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, running back Senorise Perry, and tight end MarQueis Gray, and offensive lineman Ted Larsen. Today, we take a look at defensive end Andre Branch.
Branch, who turns 29 today, started 14 games for the Dolphins last year, his second year with the club. He recorded 23 tackles with 4.5 sacks and a pass defensed during the season. He sustained a knee injury during the season, missing two games, an injury that led to offseason surgery.
Why he will progress
The knee injury (and a groin issue) should be behind him now, so that alone should be able to help Branch look more like the player Miami expected him to be when they signed him to a new contract last offseason. The Dolphins added Robert Quinn this offseason, which should give them a rotation that will feature Cameron Wake, Charles Harris, and Quinn to go along with Branch, keeping everyone fresh and able to play to their strengths.
Why he might regress
If recovery from the knee injury and surgery is not 100 percent, that could slow Branch down. He could also see less playing time if Quinn and Harris are able to become star pass rushers in Miami.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
Branch will be on the roster this season, that should not be an issue. Where he is in the defensive end rotation could be the only debate. Branch may have the early lead in the right defensive end position battle, though Quinn or Harris could claim it with a strong preseason.