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Dolphins Depth Chart Bubble Watch, V. 5

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So we're now halfway through the preseason.  And we've already seen the ax drop down for several players.  With the recent roster moves by the Dolphins, it seems like a good time to update our "depth chart bubble watch."

The idea behind this is simple - to put together a projected 53-man roster and to highlight which players I feel are on pace to just barely make the team and which just miss the cut.  And it's important to note that this is not how I predict the roster will look once the preseason comes to a close.  Instead, it's simply a snapshot that examines how Miami's 53-man roster might look if the cuts were to be done at this very moment.

The depth chart and some notes can be found below right after the jump...

1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team
QB Chad Pennington Chad Henne Pat White
RB Ronnie Brown Ricky Williams Patrick Cobbs/Lex Hilliard
FB Lousaka Polite
WR Ted Ginn Patrick Turner
WR Davone Bess
Greg Camarillo Brian Hartline
TE Anthony Fasano David Martin John Nalbone
LT Jake Long Andrew Gardner
LG Justin Smiley Brandon Frye
C Jake Grove Joe Berger
RG Donald Thomas
Shawn Murphy
RT Vernon Carey
1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team
DE Kendall Langford Tony McDaniel
NT Jason Ferguson Paul Soliai
DE Randy Starks
Phillip Merling
Lionel Dotson
SOLB Jason Taylor
Quentin Moses
Erik Walden
ILB Channing Crowder Reggie Torbor
ILB Akin Ayodele
WOLB Joey Porter Cameron Wake
Charlie Anderson
CB Will Allen Vontae Davis Jason Allen
CB Sean Smith
Nathan Jones

S Yeremiah Bell Chris Clemons
S Gibril Wilson Tyrone Culver
1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team
K Dan Carpenter
P Brandon Fields
LS John Denney

PUP: Matt Roth
Last 5 On: Jason Allen, Andrew Gardner, John Nalbone, Erik Walden, Lex Hilliard
First 5 Off: Brandon London, Nate Garner, Anthony Armstrong, Courtney Bryan, Joey Thomas
Next 5 Off: Joey Haynos, William Kershaw, Connor Barth, Rod Wright, Louis Ellis

Some quick thoughts:

  • While I don't think that Lex Hilliard has assured himself a roster spot, things are looking good for the kid.  But I think for the Dolphins to keep a fourth halfback, he'll have to prove he can play on special teams.  Can he?  I'm not too sure.  It's hard to tell from the television broadcast.  But he's certainly big enough (240 pounds) and I think he'll get every opportunity now to prove he can contribute on special teams.
  • I know everybody wants to keep six receivers.  But I don't know if the "numbers game" will allow for it.  The way I see it, the Dolphins will keep 12 players total at the halfback, receiver, and tight end positions.  If Hilliard is going to be on this team, then the Dolphins will have to keep either five receivers and three tight ends OR six receivers and two tight ends.  But I think that the versatility of Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, and Patrick Cobbs will be a possible reason the Dolphins keep five receivers.  Any of those three could line up split out wide as a receiver.  Because of that, keeping six receivers at the expense of a tight end or at the expense of Hilliard seems like an unlikely move.
  • John Nalbone is an excellent blocking tight end - at least from what I could tell from the first two preseason games.  And I think since the Dolphins and Dan Henning like using two tight end sets, I don't see the Dolphins keeping only two tight ends.  Right now, Nalbone has outplayed Joey Haynos.  He's consistently caught the ball in camp (and in the team scrimmage a few weeks back) and, like I said, has really impressed me with his blocking ability.  I'm officially the founder of the John Nalbone bandwagon - hop on while there's still room.
  • Right now I have the Dolphins keeping six outside linebackers on the active roster.  But I could see them keeping only five - making room for either another corner, another inside linebacker, or another defensive linemen.  If that's the case, I think the battle for the last roster spot at OLB will come down to Quentin Moses - who has looked surprisingly good - or Erik Walden - the special teams standout who has been quiet on the field in the base defense.  As much as I like Walden's contributions on special teams, I think Moses has the leg up - if it comes to that, of course.
  • Just say "no" to Connor Barth.  Dan Carpenter - I trust you!  After all, nobody just gets the nickname of DC$ by accident.