- Dolphins lose in preseason to Bears Miami's starters looked great, but the backups dropped to the Bears, 27-10
- Parker's return still uncertain WR Devante Parker is not sure if he will be ready for the season opener
- Suh dominates in scrimmage DT Suh had a sack and two tackles for a loss in the Fins intersquad scrimmage
- QB Ryan Tannehill signs extension Tannehill signs 6 year $96 mil extension!
The Dolphins’ second pre-season game against the Carolina Panthers brings us closer to an actual football game. Look for the starters to play into the 2nd quarter, with many other roster battles to follow.
This year’s roster battle is a bit easier to predict. I’ve divided the “Roster Odds” into 3 different tiers, with 5 specific roster battles listed below.
In regards to the 45 “In’s”, I went back-and-forth about including 5 players: G Linkenbach, LB Vigil, CB Davis, CB Lippett, and S Thompson.
QB: Tannehill, Moore
RB: Miller, Williams, Ajayi
WR: Parker, Landry, Stills, Jennings, Matthews
TE: Cameron, Sims
OT: Albert, James, Fox
G: Turner, Thomas, Douglas, Linkenbach
DE: Wake, Vernon, Shelby, Fede
DT: Suh, Mitchell, Phillips
LB: Misi, Jenkins, McCain, Tripp, Sheppard, Vigil
CB: Grimes, Taylor, McCain, McCain, Davis, Lippett
S: Jones, Thomas, Aikens, Thompson
ST: Fields, Denney
RB: James, Gillislee
WR: Preston, Hazel
TE: Robinson, Stoneburner
C: Walton, Brenner
DT: Johnson, Mosley, Francis
ST: Sturgis, Franks
LB: Paysinger, Hull
CB: Bowman, Seamster
S: Kovacs, Jones
5 Main Roster Battles I’m looking for on Saturday:
Battle: Caleb Sturgis vs. Andrew Franks.
Dolphins fans are fed up with Caleb Sturgis, and rightfully so after ranking 28th and 29th in FG % in his only 2 NFL seasons. Franks may be a few good kicks away from supplanting Sturgis.
Battle: JD Walton vs. Sam Brenner.
GM Mike Tannenbaum gave Walton a $250K signing bonus to serve as Mike Pouncey’s veteran backup in 2015. Although Walton led the league with 1145 snaps, PFF graded 67th among 70 Centers in 2014. Brenner has the edge over Walton be default, but don’t be surprised if both are kept.
3) Defensive Tackle.
Battle: AJ Francis vs. Anthony Johnson vs. CJ Mosley.
AJ Francis is one solid performance vs. CAR away from securing a roster spot as the team’s 4th DT. Would the Dolphins keep 5 DT’s? If so, look for Mosley and Johnson battle for a final roster spot. Johnson has the edge because of his age and upside, but didn’t help himself against the Bears with 3 neutral zone infractions.
Kept: Francis and Johnson.
4) Tight End.
Battle: Gerell Robinson vs. Jake Stoneburner.
Arthur Lynch was released early in camp for one simple reason: he couldn’t keep up. This sets up an interesting battle between a WR-turned-TE (Robinson) and a classic blocking option (Stoneburner). Give Robinson the edge because of his athleticism. Stoneburner is your classic lunch-pail TE who could be easier to find.
5) Running Back.
Battle: LaMike James vs. Mike Gillislee.
The Dolphins rostered 4 RB’s in each of Joe Philbin’s 3 seasons, and thus, it’s unlikely the Dolphins will keep only 3 RB’s on the roster with Lamar Miller hitting FA after the season. Give James the edge because of his versatility.
Thanks for reading,
Follow me on Twitter @BrianCat13 and like our Facebook page!
Join us on Twitter at @FinNation
No one’s job is safe. Anyone can step up. It’s too early for this. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
GM Dennis Hickey and HC Joe Philbin will cut the roster down to 53 players on August 30th.
These are the roster odds heading into the first pre-season game tonight at the Georgia Dome. They WILL change over the next 3 weeks, and I will update these roster possibilities throughout the rest of the summer. Feel free to correct me on any errors @BrianCat on Twitter.
QB: Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore (2)
RB: Lamar Miller, Knowshon Moreno (2)
WR: Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Jarvis Landry (3)
TE: Charles Clay, Dion Sims, Arthur Lynch (3)
OT: Branden Albert, Daryn Colledge, Samson Satele, Shelley Smith, Ja’Wuan James, Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner (7)
DE: Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, Derrick Shelby (3)
DT: Randy Starks, Jared Odrick, Earl Mitchell (3)
LB: Koa Misi, Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler, Jelani Jenkins, Jordan Tripp (5)
CB: Brent Grimes, Cortland Finnegan, Jimmy Wilson, Jamar Taylor, Will Davis (5)
S: Louis Delmas, ReShad Jones, Walt Aikens (3)
ST: Caleb Sturgis, Brandon Fields, John Denney (3)
WR: Brandon Gibson (1)
TE: Michael Egnew (1)
DL: Terrence Fede (1)
LB: Jason Trunsik (1)
QB: Pat Devlin (1)
RB: Daniel Thomas, Mike Gillislee (2)
WR: Rishard Matthews, Marcus Thigpen, Damian Williams, Matt Hazel (4)
OL: Nate Garner, Jason Fox, Sam Brenner (3)
DL: Anthony Johnson, AJ Francis, Isaako Aatui (3)
S: Michael Thomas, Don Jones, Jordan Kovacs (3)
This 36-50 list completes my Top-50 board for the Miami Dolphins. I have a feeling that this list will be an interesting conversation piece in 2-3 years, for better or worse.
36) C Weston Richburg, Colorado St (6-3, 304)
Richburg would be much higher on my board if not for Pro Bowl C Mike Pouncey. Great pivot man who easily gets into his stance after the snap. Although I doubt it happens, I wouldn’t be against Pouncey moving to OG if Richburg is available at #50.
37) C Marcus Martin, USC* (6-3, 320)
Martin is an extremely mobile Center at 320 poundswho would fit in well in a ZBS. Could he move to RG?
38) DE DeMarcus Lawrence, Boise St* (6-3, 251)
Underrated player with great pass-rush moves. Can move to OLB in a 3-4 if the Dolphins switch Defenses in he next few years.
39) RB Jeremy Hill, LSU* (6-1, 234)
Hill is a tall, powerful downhill runner who broke out for LSU last season with 1401 yards and 16 TD’s.
40) RB Carlos Hyde, Ohio St (6-0, 230)
The draft’s most complete RB averaged 7.3 YPC for the Buckeyes last season.
Why are people complaining again about watching NCAA gametape out their decks in early May when it’s 80 degrees? I can get used to the NFL Draft in May. Anyway..
Continuing with what I hope new GM Dennis Hickey’s board this weekend, here are the #21-#35 picks on my Dolphins Draft Board.
21) OT JaWuan James, Tennessee (6-6, 311)
James may be more Day-1 ready RT than Taylor Lewan or Zack Martin because he is started all 37 games there in college. He has very good size, arm length, and agility for a big man, and could fit the ZBS because he can get to the second level on run plays.
22) CB Jason Verrett, TCU (5-10, 176)
Verrett is a feisty, quick-twitched player who is undersized only on paper. Like Fuller, Verrett is scheme-diverse in that he has the physicality to jam receivers at the LOS and the hip-flexiblity to turn and run with receivers downfield.
23) S HaHa Clinton-Dix, Alabama (6-1, 207)
Clinton-Dix is a center-fielder type FS with intelligence and range who would pair nicely with SS Re’Shad Jones. He took over for Mark Barron at FS, and had 7 INT’s in 2012 and 2013. He’s the typical good news-bad news Alabama player: while it’s impressive that he was a disciplined playmaker for Nick Saban, his athleticism and long-term ability is a bit overrated.
Can you feel it? We are just 4 days away from the NFL Draft.
As someone who is usually a sucker for OL’men in the 1st round, I find the LB’s and receivers much more valuble than Zack Martin at #19.
My Top-50 board continues with 11-20:
11) LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama (6-2, 234)
NFL Comparison: Daryl Washington, Cardinals
Mosley would be the perfect combination of BPA and need if he fell to the #19 pick. GM Dennis Hickey coveted LB D’Qwell Jackson before FA kicked off, which doesn’t bode well for Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler. Mosley, the 2013 Butkus Award winner for best LB in the country, is a battle-tested MLB who started 37 games at MLB for Nick Saban.
12) WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon St* (5-10, 189)
NFL Comparison: Tavon Austin, Rams
Much like Tavon Austin at West Virginia and Percy Harvin at Florida, Cooks was used all over Oregon State’s offense. He had 3180 rushing/receiving yards and 23 TD’s over the last two years at Oregon St. Cooks has a great combination of speed, route-running skills, and hands. Every bit the prospect Tavon Austin was last season, and would team with Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline to give the Dolphins one of the fastest WR trio’s in the league.
13) LB Ryan Shazier, Ohio St* (6-1, 237)
NFL Comparison: Lavonte David, Bucs
Shazier is a pesky run-and-strike OLB in the Lavonte David mold. He isn’t the same QB-of-the-Defense that C.J. Mosley was at Alabama, but had more tackles (259), Sacks (12), FF’s (7), and Tackles For Loss (40.5) than him 2012 and 2013. His father, Vernon, is currently the Dolphins’ Chaplain.
14) TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech* (6-5, 265)
NFL Comparison: Greg Olsen, Panthers
Hickey’s quickest route to success is to protect QB Ryan Tannehill and surround him with playmaking weapons. Amaro brings a missing element to new OC Bill Lazor’s offense: a seam-cutting TE with size to compliment Wallace, Hartline, and Clay. He caught 106 passes for 1352 yards with the Red Raiders last season, is an ascending talent with the route running skills of his TT predecessors (Crabtree, Welker, Amendola) on a 6’5 -265 pound frame. The addition of Amaro would allow the Dolphins to use Charles Clay as a “move” player at FB, TE, and even split out wide in certain situations.