Miami Dolphins initial 53 is set with some feel good surprises

The Miami Dolphins roster isn't finished being finalized. Far from it actually and if you look at the makeup of the roster, you can see that other moves are ahead.

Aug 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Chris Brooks (33) breaks the tackle
Aug 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Chris Brooks (33) breaks the tackle / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

If you are not thrilled with some of the surprises on this years 53 man roster you may want to ask yourself why you watch the game of football at all. The Miami Dolphins roster is set for now but we can enjoy the hard word by three undrafted free agents who have made an NFL football team.

When the 4:00 hour passed, running back Christopher Brooks, Brandon Pili, and TE Julian Hill all made the initial 53. All three went undrafted last April.

Brooks has looked especially good this off-season and he made the most of every rep in practice and snap during pre-season. While Pili has had some ups and downs, his play in preseason was good enough to see that he can compete and add depth to a unit needing depth. Hill, well, more on Hill in a moment.

Miami has opted for 3 quarterbacks as expected. Unlike the Patriots who are carrying only Mac Jones on the roster (that will change of course). At RB, Brooks will join Mostert, Wilson, Achane, Ahmed, and FB Ingold on the roster.

WR didn't have as many surprises as we thought. River Cracraft making the team for another year is about the biggest surprise and that isn't really a surprise. Cracraft isn't flashy but he is reliable and consistent and Mike McDaniel has complete faith in him.

Cracraft was able to hold off a challenge by Chosen Anderson who did not make the team. Miami carried six today. Hill, Waddle, Ezukanma, Wilson, and Berrios.

Tight end is going to undergo some change. It has to. Miami's cut down to 53 included almost their entire tight end room. The Dolphins kept only Durham Smythe and undrafted rookie Julian Hill. Tyler Kroft who many believed would make the roster, did not.

Eric Saubert was placed on reserve/injured along with Keion Crossen who probably should have been released. His contract worth $3 million was not guaranteed.

Along the offensive line, big changes came with Miami sending Dan Feeney to Chicago leaving the team with no center to back up Connor Williams. Mike McDaniel told the media that Liam Eichenberg and Lester Cotton would provide the depth should Williams go down.

Robert Hunt, Terron Armstead, Austin Jackson, and Robert Jones all made the 53 as expected. Miami also kept Kendall Lamm, Kion Smith, and Isaiah Wynn. In all, the Dolphins will carry 10 offensive lineman into the season.

Moving to the defensive side of the ball, Miami's depth at defensive tackle is a lot lighter. Like TE, the Dolphins will probably go shopping for some depth.

Miami will enter with Christian Wilkins who ended his "hold-in" today, Raekwon Davis, and newly extended Zach Sieler. Miami also kept undrafted rookie Pili. Emmanuel Ogbah has been practicing in the trench and could provide more depth but I would expect another addition in the days to come.

At safety, Verone McKinley made the team despite rumors he was going to be released for 24 hours and re-signed to the 53 man roster after waivers. He will join Jevon Holland, DeShon Elliot, and Brandon Jones.

Corner took a bit of hit after injuries created problems. NIk Needham will remain on the PuP list and won't be available until week 5. He has missed all of camp recovering from last year's injury. Eli Apple made the team and may start opposite Xavien Howard. Cam Smith of course made the team as well and newly acquired Kevin Joseph also will make the team barring a failed physical.

Kader Kohou, Jalen Ramsey, Elijiah Campbell all make the roster but Campbell could get an injury designation tomorrow. Trill Williams was released but is expected to return barring a waiver claim. The fact Miami only kept 7 CBs is concerning and likely will change as well.

Miami will also carry 7 LBs on the initial 53 with Baker, Chubb, David Long, Phillips, Van Ginkel, Tindall, and Duke Riley making up the roster. The Dolphins released Malik Reed and Cameron Goode.

Of note, the Dolphins released two of their 2023 draft picks from April keeping only Cam Smith and De'Von Achane.

The Dolphins kept all three of their specialists that were on the roster.

In the coming days, the Dolphins will maneuver around the league with their roster and some players will be released while others are added. Some may end up on injury lists.