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Miami Dolphins 53-man roster predictions: Final projection before roster cuts

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Miami Dolphins v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins are done with the preseason, with roster cuts the last major event before the start of the regular season. While the team started those cuts last week, the majority of the moves will happen over the next few days. Before we get there, here is my last prediction of the 53-man roster for the Dolphins.

Below you will find my projection, along with explanations of the changes from last week’s prediction.

Offense (25)

Quarterbacks

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Josh Rosen

Changes: None. Fitzpatrick has been named the starter for Week 1, and likely will keep that role at least until the bye in Week 5. Does Rosen take over then? At any time this year?

Halfbacks

Kenyan Drake
Kalen Ballage
Mark Walton
Patrick Laird

Changes: None. Myles Gaskin has looked good too, so I would try to find a fifth halfback if I could, but that seems like a luxury I cannot afford. Gaskin to the practice squad makes sense in this case.

Fullback

Chandler Cox

Changes: None.

Wide receivers

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

Changes: None. Williams could still be headed to the practice squad as he has regressed in the preseason, but I think he has flashed enough to warrant the roster spot. That lets the team put Trenton Irwin on the practice squad. If Stills or Parker end up traded this week - and there has been some speculation that is possible - then I would add Brice Butler back to the roster.

Tight ends

Mike Gesicki
Durham Smythe
Nick O’Leary

Changes: Dropped Dwayne Allen. I struggled with this move. I think the coaches want Allen around the team, but I feel like he just has not been healthy enough to make the roster. Chris Myarick makes the practice squad.

Offensive linemen

Laremy Tunsil
Michael Deiter
Daniel Kilgore
Shaq Calhoun
Jesse Davis
Chris Reed
Isaiah Prince
Kyle Fuller
Zach Sterup

Changes: Dropped Jaryd Jones-Smith, added Kyle Fuller. I finally back away from Jones-Smith making the roster, mostly because Prince, Sterup, and Jones-Smith give me three backup tackles on the roster. Sliding him to the practice squad allows me to give the team another interior lineman, Fuller, to the roster to pair with Reed. Aaron Monteiro makes the practice squad. Durval Queiroz Neto makes the practice squad with the international player exemption, giving Miami an eleventh practice squad slot.

Defense (25)

Defensive ends

Charles Harris
Tank Carradine
Nate Orchard
Jonathan Ledbetter

Changes: None. Dwayne Hendrix could make the roster over Ledbetter as he appears to be a better pass rusher, but the Dolphins also need to stop the run and Ledbetter does that a little better. Whichever of the two do not make the roster should land on the practice squad. If the Dolphins do acquire Jadeveon Clowney, Ledbetter probably falls off and joins the practice squad as well.

Defensive tackles

Christian Wilkins
Vincent Taylor
Davon Godchaux
Adolphus Washington

Changes: Dropped Jamiyus Pittman, added Adolphus Washington. I really like Pittman, but he has not done enough to make the roster right now. That slides him to the practice squad and replaces him with Washington, who probably should have been on my last projection, but I left him off.

Linebackers

Jerome Baker
Samuel Eguavoen
Raekwon McMillan
Kiko Alonso
Andrew Van Ginkel
Terrill Hanks

Changes: Dropped Tre’ Watson, Added Terrill Hanks. The Dolphins do not have a glut of depth at linebacker. I still think Alonso makes the roster, though there is plenty of speculation that he will be cut or traded. Hanks moves on to the roster because he appears to be more of a special teams player than Watson. Nick Deluca is hanging around the roster right now, firmly on the bubble. Watson and Quentin Poling make the practice squad for me.

Cornerbacks

Xavien Howard
Minkah Fitzpatrick
Eric Rowe
Cornell Armstrong
Chris Lammons
Jomal Wiltz
Nik Needham

Changes: Dropped Torry McTyer, Added Jomal Wiltz and Nik Needham. Cornerback is an interesting position for the Dolphins. It has depth, but it has question marks. This is where I use the roster spot opened up by Dwayne Allen back at the tight end position. That allows me to get Wiltz and Needham onto the roster, both of whom feel like they should be there. Needham needs work as a cornerback, but he has been seeing plenty of special teams play. Fitzpatrick is listed as a safety on the roster, but I put him here because I see him as the primary nickel cornerback. Jalen Davis lands on the practice squad.

Safeties

Reshad Jones
Bobby McCain
Walt Aikens
Montre Hartage

Changes: None. The only question is does the team keep Maurice Smith over Hartage, and put Hartage on the practice squad?

Special Teams (3)

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

Changes: None.

Practice Squad (10+1)

Myles Gaskin, RB
Trenton Irwin, WR
Chris Myarick, TE
Jaryd Jones-Smith, T
Aaron Monteiro, G
Dwayne Hendrix, DE
Jamiyus Pittman, DT
Tre’ Watson, LB
Quentin Poling, LB
Jalen Davis, CB
Durval Queiroz Neto, DT/G