View the original article on Last Word On Pro Football: Miami Dolphins Roster Prediction 1.0
With free agency and the NFL Draft officially concluded, the 2019 Miami Dolphins are starting to take shape. While there is obviously a lot of time left until the start of the season, it’s never too early to break down the current roster. Based on everything we know now, let’s take a stab at predicting the Miami Dolphins roster.
Miami Dolphins Roster Prediction 1.0
In: Josh Rosen, Ryan Fitzpatrick
This one is pretty easy to predict. The Dolphins won’t have the NFL’s best quarterback situation by any stretch, but they have two guys who could be capable of starting for a full season. Josh Rosen should earn the opening nod, as everyone knows what Ryan Fitzpatrick brings to the table. Rosen is entering his second year and the chance to develop into a true franchise quarterback. Even if it means throwing him into the fire, the Dolphins owe it to themselves to see what Rosen can do.
The Dolphins theoretically could trade Fitzpatrick and carry just $1.5 million in dead money, but that seems unlikely. The only other passer on the roster is the untested Jake Rudock. Rudock only has five NFL pass attempts, and one of those passes was intercepted. Miami will want a better backup plan should something happen to Rosen.
Running Back (5)
In: Kenyan Drake, Kalen Ballage, Myles Gaskin, Chandler Cox, Kenneth Farrow
Kenyan Drake will remain the top option in Miami’s backfield, although he probably won’t see a full workload. Head coach Brian Flores and offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea come from Bill Belichick’s coaching tree, and New England is notorious for using multiple running backs. Kalen Ballage looked good in limited snaps last season and should see a larger workload in 2019.
Myles Gaskin was a great value in the seventh round but probably won’t see the field behind Drake and Ballage. Chandler Cox could see a surprisingly large role in Miami, as New England loved using fullback James Develin while O’Shea was with the Patriots. Kenneth Farrow looked good in the AAF, finishing the abbreviated season with the third-most rushing yards in the league. Farrow could steal one of the final roster spots if he can contribute on special teams.
Wide Receiver (6)
In: Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, Brice Butler, Ricardo Louis, Jakeem Grant
It’s anyone’s guess how this situation sorts itself out. Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, and Albert Wilson are locks, but everything behind those three is up in the air. For now, Brice Butler makes the cut as the teams’ fourth receiver and could finish the season with 20 receptions. Ricardo Louis struggled with the Cleveland Browns but is good enough to carve out a depth role on this roster. Jakeem Grant, meanwhile, will spend most of his time as a special teams’ ace.
This is probably the end of the road for Isaiah Ford, as the seventh-round pick is no longer eligible for the practice squad. Reece Horn was ok in the AAF and with the Vienna Vikings, but that’s not good enough for the NFL. He’s a prime practice squad candidate.
Tight End (3)
In: Mike Gesicki, Dwayne Allen, Durham Smythe
Mike Gesicki did enough as a rookie to remain the top tight end moving forward. Dwayne Allen is one of the best blocking tight ends and the league and could play a big role thanks to Miami’s subpar offensive line. While he didn’t catch that many passes with New England, Allen was a decent receiving threat with the Indianapolis Colts.
The third spot is completely up for grabs. Durham Smythe didn’t do anything special as a rookie but should develop into a better player than Nick O’Leary and Clive Walford. Still, this is a close battle and Smythe is anything but a roster lock.
Offensive Line (10)
In: Laremy Tunsil, Michael Deiter, Daniel Kilgore, Jesse Davis, Zach Sterup, Isaac Asiata, Chris Reed, Jaryd Jones-Smith, Isaiah Prince, Connor Hilland
Miami’s offensive line could use some work. Laremy Tunsil is penciled in at left tackle and is an average starter. Third-round rookie Michael Deiter should immediately contribute as Miami’s starting guard, while Daniel Kilgore, Jesse Davis, and Zach Sterup round out the rest of the unit. Isaac Asiata moves to the bench but should be the top interior depth option.
Chris Reed is the emergency interior backup with Jardy Jones-Smith and Isaiah Prince hold down the swing tackle positions. If one of these two has a strong preseason, they could theoretically take the starting right tackle job from Zach Sterup. Carrying 10 offensive linemen isn’t common in today’s NFL, but the Dolphins need all the offensive line help they can get. Because of that, Connor Hilland earns the 53rd spot on the roster.
Defensive Line (8)
In: Jonathan Woodard, Christian Wilkins, Davon Godchaux, Tank Carradine, Akeem Spence, Kendrick Norton, Vincent Taylor, Joey Mbu
The Miami Dolphins have a big hole to fill in Cameron Wake and Jonathan Woodard earns the first shot at filling that role. First-round pick Christian Wilkins should immediately start and contribute along the interior while Davon Godchaux grabs the final starting spot.
Tank Carradine has been a disappointment since entering the league but projects well as a rotational defensive lineman. Akeem Spence doesn’t have a starting spot anymore but should remain one of the top backups on the team. Kendrick Norton, Vincent Taylor, and Joey Mbu round out the depth, although a guy like Jamiyus Pittman could steal one of the final spots.
In: Kiko Alonso, Raekwon McMillan, Jerome Baker, Quentin Poling, Mike Hull, Andrew Van Ginkel
Kiko Alonso, Raekwon McMillan, and Jerome Baker are probably locked in to their respective starting positions. However, if any were to lose a job, McMillan is the most likely candidate. Quentin Poling is a strong option off the edge and Mike Hull provides reliable depth in the middle. Fifth round selection Andrew Van Ginkel can do a little bit of everything and adds value on special teams.
In: Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain, Eric Rowe, Jalen Davis, Cordrea Tankersley
The secondary is probably the strength of the defense. Xavien Howard is one of the better cornerbacks in the league and should continue to serve as Miami’s top cornerback. Bobby McCain is a solid starter opposite Howard and Eric Rowe has decent potential. Jalen Davis and Cordrea Tankersley round out the depth chart and should see the field on clear passing downs.
In: Reshad Jones, Minkah Fitzpatrick, T.J. McDonald, Walt Aikens, Maurice Smith
Reshad Jones is a solid starter and should remain a key piece of Miami’s secondary. Minkah Fitzpatrick is classified as a safety for this exercise but will play all over the field. The second-year player has the potential to develop into one of the best hybrid defenders in the league. T.J. McDonald is a valuable box safety who should see the field whenever Fitzpatrick lines up at cornerback. Walt Aikens is another safety/cornerback hybrid who probably won’t see the field with much regularity. Maurice Smith makes the team for special teams and is anything but a roster lock.
In: Matt Haack, Jason Sanders, John Denney
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