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Dolphins depth chart: 2016 Training camp update 1

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We update the depth chart for the Miami Dolphins based on the first five days of training camp.

NFL: Miami Dolphins-Training Camp Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have their first off-day of training camp today, which gives us a chance to take a look back at the last week and analyze what we have learned. The easiest way to do that is to take a look at the Dolphins’ depth chart, and see where players have moved around.

Below we will work through all of the positions, highlighting any changes from the last set of depth chart predictions we made, and provide some comments on why we are making those changes. Feel free to discuss our depth chart, as well as any changes you would make to it, in the comments at the end of the article.

Quarterback

1. Ryan Tannehill
2. Matt Moore
3. Brandon Doughty
4. Zac Dysert

Changes: Dolphins waive Logan Thomas.

Remarks: No real changes here. Tannehill will remain the starter throughout camp and the season, with Moore the backup. The biggest question here is whether or not the Dolphins will keep three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, which will determine whether or not Doughty stays with the club.

Running back

1. Jay Ajayi
2. Arian Foster
3. Isaiah Pead
4. Kenyan Drake
5. Damien Williams
6. Daniel Thomas

Changes: Arian Foster signed. Foster slides into the second position and will battle Ajayi for the top spot. Ajayi is currently sidelined with a bone bruise, and Foster took the bulk of the starter reps on Tuesday. Pead seems to have jumped up the depth chart, having taking the majority of the first-team reps on Monday, with Foster limited as the team worked him back from a brief stint on the Physically Unable to Perform list and Ajayi’s knee injury. He may not remain in that spot, but he at least seems to have caught the coaches’ eyes early in camp. Drake falls to fifth after being second, mostly from the signing of Foster and Pead’s move up the chart. Williams is a question mark, with the team having to place him on the PUP list to start camp after he failed the conditioning test (possibly due to a hamstring issue). Thomas could still work his way onto the roster, and Gase likes Thomas from Thomas’ brief stint with the Chicago Bears last year, but he has not necessarily stood out in the first week of camp.

Wide receiver

1. Jarvis Landry
2. DeVante Parker
3. Kenny Stills
4. Leonte Carroo
5. Jakeem Grant
6. Matt Hazel
7. Griff Whalen
8. Tyler Murphy
9. Brandon Shippen
10. Rashawn Scott
11. A.J. Cruz

Changes: None.

Remarks: Really, the question for the wide receivers is not as much about the order on the depth chart, but rather where the cut line is. The top five seem set, with Landry, Parker, and Stills claiming the top three, and rookies Carroo and Grant making up the next two (in whichever order you want to list them). Hazel and Whalen seem to have the best shot to force the team to keep six receivers, but they may need to prove they have a special teams role to make that happen.

Tight end

1. Jordan Cameron
2. Dion Sims
3. Thomas Duarte
4. Gabe Hughes
5. MarQueis Gray
6. Dominique Jones

Changes: Dolphins waive Jake Stoneburner. Stoneburner being waived was a little surprise early in training camp. He should have been in the running for the third tight end role, but it appears the team is going to go with one of the rookies in that spot - we will give it to Duarte at this point. Hughes could challenge for the spot, while Gray and Jones could also factor into the competition as well. Cameron and Sims should be solid in the top two positions.

Offensive line

LT: Branden Albert
LG: Dallas Thomas
C: Mike Pouncey
RG: Billy Turner
RT: Ja’Wuan James

6. Laremy Tunsil
7. Jermon Bushrod
8. Sam Young
9. Kraig Urbik
10. Jacques McCledon
11. Jamil Douglas
12. Ulrick John
13. Ruben Carter
14. Vinston Painter
15. Anthony Steen

Changes: Tunsil to second team, Thomas to starting RG.

Remarks: The left tackle, center, and right tackle starters are locked in with Albert, Pouncey, and James in those positions, respectively. The guard spots are up for grabs, with Thomas currently looking like the starting right guard and Turner at left guard. Tunsil will still factor into the battle, and should overtake Thomas at right guard by the time the season starts, but for now, Thomas appears to be the starter. The left guard position battle could also include Bushrod and Thomas, assuming Tunsil takes over the left guard spot. Young appears to be the swing tackle for the team this year, but he has not been a major focal point so far (which may actually be a good thing). The rest of the group is fighting to earn a reserve role when cuts start happening.

Defensive end

1. Cameron Wake
2. Mario Williams
3. Andre Branch
4. Chris McCain
5. Jason Jones
6. Terrence Fede
7. Dion Jordan
8. Cleyon Laing
9. Jordan Williams
10. Julius Warmsley
11. Farrington Huguenin

Changes: Dolphins sign Jason Jones. NFL reinstates Dion Jordan. Fede falling to sixth.

Remarks: The defensive end position may be the deepest position on the roster - only challenged by wide receiver if the young receivers prove they are NFL-ready. Wake and Williams remain the starters, though the team also is giving Branch plenty of first-team reps and most likely will be looking to make Wake more of a “pass-rush specialist” this year. McCain has been on a tear early in camp, and should finally find some playing time this year, which will likely be a great thing for the defense. Jones, who was signed in May, has looked really good early in camp, moving into fifth spot. Fede may be the surprise, simply because he has not been the impact-making defensive end he was expected to be coming into camp. It is early and he could find his way into that role at some point, but for now, he may be sitting right on the cut line. Jordan is the wildcard right now, and no one knows what the team will get from him when he comes back from his knee injury.

Defensive tackle

1. Ndamukong Suh
2. Earl Mitchell
3. Jordan Phillips
4. Chris Jones
5. Deandre Coleman

Changes: Dolphins waive Charles Tuaau.

Remarks: Suh is obviously number one at the position. The second spot appears to be Mitchell’s right now, but he could be overtaken by Phillips. Whichever order to want to put those two does not really matter. Jones and Coleman are battling for the reserve spots, and their roster spot may be determined primarily by how many defensive ends the team keeps.

Linebacker

WLB: Jelani Jenkins
MLB: Kiko Alonso
SLB: Koa Misi
4. Neville Hewitt
5. Spencer Paysinger
6. Mike Hull
7. Zach Vigil
8. James-Michael Johnson
9. James Burgess
10. Akil Blount
11. Tyler Gray

Changes: Dion Jordan moved to defensive end. Zach Vigil falls.

Remarks: Jordan probably should be a linebacker, but he appears to be a defensive end, based on his size, so he is moved back to defensive end. Vigil has fallen down the depth chart, mostly because he is stuck on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Otherwise, Jenkins, Misi, and Alonso will be the starters, followed by Hewitt, Paysinger, and Hull. The bottom four on the list will battle for a depth spot or a practice squad position.

Cornerback

  1. Bryon Maxwell

2. Tony Lippett
3. Bobby McCain
4. Xavien Howard
5. Chimdi Chekwa
6. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
7. Jordan Lucas
8. Brandon Harris
9. Rashaan Melvin
10. Lafayette Pitts

Changes: Dolphins sign Brandon Harris. Dolphins sign Rashaan Melvin. Dolphins waive Tyler Patmon. Tony Lippett to second position. Xavien Howard to fourth spot. Jordan Lucas to seventh position.

Remarks: The cornerback position is the biggest question mark on the team right now, both trying to figure out who will man where on the depth chart, and trying to find healthy players. Maxwell still holds the top spot, while Lippett appears to be moving into the second position as Howard misses practice time due to offseason knee surgery. McCain still holds the third spot on the depth chart, but may have been unseated as the nickel cornerback by safety Michael Thomas. Chekwa saw time with the first team on Tuesday, which could be a sign he is moving up the depth chart. Ekpre-Olomu will continue to fight for playing time. Lucas disappointed some early in camp, but has enough time to show growth as a rookie. Harris, Melvin, and Pitts need to make a special teams contribution if they are to stay on the roster.

Safety

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

Changes: None.

Remarks: Jones is the top safety on the roster and will start primarily as a strong safety. Working the other position, typically playing free safety, will likely be Abdul-Quddus, though Thomas has seen some playing time as the starter as well. Thomas will see playing time, even if he is not starting at safety, as he is expanding his role to include work at nickel cornerback. Aikens will need to continue to make an impact on special teams, as will Gary and Hendy if they want to stay on the roster.

Special Teams

Long Snapper
1. John Denney
2. Ryan DiSalvo

Kicker
1. Andrew Franks
2. Marshall Koehn

Punter
1. Matt Darr

Changes: None.

Remarks: Denney will likely remain with the team, though DiSalvo could challenge as he settles into camp, or could end up as a possible practice squad player. Franks has clearly pulled ahead of Koehn in any kicking battle. Darr is unopposed this year and is looking good early in camp.