Miami Dolphins football is back! We’ve officially hit the first week of preseason football in South Florida, and that means it’s time for players to start taking the field, but who will be hitting the gridiron first?
On Monday morning, the Dolphins released the team’s first unofficial depth chart, which means we finally get a look inside the minds of Brian Flores and the rest of the coaching staff with regards to where players stand in positional competitions. That being said, it is absolutely vital to remember that this depth chart will change. Players will shift. Players will be cut. Flores, not even half-way through his first training camp as a head coach, has already been known to play mind games with his players to motivate in unique ways. It’s possible he’s doing the same with certain spots on this depth chart.
Below is the full depth chart, courtesy of Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
We’ve got a few surprises listed here (and no, not at quarterback). Let’s run down the position groups. At wide receiver, the most notable listing is Trenton Irwin, an undrafted rookie, who is listed ahead of veteran Allen Hurns. It’s possible that Hurns still needs to work his way up the depth chart given how new he is to this offense, but it’s definitely a situation to monitor. At running back, Flores listed Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage as dual starters. That’s likely representative of how they’ll be used during the season.
The tight end position gave us one of the biggest surprises on this chart, as Mike Gesicki, Nick O’Leary, and Durham Smythe are all listed as starters. Meanwhile, at offensive line, Laremy Tunsil is holding down the fort at left tackle while veteran Daniel Kilgore is doing the same at center. Third-round draft pick Michael Deiter and Jesse Davis are listed as the starting left and right guards respectively, while Jordan Mills is the tentative starter at right tackle. Don’t be surprised if Davis moves over to tackle while undrafted rookie Shaq Calhoun moves up to the starter right guard spot.
On defense, Eric Rowe is listed as the #2 boundary corner as expected, though Jamal Wiltz has been making a push for that spot in practice. Bobby McCain has been impressive at safety, earning that first-team slot. Minkah Fitzpatrick, who’s listed as a second-team safety, is almost certainly the team’s starting nickel corner, a position that isn’t listed with the team’s base defense on the depth chart. Fitzpatrick is sure to move around quite a bit between games, between series, and even between plays.
First-round draft pick Christian Wilkins has already earned a first-team slot on the defensive line, while former first-round draft pick Charles Harris is listed as a starting defensive end along with Tank Carradine. At linebacker, last season’s top three of Jerome Baker, Raekwon McMillan, and Kiko Alonso are all back with the starters, while former CFL star Sam Eguavoen, who’s been playing with the starters in practice, is currently listed with the second-team.
On special teams, last year’s top unit is back. Jakeem Grant is the starting kick returner and punt returner, while John Denney is leading a heated long snapper race.
You have thoughts on the depth chart