Early 53-man Roster Predictions for Miami Dolphins after the NFL Draft

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

With the 2023 NFL Draft in the books, we have a clearer picture of how the Miami Dolphins final roster will shape up. Miami grabbed a cornerback with their first pick, a running back and two utility players who possess great versatility in the later rounds. Will all four draftees make the roster? Who are some surprise cuts or cap casualties?

Here is a (very) early prediction for the 2023 Miami Dolphins 53-man roster:

  • Quarterbacks

1. Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa
Green Bay Packers v Miami Dolphins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

2. Mike White

3. Skylar Thompson

The Dolphins will likely carry three quarterbacks on the roster this season due to the injuries sustained last season, most notably to Tua Tagovailoa. Miami acquired former Jets quarterback Mike White via free agency and will likely keep Skylar Thompson on the roster for insurance. The starter is clearly Tua, but the immediate backup likely will be a competition between White and Thompson this fall.

  • Running backs

4. Jeff Wilson Jr.

Jeff Wilson Jr.
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

5. Devon Achane (rookie)

6. Raheem Mostert

7. Salvon Ahmed

I see Miami only carrying four running backs on the roster and cutting Myles Gaskin, likely hoping he clears waivers and is able to sign onto the practice squad. As I've stressed before, I believe the Dolphins want to run by committee with no clear 'bell cow', allowing all the runners to keep fresh legs. I expect the load of the carries to be shared by Wilson Jr. and rookie Devon Achane, who the Dolphins used a third-round pick on.

  • Wide receivers

8. Tyreek Hill

Mac Jones, Tyreek Hill
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Billie Weiss/GettyImages

9. Jaylen Waddle

10. Braxton Berrios

11. Chosen Anderson

12. Freddie Swain

13. Erik Ezukanma

14. River Cracraft

One name you may notice is left out is Cedrick Wilson Jr., who I see as a cut candidate for the Dolphins, as he is slated to make $7 million this season. With the additions of Braxton Berrios and Chosen Anderson, I don't see much value in Wilson Jr., especially with his price tag. A name you may not recognize is Freddie Swain, the former Seattle Seahawk. Swain carved out a nice little role in Seattle as their third wide receiver and I believe he has a real shot to make the roster.

  • Tight ends

15. Durham Smythe

Durham Smythe
Green Bay Packers v Miami Dolphins / Eric Espada/GettyImages

16. Tanner Conner

17. Elijah Higgins (rookie)

18. Tyler Kroft

This is the clear weak link of the Dolphins offense. After letting Mike Gesicki walk in free agency and trading away Hunter Long in the Jalen Ramsey trade, the depth at tight end was suddenly gone. Durham Smythe looks to become the new TE1 for Miami and it's a crapshoot to try to predict how the rest of the order falls. Tanner Conner seems like the surest bet out of the rest of them, but rookie WR/TE Elijah Higgins could certainly make the roster as well. Don't rule out the possibility of the Dolphins acquiring another tight end before the season starts, though.

  • Offensive line

19. Robert Hunt (G)

Robert Hunt
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

20. Terron Armstead (T)

21. Austin Jackson (T)

22. Connor Williams (C)

23. Dan Feeney (G)

24. Robert Jones (T/G)

25. Ryan Hayes (rookie T)

26. Liam Eichenberg (G)

The Miami Dolphins are experiencing a minor shuffle at the offensive line. Miami signed guard Dan Feeney in free agency to play guard and drafted swing tackle Ryan Hayes late in the draft to compete for a roster spot. The starters will likely remain the same, minus one name you won't see starting on the depth chart -- Liam Eichenberg. Public enemy number one to Dolphins' fans, Eichenberg may end up seeing the bench in favor of younger players that earn a shot in 2023.

  • Defensive line

27. Christian Wilkins

Christian Wilkins
Green Bay Packers v Miami Dolphins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

28. Raekwon Davis

29. Emmanuel Ogbah

30. Jaylen Twyman

31. Zach Sieler

The Dolphins' defensive line is probably the most set-in-stone position on the roster. Christian Wilkins and Emmanuel Ogbah will almost surely hold down the end positions with Raekwon Davis sticking at nose tackle. The two reserve defensive linemen I see Miami keeping on the 53-man roster are Jalen Twyman and Zach Sieler, two young players with some decent potential. Although Wilkins is in his final year of his rookie deal and Miami may field trade offers for the defensive tackle, I believe he'll play through his final year.

  • Linebackers

32. Bradley Chubb

Bradley Chubb
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

33. Jerome Baker

34. Jaelan Phillips

35. David Long Jr.

36. Duke Riley

37. Channing Tindall

38. Andrew Van Ginkel

39. Malik Reed

Like the defensive line, this is a position there won't be much shuffle at this season. Headed by Bradley Chubb, the Dolphins have some really nice depth at linebacker. After signing David Long Jr. in free agency, the starting unit featuring Chubb, Phillips, Long Jr., and Baker is one of the strongest positions on this team. Keeping seven linebackers on the roster may seem like overkill, but you can never have too much linebacker depth in a 3-4 defense.

  • Cornerbacks

40. Jalen Ramsey

Jalen Ramsey
Miami Dolphins Introduce Cornerback Jalen Ramsey / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

41. Xavien Howard

42. Cam Smith (rookie)

43. Nik Needham

44. Justin Bethel

45. Noah Igbinoghene

Spearheaded by the two-headed monster of newly-acquired Jalen Ramsey and staple cornerback Xavien Howard, this is by far the best position for Miami in terms of talent and depth. Second-round pick Cam Smith will likely start in the slot for Miami, solidifying the starting lineup. There is also some great depth in Nik Needham, Justin Bethel and Noah Igbinoghene. I wanted to keep Trill Williams on the roster, but there is just too much talent to cut anyone else. Hopefully he would clear waivers and sign on to the practice squad.

  • Safeties

46. Jevon Holland

Jevon Holland
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Cliff Hawkins/GettyImages

47. DeShon Elliott

48. Verone McKinley III

49. Brandon Jones

50. Keion Crossen

The two starting safeties for the Dolphins are fantastic. Holland and Elliott are two great safeties who will complement the elite cornerbacks in the secondary. Depth here is a bit of a concern, but McKinley and Jones provide some decent depth in dime packages and emergency options in case of injuries. Keion Crossen is in the middle of a three-year contract and will need to work pretty hard to make the final roster this fall.

  • Special teams

51. Jason Sanders (kicker)

Jason Sanders
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

52. Jake Bailey (punter)

53. Blake Ferguson (long snapper)

While I would like to see the Dolphins bring in a second kicker to compete with Sanders for the job next season, I don't know if that will happen. Punter Jake Bailey was signed in the offseason after being released by the New England Patriots in the offseason, while Blake Ferguson has been a reliable long snapper for Miami since he was drafted in 2020. Don't expect a whole lot of competition or roster shuffle here.