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Dolphins depth chart projection 2016: Breaking down Miami's roster XI - Special teams

Part eleven of our breakdown of the Miami Dolphins' roster and a projection of the depth chart for 2016.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have completed their first set of Organized Team Activities. The first set of practices will not make or break any player's chances of making the final roster, but it has allowed coaches - and for one day media members - a chance to start evaluating how the team's roster could shake out when final cuts are due in September.

We have been working our way through the Dolphins' 90-man offseason roster, projecting how the 53-man roster and depth chart may look when the regular season finally arrives. There will, of course, be changes between now and then, with injuries, breakout play, and roster churning all factoring into the final decision, but we can get a fairly decent projection based on what we know as of right now.

We move on to part eleven of the breakdown, turning to the special teams this afternoon.


Matt Darr - Punter - 2nd year
Andrew Franks - Kicker - 2nd year
John Denney - 12th year

Darr and Franks surprised last year when the Dolphins decided to go with undrafted free agent rookies at both kicking positions, especially Darr who beat out a former Pro Bowler in Brandon Fields. Darr does not have competition on the roster right now, while Franks does have an undrafted free agent who could challenge him. Marshall Koehn could win the job, but Franks gets the nod for now as the known commodity.

Denney enters the season as a player who has been with the team since it was formed in 1966. Or, at least it feels like that. Denney has just always been with the team, and he has not appeared to lose a step. How long has Denney actually been with the team? When he was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2005, Wayne Huizenga owned the team, Nick Saban was the head coach and Jason Garrett was the quarterbacks coach. The Dolphins drafted running back Ronnie Brown with the second overall pick, along with defensive end Matt Roth, linebacker Channing Crowder, cornerback Travis Daniels, tackle Anthony Alabi, and defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson. Gus Ferrotte was the leading passer for the team, Chris Chambers and Randy McMichael were the leading receiving threats, and the defense included Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Sam Madison, Yeremiah Bell, and Junior Seau. Wes Welker made his first career start that season for the Dolphins. NFL Network Dolphins hater Heath Evans spent six games with Miami in 2005. Yeah, Denney has been with the team for a while.



Bubble Watch


Practice Squad

Ryan DiSalvo - Rookie (UDFA)

Yes, a long snapper is landing on the practice squad. Denney is entering his 12th season in the league, and at some point, Miami is going to have to find someone to replace him whenever he retires. The team could just be bringing DiSalvo into camp to ensure the 37-year-old Denney does not have to play as many snaps in the preseason, but stashing DiSalvo onto the practice squad and letting him develop could be an option as well - and one that could pay dividends for when Denney does retire.

The Rest

Marshall Koehn - Rookie (UDFA)

53-man roster prediction (51/53)

Quarterbacks (2)

Ryan Tannehill
Matt Moore

Running back (4)

Jay Ajayi
Kenyan Drake
Damien Williams
Daniel Thomas

Wide receiver (5)

Jarvis Landry
DeVante Parker
Kenny Stills
Leonte Carroo
Jakeem Grant

Tight ends (3)

Jordan Cameron
Dion Sims
Thomas Duarte

Offensive lineman (9)

Branden Albert
Laremy Tunsil
Mike Pouncey
Billy Turner
Ja'Wuan James
Sam Young
Jermon Bushrod
Dallas Thomas
Jamil Douglas

Defensive ends (6)

Cameron Wake
Mario Williams
Andre Branch
Terrence Fede
Chris McCain
Jason Jones (Updated after article)

Defensive tackles (4)

Ndamukong Suh
Earl Mitchell
Jordan Phillips
Chris Jones

Linebackers (6)

Jelani Jenkins
Kiko Alonso
Koa Misi
Neville Hewitt
Zach Vigil
Dion Jordan

Cornerbacks (5)

Byron Maxwell
Xavien Howard
Bobby McCain
Tony Lippett
Jordan Lucas

Safeties (4)

Reshad Jones
Isa Abdul-Quddus
Michael Thomas
Walt Aikens

Punter (1)

Matt Darr

Kicker (1)

Andrew Franks

Long Snapper (1)

John Denney

Bubble Watch

Cleyon Laing - defensive end
Isaiah Pead - running back
Deandre Coleman - defensive tackle
Matt Hazel - wide receiver
Griff Whalen - wide receiver
Spencer Paysinger - linebacker
Jake Stoneburner - tight end
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - cornerback
Shamiel Gary - safety

Practice squad (10/10)

Brandon Doughty (rookie) - quarterback
Farrington Huguenin (rookie)- defensive end
Charles Tuaau - defensive tackle
Tyler Murphy - wide receiver
Rashawn Scott (rookie) - wide receiver
Mike Hull - linebacker
James Burgess (rookie) - linebacker
Gabe Hughes (rookie) - tight end
Ruben Carter (rookie) - guard/center
Ryan DiSalvo (rookie) - long snapper