The Phinsider’s annual 90-in-90 series is back today with another in-depth look at the players who are currently vying to make the Miami Dolphins’ 53-man roster. This series of articles takes a look at each individual on the roster, breaking down how they performed in 2017, why they could progress or regress in 2018, and the odds that the player makes the team when the regular season arrives.
This year, we have already finished the reviews for wide receiver Leonte Carroo, punter Matt Haack, safety T.J. McDonald, running back Buddy Howell, wide receiver DeVante Parker, defensive end William Hayes, wide receiver Isaiah Ford, safety/cornerback Walt Aikens, defensive end Claudy Mathieu, linebacker Kiko Alonso, cornerback Xavien Howard, long snapper Lucas Gravelle, wide receiver Danny Amendola, tight end A.J. Derby, running back Frank Gore, defensive tackle Gabe Wright, wide receiver Kenny Stills, cornerback Tony Lippett, kicker Jason Sanders, kicker Greg Joseph, left tackle Laremy Tunsil, tight end Mike Gesicki, linebacker Raekwon McMillan, running back Kalen Ballage, wide receiver Jakeem Grant, tight end Durham Smythe, quarterback David Fales, wide receiver Albert Wilson, defensive tackle Akeem Spence, linebacker Chase Allen, defensive end Cameron Wake, and running back Senorise Perry. Today, we look at tight end MarQueis Gray.
Gray’s 2017 season was his second in Miami and was spent primarily on special teams, as he sat behind Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano for the majority of the year. After a 2016 season in which Gray recorded 14 receptions for 174 yards, the veteran tight end caught just one pass for ten yards last year. Though he saw some playing time as a blocker and five carries for 14 yards as a fullback, his impact was minimal due to his low spot on the depth chart.
Why he will progress
Both tight ends that were ahead of Gray last season have left the team, meaning Gray will have a true opportunity to battle for more playing time. Virtually every tight end on Miami’s current depth chart is unproven and none are guaranteed a spot on the roster. It’s now Gray’s third year on the Dolphins and his third year under Adam Gase, meaning he has more experience in Miami’s offensive system than anyone else at this position.
Why he might regress
Despite the fact that Thomas and Fasano are no longer on the team, Miami has imported other talent to take their place. The Dolphins spent two draft picks on tight ends (second-round pick Mike Gesicki and four-round pick Durham Smythe), both of whom are likely to have roles in the offense this season. Former Denver Bronco A.J. Derby was brought in late last year and he also has a strong chance at seeing playing time as a pass catcher in Gase’s offense. With the competition sure to take place during training camp, there’s no guarantee that Gray even makes the team this year.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
At this point in time, I’d put Gray’s chances of making the team at slightly above 50-50. Gesicki and Smythe are virtual locks to make the roster given the draft capital Miami spent on them and the fact that, as rookies, they both show plenty of promise. At the position, Miami also has Derby, Gavin Escobar, and Thomas Duarte. I’m giving Gray a slightly better chance at nabbing the third spot on the team because he has more experience in Gase’s system than Derby and Escobar, and because Duarte has routinely failed to surpass Gray in previous years.