The Miami Dolphins have released their first depth chart of the season and with it comes a few minor surprises that might have some talking.
With the Miami Dolphins ready to start their pre-season this Thursday night at Hard Rock Stadium, they have released their first depth chart. Should Dolphins fans read anything into it? Probably not.
There were no surprises at quarterback where Josh Rosen remains the number two QB behind Ryan Fitzpatrick. The competition between the two has become closer over the last week of practice and there is still plenty of time for this to change. Jake Ruddock remains the 3rd.
The running back competition has been interesting from the start with Kalen Ballage taking a lot of first-team reps. The first depth chart has Ballage and Drake listed as the first team runners with a “Drake or Ballage” designation for the starter.
That same designation was also given to Mike Gesicki and Nick O’Leary at tight-end with Durham Smythe, Clive Walford, and Dwayne Allen who is still injured listed next.
Wide-receiver didn’t surprise anyone but the fact that Albert Wilson is listed as the starting outside receiver is a positive given his return from a hip injury. DeVante Parker lines up on the other side and Kenny Stills is the third receiver in the slot where he has been working lately. Recently signed Allen Hurns is in the third spot behind Stills and Irwin.
Behind Wilson is Isaiah Ford, Brice Butler, and Horn. Behind Parker is Jakeem Grant, Preston Williams, and Blacknall.
The offensive line has been a fluctuating concern for the Dolphins and there are really no surprises here either. Right tackle is Jordan Mills who gets the first nod over Will Holden and Isaiah Prince. At right guard, Jesse Davis is the starter with Shaq Calhoun the primary back-up. No surprise at center with Daniel Kilgore the starter followed by Chris Reed.
On the left side, rookie Michael Dieter is the first starter at left guard followed by Fuller and Dunn, at left tackle it’s Laremy Tunsil, and Zach Sterup.
Heading over to the defensive side of the ball we see pretty much the same with only one real surprise.
Starting on the defensive line the starters are Charles Harris at the edge getting the early nod over Nate Orchard. On the other side Tank Carradine is ahead of Jonathan Woodard and Ledbetter.
There shouldn’t be too much read into the depth chart at defensive end as the new defensive scheme will rotate players and linebackers will have a larger focus in the system.
Defensive tackle has no surprises with Davon Godchaux and Christian Wilkins listed first followed by Vincent Taylor, Adolphus Washington, and Joey Mbu.
Linebacker gets fun, however. Jerome Baker is, of course, one of the three starters and has emerged as the team’s signal-caller and leader. Next to him is Kiko Alonso. Raekwon McMillan who has spent much of training camp working with the 2nd unit is listed as the starting linebacker ahead of Eguavoen. Andrew Van Ginkel is listed as the 2nd unit LB behind Baker.
Corner has, of course, Xavien Howard on one side but the competition for the other side has been open for much of the off-season. The first depth chart gives Eric Rowe the nod with Armstrong behind him.
The surprise here is that Minkah Fitzpatrick is listed as the 2nd team safety behind Bobby McCain but Fitzpatrick is expected to play a huge role as a slot corner who will be moved around the field. T.J. McDonald is on the 2nd team behind Reshad Jones but Jones is injured and will not play this pre-season.
The interesting thing here is that the Dolphins have McCain playing in front of McDonald as well. There is a big focus on the secondary by Brian Flores and the units are deep back there.
No surprises on special teams where both kickers have no competition and John Denney, the ageless wonder, is holding the LS job. The returners are Jakeem Grant on both punt and kick teams with Drake the back-up on kicks and Stills the back-up on punts.
Again, this is the first depth chart and really is only for discussion purposes. How the actual and final depth chart works out is still to close to call at this point at several positions, including quarterback.