The roster cut-down deadline for NFL teams to trim their rosters to 75-players will occur at 4 PM today. The Miami Dolphins have a few easy decisions and a few tough decisions to make as far as shaping their 53-man roster is concerned. The lack of depth at specific positions (TE, WR, OT, OG) will cause the team to be searching the waiver wire for any replacements.
So in honor of today’s roster cut-down, let’s take a look at an updated version of my projected 53-man roster:
Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Pat Devlin.
Previous: Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Pat Devlin.
- No change here and no real surprise. This is Tannehill’s team. The second-year quarterback has looked pretty darn good thus far through four-preseason games.
- Moore, whom has looked shaky through three preseason games, will still serve as this team’s back-up. I understand Pat Devlin is interesting, but he’s not on Moore’s level.
Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Mike Gillislee, Marcus Thigpen.
Previous: Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Mike Gillislee, Marcus Thigpen.
- No changes here either. Miller will serve as the team’s top option at the running back position after edging out Thomas last week in Miami’s 17-16 loss to Tampa Bay.
- Thomas will still play a big role in the success of the offense this season. The former Kansas State running back will serve as the team’s third-down and short yardage back this season.
- Gillislee will be slowly brought along, somewhat similar to how Miller was brought along last season. Gillislee should play a small role at the beginning of the season. As the season progresses, however, he should begin to see more snaps – barring he’s developed properly.
- Thigpen will serve as the team’s kick and punt returner. He may also see some snaps at wide receiver.
Previous: Charles Clay
- I understand that Clay is “the guy” after the injury to TE Dustin Keller, but he looked absolutely awful against Tampa in that role. I see Evan Rodriguez switching roles with Clay this week and eventually making a permanent move.
Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Rishard Matthews, Marvin McNutt
Previous: Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Rishard Matthews, Marvin McNutt.
- I feel no reason to explain why Wallace, Hartline and Gibson are on this list. Did you think they wouldn’t be?
- Matthews should get the nod over a very thin tail end to the receiving corp due to his experience.
- McNutt gets the nod here with a catch. The former Iowa receiver probably won’t make this team unless he performs well in the final weeks here before the season truly kicks off. I fully expect Miami to look into adding another receiver to bring along. McNutt’s inconsistent hands will lead to a PS position.
Evan Rodriguez, Michael Egnew, Dion Sims.
Previous: Dustin Keller, Dion Sims, Kyle Miller.
- Rodriguez looked pretty darn good against Tampa, in my opinion. The former Chicago Bear looked strong, fast and ran good routes. Clearly the best TE/H-Back the team has on it’s roster.
- Egnew makes this team due to the Keller injury. He must prove that his third-round selection was not a fluke.
- Sims will make this team due to his upside and draft position. Although Sims has not really jumped off the page stat-wise, he has made plays when given the opportunity. Surely looks like a decent young tight end.
Jonathan Martin, Nate Garner.
Previous: Jonathan Martin, Nate Garner.
- Martin has actually improved quite a bit this season. After being absolutely destroyed during OTAs and training camp, Martin has looked like a pretty good left tackle through four preseason games. He must continue to improve, though.
- Garner will not be going anywhere. This team is starved for depth along the offensive line and cannot afford to let their best back-up offensive lineman go.
Previous: Richie Incognito, Dallas Thomas.
- Incognito will be returning as the team’s left guard this season. Cog has played well this preseason through four games and will look to continue to build upon his recent success.
Mike Pouncey, Josh Samuda.
Previous: Mike Pouncey, Josh Samuda.
- Pouncey will look to build on a strong sophomore year. This kid is the real deal and is looking like one of Miami’s best first-round picks in decades.
- Samuda is a valuable asset to have as he can play all three positions along the offensive line – seems like a reoccurring theme, eh? That being said, I understand he has looked absolutely terrible as the team’s right guard, but he is a good back-up at the center position.
John Jerry, Lance Louis.
Previous: John Jerry, Lance Louis.
- Jerry finally returned to action last week and looked a little rusty at times, but his presence was missed dearly. Jerry has the job locked up for now, but don’t sleep on Louis.
Tyson Clabo, Will Yeatman, Dallas Thomas.
Previous: Tyson Clabo, Nate Garner.
- Clabo should prove to be one of this team’s best offseason acquisitions. He should solidify the right tackle position.
- Yeatman is Jeff Ireland’s baby and I don’t see him parting ways with Yeatman just yet. Even though his preseason play has been terrible.
- Thomas should be kept due to his draft status and his ability to play both guard and tackle. Although he’s been terrible through his first few games, he does possess some skills the coaching staff can work with.
Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, Dion Jordan, Derrick Shelby.
Previous: Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, Dion Jordan, Derrick Shelby.
- Wake and Vernon will bond together to form one of the league’s most athletic defensive end duos. Both are strong, fast, quick and physical.
- Dion Jordan should, crossing my fingers, be ready to go soon. No, I don’t think his shoulder injury will keep him sidelined for the entire season. But the team must be cautious with their first-round pick.
- Shelby has looked pretty darn good through four preseason games and will look to build on that.
Paul Soliai, Jared Odrick, Randy Starks, Kheeston Randall, AJ Francis.
Previous: Paul Soliai, Randy Starks, Jared Odrick, Vaughn Martin, Kheeston Randall.
- Soliai, Starks and Odrick are all interchangeable and will all play a big role in the success of this defense this season.
- Randall has looked good this preseason after seeing some action as a rookie last season.
- Rookie AJ Francis gets the nod here over Vaughn Martin. Why? He’s cheaper, bigger, younger and has performed better this preseason.
Philip Wheeler, Koa Misi, Josh Kaddu, Jonathan Freeny, Jason Trusnik.
Previous: Philip Wheeler, Koa Misi, Josh Kaddu, Jelani Jenkins.
- Wheeler and Misi have looked great thus far. Wheeler looked a little shaky in the Hall Of Fame Game when caught in coverage, but has rebounded and looked great.
- Kaddu has looked good on a second-team defense that has looked terrible. Kaddu’s pass rushing ability and speed will give him the upper edge over the competition.
- Freeny will likely be the team’s top back-up linebacker. He looked great against Tampa and should continue his success.
- Trusnik will takeover Austin Spitler’s role as the team’s special team’s ace this season and should see some time rushing the passer.
Dannell Ellerbe, Jelani Jenkins.
Previous: Dannell Ellerbe, Austin Spitler.
- Ellerbe has looked like Miami’s best linebacker through four preseason games. He’s fast, quick and is a great tackler in space.
- Jenkins hadn’t shown up for the first three preseason games but flashed his potential against Tampa and I was impressed. Jenkins could prove to be an excellent selection in the fourth-round.
Brent Grimes, Dimitri Patterson, Nolan Carroll, Will Davis, Jamar Taylor.
Previous: Brent Grimes, Richard Marshall, Will Davis, Jamar Taylor, Nolan Carroll.
- Grimes and Patterson have all but locked up the starting corner positions.
- Carroll will be given an opportunity to cover the nickel position but he will have a tough time keeping rookie Will Davis off the field if Davis continues to get his hands on the football during practice.
- Taylor needs to get himself healthy. If Taylor can get himself health he can also challenge Carroll for that nickel spot.
Previous: Chris Clemons, Kelcie McCray, Don Jones.
- Clemons will be the team’s free safety this season and should continue his ability to be a vocal leader.
- I had McCray making the team. It was tough to cut him, but he could end up on the PS and could develop into a nice special teams player earning a call-up during the season.
Reshad Jones, Jimmy Wilson.
Previous: Reshad Jones, Jimmy Wilson.
- Jones will look build on his break-out season one year ago. If he can, my god, look out opposing offenses.
- Wilson will return to the safety position after seeing extended time last season in the nickel role. God help us if he has to play there again.
Previous: Caleb Sturgis.
- Sturgis won this battle a long time ago. There’s no battle here anymore.
Previous: Brandon Fields.
- Fields has had this job locked up since he was created by God.
Previous: John Denney.
- The longest tenured Dolphin will add another year onto that as he returns for another season.