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Dolphins training camp 2022: Initial roster bubble

Miami Dolphins v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins are opening training camp this week, with the team’s rookies scheduled to arrive in town Tuesday and the veterans getting to the facilities next week. As camp starts to arrive, it is time to find the roster bubble. During the preseason, teams can carry up to 90 players on their roster, but when the regular season begins in September, each club must have dropped their roster size to 53 players. Some players are locks to make the roster, some players have an extreme longshot to try to make the team, and some players are stuck in the middle. It is those middle players who form the bubble.

With only 53 slots available for the regular season roster, there have to be choices made. Do you keep an additional wide receiver or do you need more depth on the offensive line? How many running backs can you keep? Can you get away with fewer defensive backs? There are so many questions that have to be answered over the next several weeks as the Dolphins look to build a 53-man roster.

Roster locks (33)

Barring injury or a surprise trade, these players are going to be on the roster:

Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback
Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback
Chase Edmonds, running back
Raheem Mostert, running back
Alec Ingold, fullback
Jaylen Waddle, wide receiver
Tyreek Hill, wide receiver
Cedrick Wilson, wide receiver
Mike Gesicki, tight end
Durham Smythe, tight end
Terron Armstead, tackle
Connor Williams, center
Robert Hunt, guard
Liam Eichenberg, tackle/guard
Austin Jackson, tackle
Emmanuel Ogbah, defensive end
Christian Wilkins, defensive tackle
Raekwon Davis, nose tackle
Zach Sieler, defensive tackle
Adam Butler, defensive end
Jerome Baker, linebacker
Melvin Ingram, linebacker
Jaelan Phillips, linebacker
Andrew Van Ginkel, linebacker
Elandon Roberts, linebacker
Xavien Howard, cornerback
Byron Jones, cornerback
Nik Needham, cornerback
Jevon Holland, safety
Brandon Jones, safety
Thomas Morstead, punter
Jason Sanders, kicker
Blake Ferguson, long snapper

Likely cuts (23)

These players are probably destined to be cut unless they have a huge training camp and preseason:

Skylar Thompson, quarterback
Gerrid Doaks, running back
ZaQuandre White, running back
Cody Core, wide receiver
River Cracraft, wide receiver
DeVonte Dedmon, wide receiver
Braylon Sanders, wide receiver
Tanner Conner, tight end
Blaise Andries, guard
Cole Banwart, guard
Kellen Diesch, tackle
Kion Smith, tackle
Ben Stille, defensive tackle
Jordan Williams, defensive tackle
Owen Carney, defensive tackle
Darius Hodge, linebacker
Porter Gustin, linebacker
Elijah Hamilton, cornerback
Kader Kohou, cornerback
D’Angelo Ross, cornerback
Quincy Wilson, cornerback
Verone McKinley, safety
Tommy Heatherly, punter

Roster bubble

This early in the process, we have an extremely large roster bubble. With only 33 players considered locks at this point, there are 20 positions that can be claimed. To take a look at the bubble, we will look at each position group to highlight what could be some position battles as camp begins.

Running backs

Salvon Ahmed
Myles Gaskin
Sony Michel

This really comes down to how may running backs will the team keep, including fullback Alec Ingold. With the likelihood of Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert being locks for the roster, there are three running backs already on the roster. Of this group, I would give the early nod to Gaskin, but Michel signed in free agency which could nudge him onto the roster. If released, Gaskin would create $2.5 million in cap space, which could be a factor in deciding who to keep. Michel would create $900,000 in space. Ahmed’s entire $895,000 salary would come off the books if he were released. There could be two slots for these three players, in which case it would likely be Gaskin and Michel - but if there is only one spot, this could be a position battle to watch this summer.

Wide receivers

Lynn Bowden, Jr.
Erik Ezukanma
Trent Sherfield
Preston Williams

The top three wide receivers are locked in with Jaylen Waddle, Tyreek Hill, and Cedrick Wilson, Jr. How many receivers will the Dolphins carry? Will tight end Mike Gesicki’s role as a receiving threat allow the team to carry fewer wide outs? Bowden makes sense to make the team, bringing versatility to be used in multiple ways in Mike McDaniel’s offense. Ezukanma was a fourth-round pick this year, which could give him an edge in fighting for a position. Sherfield is on a one-year contract while Williams has had a roller coaster of a career thus far, showing flashes of greatness, then disappearing. I would project Bowden and Ezukanma to make the roster right now.

Oh, and Isaiah Ford is out there somewhere. Can never count him out from sliding onto the roster somehow.

Tight ends

Adam Shaheen
Hunter Long
Cethan Carter

Mike Gesicki is obviously a lock to be on the roster, as is the re-signed Durham Smythe. Gesicki, however, is not the proto-typical tight end, working both as a blocker and a pass catcher. He has improved as a blocker, but he is not George Kittle, the San Francisco 49ers tight end who McDaniel’s offense used both on the line and as a receiver. That is where Smythe will likely see an increase in useage. Shaheen is a solid all-around option for the position, while Long, a surprise of a third-round pick for the Dolphins in 2021, is a pass catcher who could find increased playing time this year should he make the roster. Carter is a special teams player who could make the roster simply in that role. Can Miami keep five tight ends? That seems like a lot, but they did it last year and, if the team looks at Gesicki as more of a receiver than a tight end, it would make sense.

Offensive line

Larnel Coleman
Michael Deiter
Robert Jones
Solomon Kindley
Greg Little
Adam Pankey

The offensive line will be a major focal point this summer. While who is starting is critical, the Dolphins have to make sure they have the right depth to be able to step in if needed. Deiter, despite fans’ frustration with him last year, could be a solid utility option for the team as a depth player on gameday. Jones and Kindley feel like they are fighting for the same spot on the depth chart - though either of them could also find themselves in a battle for a starting role during the summer. Little, Pankey, and Coleman are all tackle options who will battle for a reserve role. The bubble right now might be favoring Deiter, Kindley, Little, and Jones.

Defensive line

John Jenkins
Benito Jones

I have five defensive linemen listed as locks, and the team only carried five to six defensive linemen last year. Jenkins makes sense to add to the team, giving them depth at nose tackle. I like Jones and think he is likely a practice squad player.


Sam Eguavoen
Cameron Goode
Calvin Munson
Duke Riley
Brennan Scarlett
Channing Tindall

The linebacker position is a little odd to predict, given Miami’s 3-4 scheme sets the team up with edge rushers and interior linebackers as essentially two positions. Tindall was Miami’s first pick in this year’s draft, but it was not until the third round, meaning he probably makes the roster but is not a lock right now. Goode was a seventh-round pick so he will have to make an impression early on - especially on special teams - if he wants to end up on the right side of the bubble. Riley and Eguavoen probably have the early lead in this group, with Munson and Scarlett closely behind.


Elijah Campbell
Keion Crossen
Noah Igbinoghene
Trill Williams

Miami needs to find quality depth at cornerback, so there will be a lot of pressure on this group to prove they are ready. Igbinoghene has frustrated fans since being selected in the first round of the 2020 draft, but he is still only 22 years old and can still grow into a good NFL cornerback. The potential is there and if he shows any growth this year, he should be able to make the roster. Trill Williams made the roster last year, but basically spent the season on the bench. Crossen and Campbell can both make solid cases for the roster as well. The Dolphins need to be able to backup Howard, Jones, and Needham, so someone here needs to leap off the bubble and onto the lock list.


Clayton Fejedelem
Sheldrick Redwine
Eric Rowe

All three could make the roster, with Rowe providing veteran depth and tight end coverage capabilities. Redwine and Fejedelem adding depth and special teams play. Rowe could also be released, creating $4.6 million in cap space.

Projected bubble players to make roster as of Jul. 18:

Sony Michel
Myles Gaskin
Lynn Bowden, Jr.
Erik Ezukanma
Adam Shaheen
Hunter Long
Cethan Carter
Michael Deiter
Robert Jones
Solomon Kindley
Greg Little
John Jenkins
Sam Eguavoen
Duke Riley
Channing Tindall
Noah Igbinoghene
Trill Williams
Clayton Fejedelem
Sheldrick Redwine
Eric Rowe

Quarterbacks: 2
Running backs: 4 + 1
Wide receivers: 5
Tight ends: 5
Offensive linemen: 9
Defensive linemen: 6
Linebackers: 8
Cornerbacks: 5
Safeties: 5
Special Teams: 3

Who should make the roster that I do not have on there right now? What locks or cuts are really bubble players? Which bubble player would you cut to get someone else on the roster?