Predicting the Dolphins 53: Offensive line


One week to go and the Miami Dolphins will be back on the field until sometime in January. The success they have on the field this year will depend on what happens in camp and who makes the team.

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Previously we have looked at the QB’s, RB’s, WR’s and TE’s and now we finish the offensive side of the ball with the offensive line.

To date we have predicted that 16 players will make the roster on the offensive side of the ball. Four will be tight-ends, six wide-receivers, four running backs, and two quarterbacks. Once the offensive line complete we will move to the defensive side of the ball.

The Dolphins offensive line could see more players kept than in recent years. There is a lot of talent mixed with younger players and veterans but how well each acclimate to the Dolphins offensive structure will decide many of their futures.

The Dolphins currently have the following number of positional players.

Four players listed as Center/Guards. Six players listed as guards, one as a guard/tackle, four tackles, and one player listed as a general offensive lineman. Jermon Bushrod.

In the past two seasons the Dolphins have carried 10 offensive lineman into the regular season. If Adam Gase follows suit again this year the competition could be very good deeper on the line.

What we do know, barring injury of course, is that Mike Pouncey, Branden Albert, Laremy Tunsil, and Ja’Wuan James are all locks to make the roster. Jamil Douglas a 2015 draft pick also is a likely stick to the roster.

That’s five of the ten players. It’s also likely that Jermon Bushrod will make the team as well. Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner stand a better than not chance of remaining but competition for the final four spots may determine their future with the team.

Thomas, as of now is battling for a starting guard spot and competing with Laremy Tunsil. A battle he is likely to lose. Will Miami retain him as a back-up or go with someone else?

If all of the above do indeed make the roster, eight of the potential 10 spots will be filled leaving two spots remaining.

This is where it will get interesting. Ulrick John, Sam Young are two promising depth options. Young has been in the league for six seasons while John enters his 3rd. Center/guard players Jacques McClendon and Kraig Urbik will also be in the mix.

McClendon could be a long shot. He was on and off the team last year and Urbik is a 7 year veteran who might be able to offer Miami a bit more leadership. Assuming that the Dolphins go with 10 players, I would suspect that the final spots could come down to Urbik, John, or Sam Young.

Predicting this outcome is difficult because it’s not entirely out of reason that either Dallas Thomas or Billy Turner or both could be out of a job come September. There is nothing that binds them to this coaching staff.

Here are the pre-camp predictions.

53 man roster:

Spots taken by OL: 10

Roster spots total thus far: 26

Players on Oline:

Tackles: Ja’Wuan James, Branden Albert, Jermon Bushrod, Sam Young

Guards: Laremy Tunsil,  Jamil Douglas, Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner

Center: Mike Pouncey, Kraig Urbik