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Miami Dolphins 53-man roster predictions: Surprise cuts by team changes roster before Preseason Game 4

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Jacksonville Jaguars v Miami Dolphins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

I slacked off last week and did not get a 53-man roster projection published prior to the Miami Dolphins’ Preseason Week 3 game. As we now approach Thursday’s final preseason game, we add another update. The Dolphins are starting to release players already, including players expected to be contributors, or even starters, like safety T.J. McDonald.

Here is my latest look at the Dolphins’ roster, attempting to predict the team’s move from a 90-man roster down to a 53-man one.

Offense (26)

Quarterbacks

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Josh Rosen

Changes: None. It still feels like the Dolphins are going to start Fitzpatrick in Week 1, but Rosen has definitely made a case to be named the starter.

Running backs

Kenyan Drake
Kalen Ballage
Mark Walton
Patrick Laird

Changes: Added Laird. At this point, having four running backs seems to make sense because Laird has looked really good. That said, Myles Gaskin has as well. I am trying to stash him on the practice squad for now.

Fullback

Chandler Cox

Changes: None.

Wide receivers

Kenny Stills
DeVante Parker
Albert Wilson
Jakeem Grant
Preston Williams
Isaiah Ford

Changes: Dropped Brice Butler. I finally have dropped Butler, taking the receivers back down to six on the roster. I could see them trying to find a way to keep Butler, but as of right now, these six have had a better training camp and preseason (other than Wilson with his injury, but he is expected to be ready for Week 1) than Butler. Williams has regressed to the norm at this point, so if Miami can find a way to stash him on the practice squad, that could be an option. Trenton Irwin is another receiver that could be practice squad bound.

Tight ends

Mike Gesicki
Dwayne Allen
Durham Smythe
Nick O’Leary

Changes: None. The Dolphins released Clive Walford on Tuesday.

Offensive linemen

Laremy Tunsil
Michael Deiter
Daniel Kilgore
Shaq Calhoun
Jesse Davis
Chris Reed
Isaiah Prince
Jaryd Jones-Smith
Zach Sterup

Changes: Dropped Jordan Mills (cut by team) and added Zach Sterup. I still feel like the offensive line depth is dominated by too many tackles, but I do not know who else to add. My bubble player is probably Aaron Monteiro, but I think Sterup serves as the emergency swing-tackle, while Prince and Jones-Smith continue to develop. Both Prince and Jones-Smith could end up on the practice squad, especially if Miami find a cut offensive lineman they want to sign.

Defense (24)

Defensive ends

Charles Harris
Tank Carradine
Nate Orchard
Jonathan Ledbetter

Changes: None. This seems like the starting four, but the Dolphins have already shown they are willing to do things that are surprising. Tyrone Holes and Dewayne Hendrix are the other two defensive ends listed on the roster.

Defensive tackles

Christian Wilkins
Vincent Taylor
Davon Godchaux
Jamiyus Pittman

Changes: Dropped Akeem Spence (cut by team) and added Jamiyus Pittman. Did you realize the Dolphins have nine defensive tackles signed right now? Add to those four Joey Mbu, Dural Queiroz Neto, Cory Thomas, Adolphus Washington, and, though still on the Physically Unable to Perform list, Robert Nkemdiche. Queiroz has been moved over to guard for practices, but he is still listed as a defensive tackle, and he is probably headed for the 11th spot on the practice squad. If Nkemdiche is medically cleared, and he find away to get himself in shape, he could make a play for the roster, but it feels like that is a long shot.

Linebackers

Jerome Baker
Samuel Eguavoen
Raekwon McMillan
Kiko Alonso
Andrew Van Ginkel
Tre’ Watson

Changes: Chase Allen dropped (cut by team). Allen opens up a roster spot, but I am not using it here. Instead, I will stick with the six players on the list above, because, while the Dolphins are expected to play 3-4 systems this year, it seems that they are working a lot of two-linebacker, five-defensive back nickel package schemes. Eguavoen appears to have moved up to the second spot on the depth chart, with injuries slowing McMillan and Alonso. Nick DeLuca, Terrill Hanks, and Quentin Poling could all be practice squad considerations.

Cornerbacks

Xavien Howard
Minkah Fitzpatrick
Torry McTyer
Eric Rowe
Cornell Armstrong
Chris Lammons

Changes: Add Chris Lammons. I feel a little better about the secondary now. Rowe has looked good as the second cornerback - good, not great, but that can be worked with. Lammons has been impressive enough to warrant a roster spot. Jalen Davis, Jomal Wiltz, and Nik Needham could all fight for a roster spot or some combination of them could end end up on the practice squad. Cordrea Tankersley continues on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Safeties

Reshad Jones
Bobby McCain
Walt Aikens
Montre Hartage

Changes: Dropped T.J. McDonald (cut by team) and added Montre Hartage. Removing McDonald was a surprise. The Dolphins can use Fitzpatrick as a safety, and he is listed there on the roster, but I feel like, if they are committed now to McCain as the free safety, Fitzpatrick will see his playing time at nickel cornerback with some strong safety rotations with Jones. Hartage adds to the roster to provide depth. He gets added because the coaches seem to like him and he is a rookie, though Maurice Smith could still grab the spot and Hartage end up on the practice squad.

Special Teams (3)

Kicker: Jason Sanders
Punter: Matt Haack
Long snapper: John Denney

Changes: None.