• Fins thump Bears Fins thump Bears Miami climbs to 3-3 as they beat Chicago, 27-14
  • RB Moreno out for season RB Moreno out for season Miami placed the RB on the IR list, ending his season
  • DE Shelby arrested and suspended! DE Shelby arrested and suspended! Click here to join the discussion!
  • Fins run roughshod over Raiders Fins run roughshod over Raiders Miami manhandled Oakland 38-14 in front of a lively London audience

     

15 Dolphins that matter tonight

gillislee2 281x300 15 Dolphins that matter tonight

Can Mike Gillislee make the final 53?The Dolphins square off against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night in a game that will mean almost nothing.

Let’s face it. The Bucs game was our dress rehearsal. Tonight’s game is an intensive tryout for the right to earn a 6-figure salary for several potential Miami Dolphins.

I’ve divided this 75-man Dolphins roster into 3 categories: in, out, competing.

Feel free to debate me on these projections. Because cases can be made for players like WR Rishard Matthews, DE Derrick Shelby, and CB Nolan Carroll being anything but “in”.

In (44)
QB: Tannehill, Moore (2)
RB: Miller, Thomas (2)
FB: Rodriguez (1)
WR: Wallace, Hartline, Gibson, Matthews (4)
TE: Clay, Sims, Egnew (3)
OL: Martin, Incognito, Pouncey, Jerry, Clabo, Garner, Samuda, Thomas (8)
DE: Wake, Vernon, Jordan, Shelby (4)
DT: Soliai, Starks, Odrick (3)
LB: Ellerbe, Wheeler, Misi, Trusnik, Jenkins (5)
CB: Grimes, Patterson, Davis, Taylor, Carroll (5)
S: Jones, Clemons, Wilson (3)
ST: Sturgis, Fields, Denney, Thigpen (4)

Out (16)
QB: Corp (1)
RB: —————————-
FB: —————————-
WR: Davis (1)
TE: —————————-
OL: Adams, Barker, Brenner, McDonald (4)
DE: Okpalaugo, Applewhite (2)
DT: Robertson (1)
LB: Robinson (1)
CB: Stanford, Posey, Presley (3)
S: Kovacs, Jones, Johnson (3)
ST: —————————-

15 players competing for 9 roster spots:

1) RB Mike Gillislee.
Gillislee is likely to stick because the Dolphins drafted him in the 5th round. Look for him to get the bulk of the carries against the Saints in an effort to secure a roster spot.

2) DT Kheeston Randall.
Tough kid who earned playing time in a deep DT rotation as a 7th round rookie last season. Gives more push on run downs than Vaughn Martin, and is more reliable than UDFA A.J. Francis.

3) OT Will Yeatman.
Joe Philbin’s pet-project at LT will make the roster if the Dolphins keep 9 OL’men. When will he finally earn a roster spot, instead of being handed one?

4) DT Vaughn Martin.
Martin hasn’t played poorly since signing a 2-year, $4-mil contract. He’s been, just OK, and it seems that Kheeston Randall has outperformed him in the race to be the #4 DT behind Soliai, Starks, and Odrick. If the Dolphins see more upside in UDFA AJ Francis, it might be wise to cut Martin despite having $750,000 in guaranteed money in his pocket.

5) LB Jonathan Freeny.
Freeny in a heated battle with Josh Kaddu and Austin Spitler for the #6 LB spot. Freeny has several things working for him: he has shown the most improvement among the backup LB’s in pre-season, can play MLB and OLB, and won’t cost a lot of money to keep on the roster.

6) TE Kyle Miller.
Miller looks like a Philbin-project who looks the part at 6’5 – 257. The Dolphins need all the bodies they can get after losing Dustin Keller for the season.

7) RB Jonas Gray.
Gray has shown glimpses of being the power RB the Dolphins covet. But his roster chances are slipping after a game-losing fumble vs. the Bucs with 3 minutes left to play. Since the Hall of Fame game that captures our hearts, Gray has just 26 carries for 59 yards (2.23 YPC) in his last 3 contests.

8) S Kelcie McCray.
McCray likely would’ve made the team in 2012 if not for a broken foot suffered in late August. He had a solid outing against the Bucs, and could be one big play away from convincing the Dolphins to keep 4 safeties.

9) LB Josh Kaddu.
I can’t help but think, the Dolphins could be making a mistake turning their backs on a player with Kaddu’s upside. Joe Phlbin recently singled out Kaddu as one of the most improved in training camp.

10) QB Pat Devlin.
Honestly? It angers me that Devlin isn’t a lock at this point. He looks like he belongs. And if Devlin were just one pre-season injury away from being cut, the Dolphins would’ve been wise to spend a 4th round on Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib in a developmental role. I hope he throws for 5 TD’s tomorrow.

11) DT A.J. Francis.
Francis had the opportunity vs. the Bucs to secure a spot on this 53-man roster. He did not take advantage of that opportunity, which is a shame given his combination of power and size (6-5, 309). I would love to get him back on the practice squad.

12) WR Marvin McNutt.
Smooth route runner looks like he belongs at times, but has dropped one too many passes this pre-season. Battling Tyms and Bumphis for the final roster spot.

13) WR Brian Tyms.
JL’s darkhorse for the 53-man roster. The physical tools are there at 6’3, 210. A lights-out performance vs, the Saints could catapult him up this list.

14) LB Austin Spitler.
Harsh? Maybe. But the only way I see Spitler making this roster is if replaces Jason Trunsik as ST’s captain. Slated to make $1.3 million this season, but only has 23 tackles in 3 NFL season.

15) WR Chad Bumphis.
This early August darling continues to slip further and further down the pecking order at WR. Once in a blue moon, we’ll find a Davone Bess. Normally, we’ll end up with another Quinton Spotwood, Sam Simmons, or JR Tolver.

Thanks for reading,

Follow me at @BrianCat13

Join us on our message board and share your thoughts at FinNation Forums

Join us on Twitter at @FinNation

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Brian Catanzaro

Brian is a 29-year-old Sales/Marketing Manager in St. Louis by day, but an NFL blogger and commentator by night. Follow me on Twitter @BrianCat13.

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