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Dolphins depth chart update - 3/14/16

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Free agency is slowing, and the Miami Dolphins are looking into players but not rushing to sign them. We update the team's depth chart based on what we know right now.

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The Miami Dolphins have had a busy first week of the new NFL league year, starting with the two-day "legal tampering" period and continuing through free agency and trades, with the addition of players like defensive end Mario Williams, cornerback Byron Maxwell, linebacker Kiko Alonso, and offensive linemen Sam Young, Jermon Bushrod, and Jacques McClendon. The free agency period is slowing down now, with the frenzy of the initial signings now turning to the second round of the period, where teams and players are more deliberate, with a player visiting potential teams and weighing choices before making a decision.

The Dolphins are waiting for a decision by the Denver Broncos on whether or not they will match the offer sheet to which Miami signed running back C.J. Anderson. Denver has until Tuesday to make a decision, and they may decide they want to match the 4-year, $18 million contract Miami has offered, but it might be tough for them against the salary cap.

We have updated the Dolphins' current roster, placing the 68 signed players plus Anderson, into a position-by-position depth chart. This chart is based on what we know about the Dolphins' roster, as well as what we think we know. Questions like will Bushrod actually be a guard are still to be answered, but we will not know until training camp and into the preseason.

Offense (32)

Quarterback (3)

  1. Ryan Tannehill
  2. Logan Thomas
  3. Zac Dysert

The Dolphins should be looking to add another player here, someone who can push Thomas at the least, and Tannehill at the most. That may come from a late round draft pick, but the team has met with Brandon Weeden and could still be looking at a free agent possibility.

Running back (4)

  1. C.J. Anderson (Offer sheet, Denver Broncos have until Tuesday to match)
  2. Jay Ajayi
  3. Damien Wiliams
  4. Jahwan Edwards

Assuming the signing of Anderson officially happens, with the Broncos not matching, then the team is probably done at running back though adding a rookie in the draft or as an undrafted free agent is not out of the realm of possibility. If the Broncos do match, look for Miami to get back into the free agent market to try to find the compliment to Ajayi.

Wide Receiver (9)

  1. Jarvis Landry
  2. DeVante Parker
  3. Kenny Stills
  4. Matt Hazel
  5. A.J. Cruz
  6. Tyler Davis
  7. Tyler Murphy
  8. Robert Herron
  9. Christion Jones

The team will probably be happy with the wide receiver group for now. Landry, Parker, Stills can fill the top three positions, and the club could either stick with Hazel and another receiver as the depth options, or they could try to find another fourth/fifth wide receiver later in free agency or late in the Draft.

Tight End (4)

  1. Jordan Cameron
  2. Dion Sims
  3. Jake Stoneburner
  4. Dominique Jones

The tight end position seems pretty well set.

Tackle (4)

  1. Branden Albert (Left tackle)
  2. Ja'Wuan James (Right tackle)
  3. Sam Young
  4. Ulrick John

The Dolphins will start with Albert and James in the top two spots and Young likely filling the swing tackle role for depth. John could find his way on the 53-man roster, but is probably destined for the practice squad again, continuing to develop.

Guard (6)

  1. Jermon Bushrod
  2. Billy Turner
  3. Dallas Thomas
  4. Jamil Douglas
  5. Vinston Painter
  6. Anthony Steen

The guard position was one of the top question marks coming into the offseason, and it still is a question mark after a week of free agency. The team added tackle Bushrod, with plans to make him a guard. Head coach Adam Gase was the offensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears last year, with Bushrod on the offensive line. If anyone knows if the move to guard is feasible, it is Gase. The trio of Turner, Thomas, and Douglas will be left to fight over the other guard position, though Miami probably needs to find another guard, either in free agency or very early in the Draft.

Center (2)

  1. Mike Pouncey
  2. Jacques McCLendon

McClendon coming back to the team gives Miami a backup center. Will he remain with the club?

Defense (34)

Defensive end (7)

  1. Cameron Wake
  2. Mario Williams
  3. Terrence Fede
  4. Damontre Moore
  5. Jordan Williams
  6. Julius Warmsley
  7. Cleyon Laing

Wake, Williams, Fede are the top defensive ends, with Miami trying to find another player to sign. The team seems to want to make Wake more of a pass rush specialist, rather than an every-down defensive end, similar to the role Jason Taylor had near the end of his career. The addition of another defensive end could allow that, or the team could try to turn Fede into that role. Laing will be interesting to watch as he converts from the Canadian Football League to the NFL. The Dolphins also could have Dion Jordan to mix into this group, if he is reinstated next month and if he proves he wants to return to football.

Defensive tackle (6)

  1. Ndamukong Suh
  2. Jordan Phillips
  3. Earl Mitchell
  4. Deandre Coleman
  5. Robert Thomas II
  6. Charles Tuaau

Suh clearly is the starter in one of the defensive end positions. Phillips and Mitchell will likely split the duties next to Suh though the team could still release Mitchell to pick up $2.5 million in salary cap space, or $3 million if the make him a post-June 1 cut. Personally, I thought the team would show more interest in Paul Soliai, but so far, there has not been much to tie the two teams together.

Linebacker (9)

  1. Koa Misi (Strongside)
  2. Kiko Alonso (Middle)
  3. Jelani Jenkins (Weakside)
  4. Chris McCain
  5. Neville Hewitt
  6. Zach Vigil
  7. Mike Hull
  8. James-Michael Johnson
  9. Terrell Manning

The Dolphins are betting on Alonso to return to his Buffalo Bills, Rookie of the Year, form, rather than the injury-plagued years he has had since. Jenkins and Misi will likely be the starting linebackers on the outside. Adding another linebacker to challenge for one of those positions is not out of the question. McCain, Hewitt, Vigil, and Hull all can find a way to establish themselves as viable backups or even push for a starting role in training camp.

Cornerback (7)

  1. Byron Maxwell
  2. Jamar Taylor
  3. Bobby McCain
  4. Tony Lippett
  5. Damarr Aultman
  6. Tyler Patmon
  7. Chimdi Chekwa

This may be the biggest concern still on the Dolphins roster, even larger than the guard position. Maxwell will be one of the starting cornerbacks, but after that, the team still has major concerns. Taylor has not played up to expectations thus far in his career. McCain is probably a nickel cornerback option, but could struggle if made to start as an outside cornerback. Lippett has shown flashes, but is still working to convert from wide receiver to cornerback, and Aultman is just starting that conversion. Cornerback should be a consideration for the first pick in next month's Draft, even if another cornerback is signed in free agency.

Safety (5)

  1. Reshad Jones
  2. Isa Abdul-Quddus
  3. Michael Thomas
  4. Walt Aikens
  5. Shamiel Gary

The addition of Abdul-Quddus sets up the safety position with Jones and Abdul-Quddus as the starters, with Thomas and Aikens likely the primary backups. Adding a safety in the Draft as depth is possible, but do not expect a lot of change here.

Special Teams (3)

Kicker (1)

  1. Andrew Franks

Punter (1)

  1. Matt Darr

Long Snapper (1)

  1. John Denney

Not much to say about the special teams players. The team is not going to make a lot of changes here.