The Miami Dolphins are into their 2018 training camp, preparing for the regular season and trying to find the right 53 players to take onto the roster when the season begins. Currently, the NFL allows teams to carry 90 players on the roster, and we are working our way through those players for the Dolphins, looking at each individually. That look starts with a review of the player’s 2017 season, then why they may progress or regress in 2018, and finally if they will make the 53-man roster.
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, offensive lineman Ted Larsen, defensive end Andre Branch, running back Kenyan Drake, defensive end Quincy Redmon, quarterback Bryce Petty, wide receiver Francis Owusu, defensive end Jonathan Woodard, defensive end Charles Harris, center Connor Hilland, guard Jesse Davis, safety Reshad Jones, and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips. Today, we look at guard Isaac Asiata.
Asiata was basically on a red-shirt season last year, with the team working with him on strength and technique. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by Miami, bringing him to South Florida from Utah. Asiata appeared in the team’s Week 17 game against the Buffalo Bills, his only appearance for 2017.
Why he might progress
Miami deliberately held Asiata out of games last year, despite needing to make changes to the line throughout the season. Their goal was clearly to get him in better position for 2018, and now they should see the payoff from their investment. He should come into the season with the strength and technique they want, and he should fully understand the playbook and his assignments at the guard positions for the offensive line.
Why he might regress
Jesse Davis appears to be the starting right guard and Josh Sitton should be manning the starting left guard spot. Ted Larsen is in position to be the utility interior offensive lineman. That leaves Asiata buried on the depth chart, still looking for a way to get some playing time. The fact that the Dolphins coaches were so adamant last year that Asiata needed a year to get ready, then they added a player like Sitton this year, could be a signal that Asiata is not someone upon whom the team can trust.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
Asiata’s spot on the roster is definitely not a lock, but it feels like making it is more likely than not. The amount of time they spent last year coaching him makes it feel like they will want to see if he can use that teaching to become a better player. We will go with 70/30 make it/cut for Asiata.