Three weeks ago, we took a look at the Dolphins' roster and developed who should make the final cuts. Now, three weeks later, the team is facing their first set of roster cuts on Monday. Every NFL team must be down to an 80-man roster, from the 90 men they are allowed to carry now, by Monday, with the final roster cuts, to get down to the 53-man roster, four days later.
With these roster cuts getting ready to start coming quickly, it's time to relook the possible 53-man roster.
To remind you, this is not necessarily how I see the roster ending up. This is not necessarily a true "depth chart." This is how I see the roster right at this moment, if all the roster cuts were completed today, giving us a 53-man roster.
The biggest issue with a lot of the decisions is trying to guess where the Dolphins will accept risk, and where they will carry the extra guy.
Another consideration is who is eligible for the practice squad, and who would I try to snatch off someone's PPS if I were another team's GM. That's the sole reason why I think Pat Devlin makes the team. He's not ready to be an NFL quarterback, but he could develop. And, if Miami puts him on the PS, he's going to be signed by someone who can afford to stash him on their 53-man roster.
And then there are acorns. From the history of the Dolphins over the last few years, Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland are going to be active as players get released. It is very possible that a lot of these players will not make the team simply because the Dolphins found some other team's cut to replace them .
On to the roster:
Lex Hilliard / Larry Johnson
Last 5 On: Mickey Shuler, Frank Kearse, Nate Ness, Ikaika Alama-Francis, Marlon Moore
First 5 Off: Nic Grigsby, Phillip Livas, Brett Brackett , Nolan Carroll, Will Allen
Next 5 Off: Ray Feinga, Jeron Mastrud, Ryan Baker, Allen Barbre, Ronald Field
- I think Nic Grigsby could make the roster if Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas had the experience as a feature back that the Dolphins appear to be trying to find. With the signing of Larry Johnson, I think there's a very good chance Grigsby ends up on the practice squad.
- I go back and forth between keeping Mastrud or Shuler. I give then nod to Shuler right now, simply because the Dolphins have him listed ahead of Mastrud on their most recent depth chart.
- Brackett almost makes the team as well, but I think due to Clay's ability to eventually become a portion of the tight end rotation, it makes carrying three tight ends unlikely.
- I worry about Livas. I think he has some talent, and could make this team any year before this year. But, with the new NFL kick off rule, the need for a kick return specialist is gone. Hopefully he can be stashed on the practice squad.
- I'm still very uncomfortable with the offensive line. I slid Jerry into the "first team" role and, even though this isn't supposed to be a true depth chart projection, I am beginning to think it's possible he beats out Carey. Although, neither one of them look good. I would not be at all surprised if Jerry starts at right guard, Carey pics up right tackle again, Colombo becomes the backup right tackle, and Garner serves as the number two right guard and the number three right tackle. I also let Ray Feinga go, losing a backup left guard. But, I think Miami has enough flexibility to put someone else in there if need be.
- Kearse could fall through and end up on the practice squad, in which case, Fields makes it back on the team. But, I think the Dolphins will keep Kearse due to his size and to allow him to develop behind Soliai.
- I think Carroll is the odd man out at cornerback. Someone has to go, and I just think Sapp and Ness will end up making the team, and Carroll is shown the door.
- I tried hard to find a way to Will Allen, but just don't see it. I think Allen's days in Miami may be numbered, which is sad because last night he actually looked pretty good on the field.
Well, that's my swing at the 53-man roster. Tell me what you think.