The Miami Dolphins are just under 36 hours from having to have the roster cut down to the 53-man roster for the regular season. Of course, the rumors continue to float that the Dolphins will be "busy" over the next few days, trading and signing players, so the 53-man roster could have several new faces on it before it's all said and done.
But, this projection will be made based solely on the 75-players on the Dolphins roster this morning.
Continue reading to see my final 53-man roster projection.
Quarterback (3): Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Pat Devlin
Running Back (4): Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas, Lamar Miller, Marcus Thigpen
Wide Receiver (6): Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, Jeff Fuller, Legedu Naanee, B.J. Cunningham, Rishard Matthews
Fullback (1): Jorvorskie Lane
Tight end (3): Anthony Fasano, Charles Clay, Michael Egnew
Tackle (4): Jake Long, Jonathan Martin, Ray Feinga, Will Yeatman
Guard (4): Richie Incognito, Artis Hicks, John Jerry, Nate Garner
Center (2): Mike Pouncey, Josh Samuda
TOTAL OFFENSIVE PLAYERS: 27
Defensive End (5): Jared Odrick, Derrick Shelby, Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, Jamaal Westerman
Defensive Tackle (4): Paul Soliai, Randy Starks, Tony McDaniel. Kheeston Randall
Linebacker (6): Karlos Dansby, Koa Misi, Kevin Burnett, Gary Guyton, Jason Trusnik, Austin Spitler
Cornerback (4): Sean Smith, Richard Marshall, Nolan Carroll, Quinten Lawrence
Safety (4): Chris Clemons, Reshad Jones, Jimmy Wilson, Tyrone Culver
TOTAL DEFENSIVE PLAYERS: 23
Kicker (1): Dan Carpenter
Punter (1): Brandon Fields
Long Snapper (1): John Denney
TOTAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS: 3
All of my changes to this 53-man roster projection comes on the offensive side of the football. I still think there will be changes to the defense, sepcifically the addition of another cornerback, but I am settled on the 23 players I have on defense right now. Also, one thing I flirted with this projection was only keeping two quarterbacks, and putting Devlin back on the practice squad. It would open him to the risk of being poached, but it would also free up a roster position for someone else. The Dolphins could do that, but in the end, I protected him by putting him on the roster.
WR - Obviously, this is the big focus for the Dolphins over the next 36 hours, and there will be some change here. The team could still put Brian Hartline on injured reserve if necessary, making room for someone like Clyde Gates. I've got Naanee back up on the roster after dropping him off before this. I'm still not 100% sure he makes it, but his performance last night, despite the bad drop, was pretty decent. I've brought both drafted rookies onto the 53-man roster as well. I'm of the opinion right now that, if the Dolphins are going to have mediocre play at wide out, they may as well put the rookies in there and let them grow. Like I said with cornerback above, I still think there will be changes here as well.
TE - Jeron Mastrud lost his roster spot on this projection. I would really like to keep him, simply because he adds a blocking capability to the tight end position, but I just dont have space. In the end, Fasano will have to serve as the primary blocking tight end, which, after serving as the second right tackle for a large portion of last season, he should be used to doing.
OT - Mastrud lost his roster spot because I think the Dolphins have to carry more offensive lineman. The injury to Jake Long this week shows just how thin the team is at tackle. I had Will Yeatman beating out Ray Feinga last projection. Now, I have both making the team.
Practice Squad - With the two rookie wide receivers being pulled up to the 53-man roster, two spots open up on the practice squad. The first of those go to 7-Eleven, while the other brings back Brown. Then, and I think this is even more likely than Brown coming back, the team also brings back Alexcih, dropping Kevyn Scott off the practice squad. WR Chris Hogan, OT Andrew McDonald, TE Les Brown, DT Chas Alecxih, DT Isaako Aaitui, LB Josh Kaddu, CB Vincent Agnew, S Anderson Russell