The Miami Dolphins report for training camp next week. We are nearing the end of the offseason and getting ready to move fully into the 2021 campaign. The Dolphins currently have 91 players on the roster, with guard Durval Queiroz Neto receiving a roster exemption. We have taken a closer look at the quarterbacks, running backs, and tight ends over the past couple of weeks for Miami, and now turn to a position that is jam-packed full of players who could make the roster.
The idea of this series of posts is to simply look at each position and try to predict the final position group when Miami has to drop the roster down to the in-season 53-man limit. The wide receiver group is nearly impossible to predict. Miami is going to have to trade or cut some players with a lot of talent, simply because they cannot keep everyone.
Lynn Bowden (23, 2nd year)
Isaiah Ford (25, 4th year)
Robert Foster (27, 4th year)
William Fuller V (27, 6th year)
Jakeem Grant, Sr. (28, 6th year)
Mack Hollins (27, 5th year)
Allen Hurns (29, 7th year)
Kai Locksley (24, Rookie)
Kirk Merritt (24, 1st year)
DeVante Parker (28, 7th year)
Malcolm Perry (24, 2nd year)
Jaylen Waddle (22, Rookie)
Preston Williams (24, 3rd year)
Albert Wilson (29, 7th year)
Note: I placed Malcolm Perry in the wide receiver group, though the team lists him as a running back/wide receiver.
The top three of the group is an easy projection with Parker, Fuller, and Waddle locked on the roster. After that, it will come down to how many roster spots the team can afford to use on receivers? Will the team be able to keep seven receivers, risking depth at another position?
From here, things are a little harder to determine. You could probably make a pretty good argument for most of the remaining players on the list above to make the roster. I think Wilson claims a spot, as will Bowden. I will give Williams a nod right now, but I am not sure he is a lock to make the roster, though I know I am in the minority when I say that. That fulls up three more spots, with Ford, Foster, Hollins, Hurns, Grant, Locksley, Merritt, and Perry all still to be considered.
I really want to keep three players here, but just do not have the roster space to do it. I am going to give the seventh spot to Grant, and I know there will be plenty of people who will tell me I am wrong and that he has to go. Grant was named an All-Pro as a returner last year and I simply do not want Waddle back there returning kicks and punts. This gives me Grant to fill that role. He needs to have a good training camp, with fewer double catches in both as a receiver and as a returning, to make this prediction correct.
If you want to argue someone like Hollins over Grant to special teams coverage skills, I could be persuaded that way as well.
That leaves Hollins, Hurns, Ford, Foster, Locksley, Merritt, and Perry off the roster. I think Hurns will be signed somewhere else pretty quickly, but I just cannot find a roster spot for him. With the (likely) expanded practice squads, I would not be surprised to see several of those players land there should another team not sign them. For now, I will project Locksley, Merritt, and Perry to the practice squad, with Ford going back to wherever he waits for the next time the Dolphins call to sign him.
Depth Chart Projection
Will Fuller V
Lynn Bowden, Jr.