The Miami Dolphins released their first depth chart of the 2020 season on Monday.
Typically fans get to see the Miami Dolphins depth chart evolve through training camp but this year, we had to wait until a week before game one.
By now, typically, we know that the depth chart for the Dolphins is set but this year, it’s more fluid and will likely change between now and week three, if not week two. When the team takes the field this Sunday in Foxboro, the starters may not be the same on the chart.
Here is a look at the chart and why it will likely change and what surprises are really no surprises.
QB – Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tua Tagovailoa
WHAT! You mean Tua didn’t beat out the old guy? This is so far from a shock but there are some on social media who thought this was a big deal. It’s not. But we will probably see Tua this season at some point.
RB – Jordan Howard, Matt Breida, Myles Gaskin, Patrick Laird
FB – Chandler Cox
Running back isn’t a surprise here and while it seems pretty set Howard and Breida are going to see a lot of work and will alternate reps depending on the series and situation.
WR – Preston Williams and Devante Parker are your wide starters with Jakeem Grant and Malcolm Perry behind Williams and Isaiah Ford and Mack Hollins behind Parker. The Dolphins are not listing any slot receivers which is where we would find Grant if they did. Newcomer Lynn Bowden is behind Williams as well but that appears to be the where the slot depth is lined up so there isn’t much to read into here.
TE – Starting is Durham Smythe with Mike Gesicki behind him and Adam Shaheen behind Gesicki. Fans have been wondering why Gesicki isn’t starting but that is not what this means. Gesicki lined up in slot quite a bit last year and in the Dolphins base offense, Smythe is the better blocker so this is not an indictment on Gesicki’s training camp and again, nothing to read here.
OL – Ted Karras is starting center as we knew would be the case and Ereck Flowers is starting at left guard. Fans have been waiting a while to see who starts but we may see different looks the first few weeks as Miami plays around with the lineups. At left tackle, rookie Austin Jackson is going to get the nod and will see plenty of work if not all of it this year.
At right tackle, Jesse Davis is the starter with Robert Hunt behind him. Hunt didn’t have a great camp but honestly, he wasn’t likely to beat out Davis anyways to start his career. Julien Davenport is the back up to Jackson.
Right guard is interesting because Solomon Kindley gets the first-team spot but indications throughout camp were that Kindley more than earned the job. Adam Pankey is listed behind him. No one is behind Flowers. Michael Dieter who started at left guard last year is now listed as the team’s back-up center.
This is important. Dieter’s future with Miami will depend on what he does as a center because he will not likely get another legit shot at guard any time soon.
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Defensive depth chart
DE – Christian Wilkins is listed as the teams starting defensive end but unless Miami ran some hidden packages that the media didn’t see in camp, Wilkins is a tackle. Miami’s defense is a hybrid of a 4-3 and a 3-4 with emphasis leaning more towards the 3-4 style. Zach Sieler is his back-up.
The other DE is Emmanuel Ogbah and he is backed by rookie Jason Strowbridge. The Dolphins do not list any players as defensive tackles which is why we see Wilkins as a DE.
NT – The fact Miami is listing a NT implies a 3-4 style of defense for the base but again, it’s an evolving hybrid. Davon Godchaux and Raekwon Davis are one and two but understand that Davis is going to see a lot of work. He has had a stellar off-season.
LB – Shaq Lawson and Andrew Van Ginkel are one and two on one side with Kyle Van Noy and Sam Eguavoen on the other listed one and two. This is almost certainly how these will line up through the season.
Inside the Dolphins list Elandon Roberts and Jerome Baker as the starters with Calvin Munson and Kamu Gruger-Hill behind them.
CB – Byron Jones and Xavien Howard are listed as starters. It will be interesting to see if Howard starts this week. The Dolphins have not released their first injury report of the season. Noah Igbinoghene is listed behind Howard with Jamal Perry behind him.
Behind Jones is Nik Needham. He and Igbinoghene will compete for slot duties but Igbinoghene has been very impressive in the eyes of the coaches and has learned multiple roles on defense. He should see a lot of time on the field.
S – No surprises here where Eric Rowe and Bobby McCain are the starters. Clayton Fejedelem is behind Rowe with Frazier and Brandon Jones behind McCain.
Overall nothing much to see and the few minor surprises that were in place are really nothing more than semantics given the Dolphins playbook.