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Miami Dolphins 53-Man Roster Snapshot 1.0

Which 53 players would make the team if cuts were made today?

The Miami Dolphins have only completed four training camp practices, but it’s never too early to begin discussing how the team’s 53-man roster might shape up.

So much could change by the time Miami’s five exhibition games have concluded, but the 53 always becomes one of the more interesting topics during the preseason.

Please note this post isn’t meant to be a prediction. We’ll save that for a few weeks from now.

Like the title suggests, it’s a current snapshot of how the team might look if cuts were made today. That way, we can begin to identify which players must play their way onto the roster as preseason games draw near.

OFFENSE (25)

Quarterback (3): Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Pat Devlin

Cuts: Aaron Corp

I would be comfortable making this prediction today. Tannehill is obviously the starter and backups Matt Moore and Pat Devlin have played well, as expected. Aaron Corp won’t see many reps and doesn’t have a realistic shot of making the team outside of injury.

Running Back (4): Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Marcus Thigpen, Mike Gillislee

Cuts: Jonas Gray, Cameron Marshall

The Dolphins don’t simulate live running plays often in practice, so we’ll know more about the running backs when the preseason arrives. I still think Jonas Gray could play his way onto the team, but he’d likely have to beat out Daniel Thomas, which is unlikely for now.

Fullback/H-Back (2): Charles Clay, Jorvorskie Lane

Cuts: Evan Rodriguez

The Dolphins have been utilizing the fullback position much less so far in training camp, which may explain why they never offered a contract to free agent Vonta Leach. But we’ll wait to see them abandon the position in a game before we project Jorvorskie Lane as a cut.

Charles Clay has had a decent camp thus far. If he continues to make plays he’ll be a lock.

Tight End (2): Dustin Keller, Dion Sims

Cuts: Michael Egnew, Kyle Miller

For every play Michael Egnew makes, he seemingly always finds a way to revert back to rookie form with a drop or fumble soon after. The Dolphins will need to see more consistency before they hand him a roster spot. I see Miami keeping only two tight ends for now with Charles Clay serving as a third.

Wide Receiver (5): Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Armon Binns, Rishard Matthews

Cuts: Marvin McNutt, Kenny Stafford, Brian Tyms, Chad Bumphis, Jeff Fuller, Jasper Collins

It should be interesting to see how the receiver position plays out for the remainder of camp. The top three positions are locks. The fourth, Armon Binns’ presumed spot, feels close to becoming one.

The fifth spot, however, could be up for grabs. It’ll take a consistent effort from one of the projected cuts, though, because Rishard Matthews has been a reliable player for the Dolphins and makes his share of plays in practice.

Marvin McNutt, most notably, has had an impressive first four days of camp. If that sustains and carries over to the preseason games, the Dolphins will at least consider making him the fifth receiver or keeping six players at the position.

Offensive Line (9): Jonathan Martin, Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey, John Jerry, Tyson Clabo, Dallas Thomas, Josh Samuda, Lance Louis, Nate Garner

Cuts: Will Yeatman, Andrew McDonald, Jeff Adams, Chandler Burden, Chris Barker, Sam Brenner

The starting five is set for now. That may change if Lance Louis is ever deemed healthy enough to compete at right guard with John Jerry, though.

Beyond the starters, there are questions regarding Miami’s depth. Will Yeatman is one of the listed cuts who has a realistic shot of cracking the 53. And nothing is stopping the Dolphins from only keeping eight offensive linemen.

Plenty will be decided between now and the end of the exhibition slate.

DEFENSE (25)

Defensive Line (8): Cameron Wake, Randy Starks, Paul Soliai, Jared Odrick, Olivier Vernon, Dion Jordan, Vaughn Martin, Kheeston Randall

Cuts: Derrick Shelby, Tracy Robertson, Chris Burnette, Tristan Okpalaugo, Emeka Onyenekwu, A.J. Francis

The Dolphins’ deepest, most-talented unit may feature the most competition this preseason. There appears to be a full-on battle for the starting defensive tackle spot next to Paul Soliai between Jared Odrick and Randy Starks. And Olivier Vernon, who has been the starting right end so far, will have his hands full when Dion Jordan is cleared for full participation in practice.

But the competition doesn’t appear to be nearly as fierce on the fringe of the roster.

If the Dolphins choose to keep eight defensive linemen, it’s hard to envision any of the listed cuts surviving. Keeping a ninth would likely entail Derrick Shelby, who made the team in 2012 as a rookie, sticking on for the second consecutive season.

Linebackers (7): Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler, Koa Misi, Jelani Jenkins, Austin Spitler, Jason Trusnik, Josh Kaddu

Cuts: Michael Clay, Jonathan Freeny, Alonzo Highsmith, David Hinds, Lee Robinson

I have the Dolphins keeping seven linebackers for now. But that could change depending on how the rest of training camp plays out. As we stand, rookie Jelani Jenkins is the only backup who’s a lock, but Spitler and Trusnik have experience and the ability to contribute on special teams.

The Dolphins like Josh Kaddu, but he still needs to make a name for himself during practice and the preseason games.

Cornerback (6): Brent Grimes, Richard Marshall, Dimitri Patterson, Jamar Taylor, Will Davis, Nolan Carroll

Cuts: R.J. Stanford, De’Andre Presley, Julian Posey

Cornerback is a tricky position to read right now in Miami. The two starters–Brent Grimes and Richard Marshall–aren’t going anywhere. And neither are rookies Jamar Taylor and Will Davis.

Dimitri Patterson is owed $4.5 million in 2013, but so far he’s been one of the team’s top three corners. Meanwhile, Nolan Carroll has been a significant contributor in the past and is a cheap player to keep around. Eventually, the Dolphins might choose to keep just one of them, but for now, both Patterson and Carroll make it on.

Safety (4): Reshad Jones, Chris Clemons, Jimmy Wilson, Kelcie McCray

Cuts: Don Jones, Jordan Kovacs, Keelan Johnson

There is realistically one available spot up for grabs at safety. Jimmy Wilson and Kelcie McCray currently make up the second-team safety tandem. I suspect Wilson is fairly safe in that role, but McCray is far from a lock.

As a seventh-round pick, Don Jones will have the opportunity to compete for that fourth and final safety opening during the preseason.

SPECIAL TEAMS (3): Dan Carpenter K, Brandon Fields P, John Denney LS

Cuts: Caleb Sturgis K

If it’s a fair fight, Dan Carpenter is running away with the competition at kicker right now.

Rookie Caleb Sturgis shouldn’t panic, though. He has time to catch up. And if he can get hot in time for the preseason games, he still has an excellent opportunity to win the job.

THE ROSTER BUBBLE

Last five on: Nolan Carroll, Dimitri Patterson, Jorvorskie Lane, Nate Garner, Josh Kaddu

First five off: Derrick Shelby, Marvin McNutt, Michael Egnew, Caleb Sturgis, Jonathan Freeny

Next five off: Don Jones, Will Yeatman, Jonas Gray, Evan Rodriguez, Kyle Miller


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2 Responses to “Miami Dolphins 53-Man Roster Snapshot 1.0”

  1. Kyle says:

    I agree with most but I would really like to see Egnew get 1 more chance in the regular season

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