The Miami Dolphins are into their third week of training camp, with their first preseason game scheduled for Thursday. The team released their first depth chart of the offseason earlier today, which brings us to our updated 53-man roster prediction.
Just before the start of training camp, we put together our predictions, filling all 53 spots. Now, with some training camp practices complete, we can get a little better idea of how the roster might fall. Of course, all of this can and will change over the next few weeks as players find comfort in their roles and the system, or fall off from early flashes.
Here is my latest prediction of the 53-man roster, with comments on what has changed from the pre-training camp edition.
Changes: None. Fitzpatrick is listed as the first-string quarterback on the depth chart, with Rosen second. The position battle between them has gotten closer in recent days, with Rosen starting to look like he has found some comfort in the system while Fitzpatrick is playing back to the norm. Jake Rudock is third on the depth chart and is likely on the wrong side of the cut line.
Changes: None. Mark Walton is listed as the third running back on the depth chart, with Patrick Laird fourth, then Gaskin fifth, but I still feel the draft status of Gaskin helps him here. I think it comes down to Walton or Gaskin, and it could be both if the team finds a way to make the numbers work.
Changes: None. Cox should easily make the roster as the team’s fourth running back/only fullback.
Changes: None. I still do not know how the receivers will work out. Stills, Parker, and Wilson are listed as the three starters. Grant, Isaiah Ford, and Trenton Irwin and the second-team. Then Williams, Butler, and the recently acquired Allen Hurns. Saeed Blacknall and Reece Horn make up the final group. Butler is probably the most bubble player of the projected roster group - though that is contingent on Williams continuing to perform. Ford and Hurns probably could make a case for a roster spot. The Dolphins may not have a “number one” receiver or a star at the group, but they have a lot of depth here, so it will be interesting to watch how it all unfolds over the next few weeks. I have left it the same as last time, but could see a couple of changes easily happening.
Changes: None. The Dolphins listed Gesicki, Smythe, and O’Leary as the starters at the position, then Clive Walford, then Allen, and finally Chris Myarick. I think Allen’s position is pretty strong with the team, and his injury the reflection of his depth chart position. Gesicki may not be a “starter” in the terms of a every-down, in-line tight end, but he is going to see plenty of playing time. O’Leary gives the team another pass catcher, while Allen is an all-around guy, and Smythe is a blocking tight end. All four making the roster makes sense unless Miami is struggling to find a spot somewhere.
Changes: This should not come as a surprise, but the only real changes right now on the offense come along the offensive line. The coaches do not yet seem to know how the line will come together, so this will continue to be in flux throughout the preseason. Tunsil is obviously the left tackle, and the rest of the group could all change. Deiter has been working as the left guard, and he seems to be settling into that role, but he is still a rookie and making rookie mistakes at times. Kilgore at center continues. Calhoun moves into the starting right guard spot, with Davis then kicking out to right tackle. This doesn’t match the depth chart, where Davis is still listed as the starting right guard and Jordan Mills has the right tackle position. It just feels like the coaching staff - including the change of offensive line coaches already - are not high on Mills. I have actually dropped Mills completely off the roster right now, just because I am more comfortable with Sterup as a backup tackle, Prince is a draft pick, and I like the upside of Jones-Smith. If Mills is going to make the roster, he needs to be impressive soon. Fuller and Reed give guard and center depth.
Changes: Jonathan Ledbetter falls off the roster for Nate Orchard - who was a linebacker in the last projection. I would like to keep him, but I feel like Orchard is slightly ahead of him, and provides Miami some more veteran options on the line. Harris, Carradine, and Woodard all remain the same.
Changes: None. I still would like to find a way to Get Jamiyus Pittman, but so far cannot do it. Also of note, the Dolphins still list Durval Queiroz Neto as a defensive tackle on the depth chart, but they also list him as a guard - which is where they have been playing him recently.
Andrew Van Ginkel
Changes: The first change is Orchard now being listed as a defensive end. The second change is Jayrone Elliott coming off the roster after Miami released him. Eguavoen clearly is making the roster at this point, having been working with the first team in practice. Watson becomes the last member of the position group, adding depth from a player who appears to be having some good practices right now. Recently signed Nick DeLuca could make a case of himself, but will have to come on strong quickly. Mike Hull also comes off the roster in this projection, as he continues on the Physically Unable to Perform list, freeing up a spot.
Changes: Removed Cordrea Tankersley (PUP) and added Cornell Armstrong. The first depth chart is odd for the Dolphins when it comes to cornerbacks. Bobby McCain has moved to safety on the chart, but Minkah Fitzpatrick is listed behind him there and not at cornerback. It feels more and more like the “no name” defense the Dolphins are running is real, and by the time we get to the final projection, this will simply be “defensive backs,” not cornerbacks and safeties. Howard and Rowe claim the first two spots on the depth chart, with Howard an obvious lock as the starter, and Rowe probably an easy roster lock. The Dolphins then go to Jomal Wiltz and Cornell Armstrong as the second-team, neither of whom were on my first projection. McTyer and Jomal Davis are the third-team, with Tyler Patmon and Chris Lammons fourth, and Nik Needham and David Rivers fifth. Tankersley is still on the PUP list, and he may be there a while, so that is another roster spot that can be opened up if he is not ready to play in Week 1.
Changes: None. Maurice Smith and Montre Hartage could both land on the roster, but these top four seem pretty well locked into roster positions. Jones, McDonald, and McCain will all see plenty of playing time in exotic formations, while Aikens is a key special teams player.
Special Teams (3)
Kicker: Jason Sanders
Punter: Matt Haack
Long snapper: John Denney
Changes: None. The Dolphins waived Stone Wilson, locking Haack back into the roster for this year.