The 2015 NFL season has officially begun for the Miami Dolphins as the team reported to training camp this morning. Earlier today, we took a look at the full roster for the Dolphins as training camp begins. Now, we are going to project how the 53-man roster will look when training camp and the preseason are complete.
The NFL's rules limit teams to 90 players during the offseason and training camp. The first change to this limit, moving from 90 players to a 75-player limit, will come on September 1 this season. The second change, which will drop the roster limit to the regular season's 53-man roster size, will occur on September 5.
Our projection for the Dolphins' 53-man roster is:
Running Backs (4)
Tight Ends (3)
Wide Receivers (6)
Offensive Linemen (9)
Defensive Ends (4)
Defensive Tackles (5)
Special Teams (3)
Long Snapper (1)
When I made my first set of cuts, I landed at 60 players still on the roster. The final seven players were harder to choose who to cut. Some of there players could absolutely make an argument to land on the roster, but I just simply ran out of space for them. The final seven cuts were:
Tim Semisch, tight end
Anthony Johnson, defensive tackle
Mike Hull, linebacker
Tony Lippett, cornerback
Don Jones, safety
Michael Liedtke, offensive line
Emmanuel Dieke, defensive end
The practice squad is still a possibility for several of them, especially a player like Lippett, who I would really like to see make the roster but just made need more time converting from a college wide receiver to an NFL cornerback. Jones making the roster would not surprise me, especially if the team is looking for special teams help.
I went heavy on keeping secondary players, and maybe that is a factor of seeing how many cornerbacks were injured last year. I intended to keep 10 offensive linemen, but Liedtke had to be cut in order to make the numbers work. I also don't like having just four defensive ends, but again, it came down to numbers.
Some of the places I could see an additional cut to put someone else back on the roster include wide receiver (Matt Hazel), linebacker (Jordan Tripp or Spencer Paysinger - though that would mean only carrying five linebackers), and cornerback (Zack Bowman).
This was tougher at times than I thought it would be this offseason. There are some really good depth players who ended up not on the list; players who, by the end of training camp and the preseason could play themselves back onto the list. There will be a lot of change between now and the September 5, 53-man roster cut day, and I am sure you would make the roster in a slightly different manner than I have. Where do you see Miami building their squad differently? Where would you take a risk by making one position group smaller so another can be bigger?