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Dolphins depth chart: Breaking down Miami's roster II - Defensive ends

We continue to part two of our Miami Dolphins roster breakdown, looking now at the defensive ends.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 version of the Miami Dolphins may not yet bet fully complete, but the 90-man roster, of which Miami currently has 89 spot filled, does provide most of the players who will make the 53-man roster when the season starts. While there will still be some changes - and some of those could very easily make the roster - the current status of the team allows for a fairly comprehensive breakdown of exactly how the Dolphins' depth chart will stack up this year.

The first part of the roster breakdown series, looking at the quarterbacks, published yesterday. Today, the breakdown jumps to the other side of the ball, looking at the defensive ends. This is, oddly, a position of strength and concern for the Dolphins. There are age and injury concerns - two items that are not mutually exclusive - and there are depth concerns. The team may end up cutting a talented player by the time training camp and the Preseason end, but they could also be considering adding additional pass rushers between now and the start of camp. It is not the clearest of positions to try to understand for Miami right now.


Cameron Wake - 8th year
Mario Williams - 11th year

The starters are obvious when it comes to the defensive end position. The only question will be Wake's availability at the start of the season after tearing his Achilles' tendon midway through last year - though everything seems to point toward him being ready by Week 1. Williams comes in to replace Olivier Vernon, and, while he has a reputation of "checking out" on the Bills last year, a return to his natural defensive end position (rather than playing outside linebacker) should put him back into a comfort zone and getting him ready to return to being a fearsome pass rusher.


Andre Branch - 5th year
Terrence Fede - 3rd year
Chris McCain - 3rd year

The Dolphins have a talented group of young defensive ends to develop behind Wake and Williams. Branch comes out of Jacksonville, where he has been described as a "pass rusher who is not good at rushing the passer" but he is strong against the run. They also describe him as a "classic 'clean up' pass rusher, in that someone else does the creating and he ends up picking up the prize," which, with the development of a edge setter, could describe some of how Olivier Vernon played for the Dolphins (though OV did start creating more last year after Wake was injured). Fede is still developing, but should be in position to take over the Derrick Shelby role this year, and McCain, who seems to be settling into a defensive end role after being a hybrid linebacker/defensive end the last couple years, both provide Miami with potential future starters.

Bubble Watch

Cleyon Laing - 1st year

The Dolphins could be hoping Laing, who spent three seasons with the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts, follows in the same footsteps as Wake, who spent two years with the BC Lions in the CFL. Laing is likely a practice squad player, but Miami may have to find a way to keep him on the roster if he flashes at all this offseason and they want to protect him. Laing reportedly had multiple teams interested in him this offseason, with Miami winning because of Wake and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Practice Squad

Farrington Huguenin - Rookie (UDFA)

Huguenin was seen as a 3-4 defensive end prior to the Draft, someone who is stronger against the run, playing inside a pass rusher. The Dolphins could look to develop him either as a pass rusher or move him inside to defensive tackle.

The Rest

Julius Warmsley - 2nd year
Jordan Williams - 2nd year

53-man roster (7/53)

Quarterbacks (2)
Ryan Tannehill
Matt Moore

Defensive ends (5)
Cameron Wake
Mario Williams
Andre Branch
Terrence Fede
Chris McCain

Bubble Watch

Cleyon Laing - defensive end

Practice squad (2/10)

Brandon Doughty (rookie) - Quarterback
Farrington Huguenin (rookie)- Defensive end