The Miami Dolphins made a lot of roster moves this offseason, looking to become more explosive on both offense and defense. The team added several wide receivers, reworked the tight ends, and adjusted the running backs, all while keeping the quarterbacks exactly the same. Let's look at Miami's quarterback and running back depth charts ahead of the 2013 season.
Possibly the easiest of the depth charts to build, the quarterback position will be identical to the 2012 version of the Miami signal callers.
Ryan Tannehill - Miami feels they have found their franchise quarterback, and are trying to do everything they can to give him the weapons he needs for success. The team added to last year's leading receiver, Brian Hartline, by signing Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson, as well as tight end Dustin Keller. Tannehill is poised to have a breakout year this season. Now it's just a matter of execution.
Matt Moore - The Dolphins have one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league. Capable of competing for a starting job, Moore decided to return to the Dolphins in 2013 rather than hit free agency. He will be able to continue to mentor Tannehill, and has the skills to be able to step in at a moment's notice and play at a high level. If anything were to happen to Tannehill this year, Moore is a more than capable backup.
Pat Devlin - Sitting third on the depth chart, Head Coach Joe Philbin's pet is starting to make fans question how long Moore will be with the team. While it's not a declaration that Devlin's play has passed Moore's, it is a thought that Devlin could be good enough to allow Miami to trade Moore if a starter gets hurt early this year. Devlin will continue to develop, and should see plenty of playing time this preseason, and could be set to be the primary backup in 2014.
Technically a position battle, the Dolphins are looking to replace last year's starting running back, Reggie Bush. While nothing was set in stone yet, this "battle" appeared to be over, even before training camp began.
Lamar Miller - The second year runner from the University of Miami appears to be the starter, and has a lot of people excited. He has been described as a Clinton Portis type of runner, and worked hard with Frank Gore this offseason on how to be the feature back. Miller has said his goal is 1,500 yards this season.
Daniel Thomas - Thomas will likely continue to be the second string running back for the third season in a row. He has talent, and he could be an effective ball carrier, but he has to start running with power, avoiding injury, and stop fumbling. He comes into the year as the best pass blocking running back, which is important to the coaching staff, and he should easily make the roster in 2013.
Marcus Thigpen - Thigpen, who has become Miami's primary kickoff and punt returner, may not last very much longer on the running back depth chart. He's starting to see more action over at receiver, and that may be a better fit for Thigpen. Either spot, look for Thigpen to be a larger portion of the offense this year, as compared to last season.
Mike Gillislee (R) - Gillislee should make the roster, and has the potential to develop into into good running back for the Dolphins. He's never going to be an elite runner, but he could be a jack-of-all-trades, do everything running back for Miami. He will be a compliment to Miller and Thomas, and could be the third option at running back when the season starts (assuming Thigpen is a receiver).
Jonas Gray - If anyone has the ability to push out Thomas, it will likely be Gray. After missing all of his rookie year due to injury, Gray returns now trying to prove he can be a power running back. If he can pick up short yardage routinely, and can improve his pass protection, Gray really could make Thomas expendable.
Cameron Marshall (R) - Another running back who should be a power back for the Dolphins, Marshall has to prove that he is able to stay healthy, and has to try to fix the fact that he runs too upright. He does not have the lateral quickness you might want to see in a running back, but he can break off an occasional decent long run.
The Dolphins like fullbacks and intend to use them in pass blocking and as a lead blocker on runs. The problem is, they may not keep a true fullback on the roster, using a tight end as the lead blocker instead.
Jorvorskie Lane - Lane gets the nod ahead of Rodriguez because he is the incumbent, having a season in the offensive system, and his tie to offensive coordinator Mike Sherman. However, he has to show the power that made fans excited about him in last preseason, but disappeared in the regular season. He also has to prove he can be a pass catching threat regularly out of the backfield. If Miami decides to keep a fullback, Lane will likely be it, but there are no guarantees.
Evan Rodriguez - Joining Miami off waivers from the Chicago Bears, Rodriguez was expected to be a fullback/tight end for the Bears, which is the versatility the coaching staff in Miami likes. If he is able to prove he can fit the offensive system, he has a chance to unseat Lane, and possibly make the roster.