players might be playing on Sundays this fall.
Miami has a few spots where the new players can beat out veterans, as they are trying to flesh out their depth charts in the areas of WR, OL, and LB. Let’s address each area and see how things shake out.
Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore
Outside Looking In: Brandon Doughty (R), Zac Dysert, Logan Thomas
Moore couldn’t find anywhere else to go, so he’s back for another season with the clipboard. The other three QB’s on the roster are developmental, so they’re probably all fighting for one spot on the practice squad.
Running Backs (3)
Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake (R), Damien Williams
Outside Looking In: Daniel Thomas, Isaiah Pead
After Drake, there is just nothing there. Thomas and Pead are terrible, and Williams is just the best of those three. Drake will be a good 3rd down back, but the ‘Fins needed to find better guys behind him.
Tight Ends (3)
Jordan Cameron, Dion Sims, Jake Stoneburner
Outside Looking In: Thomas Duarte (R), MarQueis Gray, Gabe Hughes (R), Dominique Jones
Cameron and Sims are obvious choices, but I like Stoneburner from his days in Green Bay. Duarte is likely to be a practice squad add due to his inexperience at TE, and the rest are just camp bodies.
Wide Receivers (6)
DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, Leonte Carroo (R), Rashawn Scott (R), Jakeem Grant (R)
Outside Looking In: Griff Whalen, Matt Hazel, A.J. Cruz, Tyler Murphy, Brandon Shippen (R)
The top 4 guys are set, so the last one or two spots will go to camp standouts. While Whalen has been an overachiever during his time in Indy, his chances were lessened by the drafting of the tiny Jakeem Grant for returns and the signing of Rashawn Scott. By some accounts, Scott has some potential that may land him a spot. Hazel has some experience, but I would be surprised if he beats out the new blood.
Offensive Line (9)
Branden Albert, LT; Laremy Tunsil (R), LG; Mike Pouncey, C; Jermon Bushrod, RG; Ja’Waun James, RT
Kraig Urbik, OG/OT; Sam Young, OT; Jamil Douglas, OG/OC, Billy Turner, OG
Outside Looking In: Ulrick John, OT; Jacques McClendon, OC/OG; Dallas Thomas, OG; Vinston Painter, OG; Anthony Steen, OG; Ruben Carter (R), OC/OG
The Dolphins line was pretty bad last year, so it was a coup for Miami to have Tunsil fall to them. Urbik and Young were brought in as the new regime tries to turn things around, so I like these two to find spots as reserves. Douglas is versatile and can back up Pouncey. Where does that leave Turner and Thomas? Make no mistake – Gase has no reason for draft spot loyalty, so one of them will need to step up and earn a reserve spot. It’s quite possible both are cut and McClendon makes the team. I’m also watching to see if one of the unspectacular tackles are cut, Tunsil is moved outside, and another guard might slip onto the roster.
Defensive Line (9)
Cameron Wake, Mario Williams, Ndamukong Suh, Jordan Phillips, Jason Jones, Dion Jordan (if reinstated), Andre Branch, Earl Mitchell, DeAndre Coleman
Outside Looking In: Chris Jones, Chris McCain, Terrence Fede, Charles Tuaau, Farrington Huguenin (R), Cleyon Laing, Julius Warmsley, Jordan Williams
Miami has a few guys on the bubble that have a little experience, so if Jordan is reinstated and considered a LB by the new staff, they may keep another man.
Koa Misi, Jelani Jenkins, Neville Hewitt, Kiko Alonso, Spencer Paysinger, Zack Vigil, James-Michael Johnson, Mike Hull
Outside Looking In: Akil Blount (R), James Burgess (R), Tyler Gray (R)
What a sorry bunch, really. Most of them could get cut at any time. Misi, Paysinger and Vigil seem relatively safe, and I’m sure the staff wants to see if Alonso can return to form after a tough year in Philly. After that, we just wait and see if anyone can separate.
Defensive Backs (10)
Xavien Howard (R), Byron Maxwell, Tony Lippett, Bobby McCain, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Jordan Lucas (R), Reshad Jones, Isa Abdul-Quddus, Michael Thomas, Walt Aikens
Outside Looking In: Tyler Patmon, Chimdi Chekwa, Lafayette Pitts (R), Shamiel Gary, A.J. Hendy (R)
It’s a toss up for me between Ekpre-Olomu and Lucas for the last CB spot. If IEO is healthy, I think he still has potential. If that doesn’t work, Lucas should get the last spot. Reshad Jones is fighting about his contract, but I imagine it will be ironed out around the start of camp.
Andrew Franks, K; Matt Darr, P; John Denney, LS
Outside Looking In: Marshall Koehn (R), K; Ryan DiSalvo (R), LS
As you can see, the bubble is pretty big. I like a few other guys to make a good run for a roster spot, and the ‘Fins have quite a few spots up for grabs. While I haven’t checked the practice squad availability of those players, some of them might latch on, waiting for their opportunity.
Have an opinion? Send me a tweet at @NFLRosters! Thanks for reading!