The NFL offseason is slowing down as we approach the 2023 NFL Draft. Free agents are still making visits and signing with new teams, but the majority of the focus now it on the college prospects who will soon be joining the league. The Draft starts on April 27, continuing through April 29, with seven rounds of selections and 259 players having their names called. There is just over two weeks until the picks begin being made, which leads to an updated look at the Miami Dolphins’ depth chart today.
The Dolphins have about $3 million in salary cap space right now, but will add another $13.6 million in space space on June 2, when cornerback Byron Jones’ salary comes off the books. Miami only has four scheduled picks in this year’s draft, selecting in the second round (51st overall), third (84th), sixth (197th), and seventh (238th). The team could make trades to move around the board, but after the last several years of holding multiple early picks, this year’s draft seems to be setting up to be relatively quiet for the Dolphins.
Miami currently has 64 players on their roster, with the top 51 counting against the salary cap. The team could make some contract adjustments, extending players or turning salary into a signing bonus, to create salary cap relief if they need it. They have 26 roster spots they can choose to fill with current free agents, draft picks, or, after the draft, undrafted free agents.
Projected Miami Dolphins depth chart
(as of 2 p.m. ET, 4/12/23)
Changes since previous projection highlighted in each position group.
The quarterback position would appear to be set. Tagovailoa will lead the group, with White as the primary backup. Thompson, who saw playing time last year as injuries forced him onto the field including starting the Dolphins’ playoff game, will likely be kept as the third option as he continues to develop.
Running backs (4)
Jeff Wilson, Jr.
A draft pick on a running back would not be a major surprise. The team seems to like the group, having re-signed all four of them this offseason, and could head into the season with Mostert and Wilson as a two-headed attack, but the addition of a rookie to the group could be a move the team makes in a couple of weeks.
Likely only one of the two is making the final roster, with Ingold getting the nod because he has experience with the team last year. Lovett could beat him out for the spot, and Miami brought him back after he spent all of last year on injured reserve, so they clearly see something there.
Tight ends (3)
Adding a tight end might be the top need for the team right now. Smythe is fine as an all-around tight end, but is he going to become the George Kittle tight end head coach Mike McDaniel wants in his offense? Conner and Saubert will both have depth roles, but a tight end who can either step in immediately or who can sit behind Smythe for a season would seem to be the team’s best move.
Wide receivers (8)
There is nothing wrong with the top of the depth chart at wide receiver, and there is plenty of depth behind Hill and Waddle. Berrios slides into the third spot on this projection, but it could just as easily be any of the other options. Rumors had Miami shopping Wilson earlier this offseason, so he could be a piece if the Dolphins are looking to move around during the draft. Do not expect the team to use a pick on a wide receiver this year.
Offensive linemen (11)
LT: Terron Armstead
LG: Liam Eichenberg
C: Connor Williams
RG: Robert Hunt
RT: Austin Jackson
Addressing the offensive line is the top need for the team according to many of the fans on social media. The concern about the growth of Jackson, who played solidly when he was healthy last year, and Eichenberg into their roles in the starting lineup has fans concerned. That said, if Miami were to add a guard or right tackle, it would be a move that makes sense, but if they do not add anyone, it could also make sense. When Armstead is healthy and playing, the Dolphins offensive line is very good. Eichenberg is solid at left guard with Armstead on his outside. Williams has developed into a good center. Hunt is becoming a really good right guard. Jackson, when healthy, can be fine at tackle. Jones, Fenney, Christian, Lamm, Cotton, and Smith can all push for a starting position or serve as depth.
Defensive linemen (6)
This group seems fine. Wilkins, Davis, Ogbah, and Sieler are a really good top four for a three-man front. Maybe depth could be an issue here, but it seems fine right now.
David Long, Jr.
Andrew Van Ginkel
The linebackers seem to be set. Phillips, Chubb, Van Ginkel, and Reed give Miami a strong pass rush group coming off the edge. Baker, Long, and Riley set up the team with inside linebackers. Tindall is a developmental player and Goode could provide depth. A selection of a linebacker is not out of the realm of possibility, especially if the team is looking to bolster the special teams coverage, but it would not appear to be an immediate need.
Cornerback is probably the least concerning area on the roster. Howard, Ramsey, and Needham are strong as the top three. Kohou, Campbell, Bethel, Crossen, Williams, and Ellis can all work as depth options. Igbinoghene is the unknown - he has potential and, despite being in the league heading into his fourth season, he is still only 23 years old. Fans love to hate on him and call him a bust - but there are players in this year’s draft who are older than Igbinoghene. He can develop into a solid or better option at cornerback still. Or he could find himself on the wrong side of the cut line later this year.
Verone McKinley III
Safety could use some depth, unless Miami is considering some of the cornerbacks as safeties as well. Holland and Jones are a very good starting two, with Elliott a strong option as well. McKinley gives the team some special teams help and provides depth. There should not be a draft pick here unless someone just jumps off the page at the team.
Special Teams (3)
K: Jason Sanders
LS: Blake Ferguson
P: Jake Bailey
Adding a kicker to compete with Sanders is an option. Ferguson and Bailey seem locks for the roster.