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Final Roster Predictions

After a long, grueling training camp and preseason, some players will no longer be Miami Dolphins as of 4 pm eastern on Saturday.  The Dolphins went into Thursday's preseason finale with 66 players on their roster.  They must be down to 53 players by the 4 pm deadline.

Below is my final roster prediction.  I've included some explanations after my prediction.  Check it out and then tell us your final predictions.

1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team
QB Chad Pennington Chad Henne Pat White
RB Ronnie Brown Ricky Williams Patrick Cobbs
FB Lousaka Polite
WR Ted Ginn Greg Camarillo Brandon London
WR Davone Bess
Brian Hartline
Patrick Turner
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
Charlie Anderson
Quentin Moses
ILB Channing Crowder Reggie Torbor
ILB Akin Ayodele
WOLB Joey Porter Cameron Wake
Erik Walden
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: Brandon London, Erik Walden, John Nalbone, Brandon Frye, Quentin Moses
First 5 Off: Lex Hilliard, William Kershaw, Joey Haynos, Courtney Bryan, Nate Garner

Quick explanations:

  • The final roster spot, for me, came down to Brandon London, Lex Hilliard, and William Kershaw.  But I think Kershaw could still make the team if the Dolphins decide to only keep five outside linebackers as opposed to six - possibly in place of Erik Walden or Quentin Moses.  I think they'll try to sneak Hilliard onto the practice squad.  The bottom line is that London is more valuable in terms of the number of plays he sees on gameday because of special teams.  Although, truth be told, regardless of if it's London or Hilliard, I'm not sure either is a lock to be active on gameday.
  • I'm confident that the Dolphins will keep three tight ends.  Some think David Martin could be a surprise cut, but he's still head and shoulders better than either John Nalbone or Joey Haynos.  With the number of two TE sets Dan Henning uses, I don't see why the Dolphins would need to cut Martin.  You could see the Dolphins keep Haynos over Nalbone, though - which would mean Nalbone is a prime practice squad candidate.  But I also wouldn't be shocked to see another team (Kansas City or Cincinnati, for example) poach Nalbone off wiavers.  Both teams have a need at tight end.  I wouldn't even take the risk, if I were the Dolphins - which is why Nalbone is on my final 53.
  • I think Dotson has shown enough to earn a roster spot.  But barring injury, he's likely going to be inactive on most gamedays.
  • I wouldn't be shocked if the Dolphins decided to waive Andrew Gardner in favor of Nate Garner.  If that's the case, the Dolphins would obviously hope to get Gardner on the practice squad.
  • If I had to come up with a list of possible practice squad candidates based on my 53-man roster prediction above, I'd say J.D. Folsom and Lex Hilliard would be locks.  Mark Lewis and James Robinson would be other possibilities.  And I'd expect the Dolphins to go outside the organization for other potential guys.