The Miami Dolphins play their third and final preseason game tonight vs. the Philadelphia Eagles; kickoff is at 7 PM. For most, the million-dollar question heading into tonight’s contest is whether or not Miami’s starters will see significant playing time. But for others, tonight’s game is the most important game of their NFL Career.
Here are eight players to watch in tonight’s preseason finale vs. the Philadelphia Eagles
Running Back | ZaQuandre White
the only thing better than the move @miamidolphins rookie RB zaQuandre white put on the linebacker was the touchdown celebration. #finsup pic.twitter.com/2Fq11ZCZEr— josh houtz (@houtz) August 21, 2022
White had a touchdown last week and has been on my acorn list since he joined the team as an undrafted free agent this spring. The truth is, I’m not sure he can find a spot on the 53-man roster, especially with some of the other essential decisions the Dolphins will have to make in their loaded backfield by Tuesday’s deadline. But at this point, I’ve seen enough out of ZaQuandre White — during his time at South Carolina and this preseason — to offer him a spot on the practice squad, with the hopes of someday being a weapon in Mike McDaniel’s offense.
Wide Receiver | Lynn Bowden Jr.
#dolphins WR @lynnbowden_1 caught 3/4 targets for 55 yards (18.3 YPC) and a touchdown in saturday’s 26-24 win over the bucs. #finsup pic.twitter.com/x2DpB2r87y— josh houtz (@houtz) August 15, 2022
Speaking of weapons in Mike McDaniel’s offense, I was hoping this new coaching staff would find a way to utilize Lynn Bowden Jr. more. The receiving corps is loaded with all the new acquisitions, and WR Erik Ezukanma is emerging as a star. But what we saw from Bowden his rookie season was enough for me to want to see more. And we saw a little of that in week one vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when LBJ caught three passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. Can Lynn Bowden edge out River Cracraft and some other veterans – familiar with Mike McDaniel and this system – to earn a roster spot? I think he can, and he will!
Offensive Lineman | Robert Jones and Solomon Kindley
Here is Solomon Kindley pancaking 4 people on 3 plays pic.twitter.com/KCpWMRwRlZ— King of Phinland (@KingOfPhinland) August 18, 2022
I’m no offensive line expert, but I think we can all see where the weaknesses lie on Miami’s revamped offensive line. Liam Eichenberg hasn’t looked great, which should open the door for Solomon Kindley to at least stick on Miami’s roster. After all, he’s looked improved over the first two games, serving pancakes left and right vs. the Buccaneers. But Robert Jones is intriguing because he has experience at guard and tackle and has looked the part since he arrived in 2021. He’s had a solid camp, and I think he could stick on Miami’s offensive line due to his versatility. Both players could make Miami’s 53-man roster, but with so many cuts, it is anyone’s guess. But I want to see both players dominate tonight and make the coach’s decision that much harder.
Cornerback | Kader Kohou
darth kader pass breakup + tackle pic.twitter.com/Mv1T4fgrTI— josh houtz (@houtz) August 22, 2022
At the beginning of the season, I ignorantly thought Miami’s secondary was miles deep, and nothing could stop them from recreating their success over the last few years. I was wrong. First, Trill Williams got hurt, and then newly signed veteran corner Mackensie Alexander. The time is now for some of Miami’s young, promising rookies to seize the day. Kader Kohou has flashed throughout preseason and training camp. Last week his impressive pass break-up and tackle on an end-around caught the eyes of many, but has he done enough to make the 53-man roster? Tonight’s game could be the deciding factor for the fan favorite I nicknamed DARTH KADER!
Quarterback | Skylar Thompson
skylar thompson 9/10 129 yards & 1 TD vs. LV #finsup pic.twitter.com/sP1fUqR5S7— josh houtz (@houtz) August 21, 2022
The Dolphins have important decisions to make throughout their roster, but one decision I never thought we’d be discussing is how to keep three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. Fortunately, that’s where we’re at. Thompson has looked impressive over the first two weeks of preseason, completing 9/10 for 129 yards and a touchdown in last week’s loss to the Raiders. Can Thompson do the unthinkable and edge out Teddy Bridgewater for the QB2 spot? Unlikely, but Miami will need to find a way to assure Thompson lands on the practice squad – and that he can be protected – each and every game day.
Wide Receiver | Erik Ezukanma
.@miamidolphins rookie WR @erikezukanma caught 6/9 (nice) targets for 114 yards (19 YPC) in his first game at hard rock stadium. here's every target (i think). #finsup pic.twitter.com/yaMZoRlzdb— josh houtz (@houtz) August 21, 2022
One of the players I’ve enjoyed watching most throughout the preseason has been rookie wide receiver Erik Ezukanma. Ezukanma has flashed in both of Miami’s first two games, catching 6/9 targets for 114 yards in his first game at Hard Rock Stadium last Saturday vs. the Raiders. Ezukanma has shown that he not only has the quickness to play in the slot, but his large frame makes him a literal cheat code vs. some of the league’s smaller defensive backs. I don’t know how much Miami needs to see out of Ezukanma vs. the Eagles, but I hope we see at least a few drives from Miami’s sensational rookie wide receiver.
Linebacker | Channing Tindall
.@miamidolphins rookie LB @kingschan_ played 39 snaps on saturday (25 defense, 14 special teams) and earned the second-highest grade on the team according to @PFF with an 86.9. here's a look at his three tackles from his preseason debut vs. tampa bay. #finsup pic.twitter.com/eQWHm7EYS4— josh houtz (@houtz) August 15, 2022
My favorite pick of the 2022 NFL draft class, linebacker Channing Tindall has shown that he still has some ways to go before being an essential piece to Miami’s defense. But he’s a rookie, and admitting he still needs time, doesn’t mean he hasn’t been solid. Tindall has displayed good instincts in coverage and has shown his sideline to sideline range. He’s even made some plays on special teams. Last week vs. the Raiders, Tindall had six total tackles. Can he build upon his solid showing and flash a little more of those playmaking traits we saw on tape last season at Georgia? I think Tindall will be an outstanding linebacker for Miami for years to come — but I said the same thing about Raekwon McMillan.
What are you most looking forward to seeing in tonight’s preseason finale vs. the Philadelphia Eagles? Should Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins starters see action? Which wide receiver would you keep on the roster? Let us know in the comments section below!