The 2015 NFL Preseason is moving into the third week of games, and the final slate of games before the first round of roster cuts. To get ready for the next game, which for the Miami Dolphins will be a home game against the Atlanta Falcons, we update our Dolphins 53-man roster projection.
No changes here, though Moore has not exactly instilled confidence with his play in the first two preseason games. Tannehill has a stat line for the first two Preseason games of 18-for-22 for 158 yards and two touchdowns, giving him a 126.9 passer rating. In comparison, Moore is 10-for-20 for 98 yards with a touchdown and an interception, giving him a 60.0 passer rating.
It's not as if McLeod Bethel-Thompson (10-for-18 for 117 yards, 2 INTs, 35.9 passer rating) or Josh Freeman (6-for-21 for 132 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 29.6 rate) are making any case for themselves. The Dolphins' opening day roster seems set at quarterback, with Tannehill and Moore locked into the 53-man roster.
Running Backs (4)
No changes. Miller is the starter, and Williams appears set to be the primary backup. James is working as the primary kick and punt returner, and, while Ajayi has been held out of the Preseason due to a hamstring issue, he is likely in position to make the roster based on being drafted. Mike Gillislee is still fighting for his roster position.
Change: Add Gerell Robinson, Drop Jake Stoneburner. Cameron and Sims are nearly co-starters at this point, depending on which package Miami brings out early in the contest. The Robinson-Stoneburner debate could go either way, and will be interesting to watch on Saturday. Both players have the talent to be the third tight end on the roster, so it just comes down to which one is more consistent.
Wide Receiver (5)
Change: Drop Michael Preston. This change was pretty straight forward, given that the Dolphins released Preston after the team's game against the Carolina Panthers last Saturday. Matt Hazel and Damarr Aultman could make an argument to move this back up to a six wide receiver group, but for now, we are going with five on the projection.
Offensive Linemen (9)
No changes, though adding another offensive lineman is not out of the picture, especially with Fox injured now. Assuming his concussion issues are not a problem by the time the season begins, the Dolphins keep nine players in this projection.
Defensive Ends (4)
No changes. This seems to be a pretty straight forward personnel group at this point.
Defensive Tackles (5)
No change. We updated the previous version of the projection when safety Louis Delmas was lost for the season, which resulted in Anthony Johnson dropping out of this group. He is still probably a bubble player, but Francis looked good last Saturday, and should have locked up his roster spot and made it less likely Johnson can make the roster. If Miami were to switch Mosley for Johnson, it would not be overly surprising.
No Change. This is another spot where I almost used the Preston roster spot, adding Mike Hull to the roster, but decided against it. I think the seven linebackers are fairly well set - depending on how long it takes Tripp to return to 100 pecent from his foot injury.
Change: Drop Zack Bowman, Add Tony Lippett. Another close call, but Bowman seems to have slipped in favor a little, now landing on the wrong side of the cut line. Lippett has a ton of potential, but probably is not ready for full responsibility as a cornerback, having played wide receiver in college. The skills are there, it is just a matter of refining at this point. He could be a practice squad candidate, but the team really seems to like him, and protecting him on the 53-man roster seems to make sense.
Add: Don Jones. The Preston spot lands in the secondary at this point, adding Jones to the roster. He is a special teams guru, and someone the Dolphins could use as he gets healthy. He adds some depth to the safety position, which is needed, and could allow Miami to use Thomas at cornerback as well, if needed. Cedric Thompson is a potential addition here as well, but he has not shown a lot lately, and seems to be on the wrong side of the bubble.
Punter: Brandon Fields
Kicker: Caleb Sturgis
Long Snapper: John Denney
No changes. Sturgis holds on to his roster spot ahead of Andrew Franks.
Offensive Total: 23
Defensive Total: 27
Specialist Total: 3