After trimming the roster to 75 players on Tuesday, the Miami Dolphins must cut 22 more in order to create the final 53-man roster by Saturday at 6 pm ET.
Although the Dolphins already have a pretty concrete idea of which players will travel to Cleveland for the season opener in just over one week's time, tonight's preseason game against the Saints will allow them to determine which bubble players will join them.
Here is my official projection of the Dolphins 53-man roster including the 22 players I believe will be cut in the process:
Quarterbacks (2): Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore
Cuts: Pat Devlin, Aaron Corp
Notes: Devlin hasn't played well during the preseason and it would be wise for the Dolphins to add depth at another position instead of keeping a third quarterback on the active roster. Unless Devlin is poached by a team in need of QB depth, he will be on the practice squad.
Running Backs (3): Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Mike Gillislee
Cuts: Jonas Gray
Notes: Gray could be kept as a solution in short yardage situations but I don't see the Dolphins keeping four running backs.
Wide Receivers (5): Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Rishard Matthews, Marvin McNutt
Cuts: Chad Bumphis, Brian Tyms, Keenan Davis
Notes: Matthews' experience gives him the role of 4th receiver while McNutt's size gives him the edge over Bumphis. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Tyms was able to beat out McNutt.
Tight Ends (4): Charles Clay, Dion Sims, Michael Egnew, Kyle Miller
Notes: The Dolphins need all the help at tight end they can get until someone steps up to fill the void left by Keller. Miller has played well and will help with the depth at this position.
Fullback (1): Evan Rodriguez
Notes: Versatile player that can line up at tight end as well if the Dolphins don't incorporate a true fullback into their offense.
Offensive Line (9): Jonathan Martin, Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey, John Jerry, Tyson Clabo, Dallas Thomas, Nate Garner, Josh Samuda, Will Yeatman
Cuts: Sam Brenner, Andrew McDonald, Chris Barker, Jeff Adams
Defensive Line (9): Cameron Wake, Dion Jordan, Olivier Vernon, Jared Odrick, Randy Starks, Paul Soliai, Derrick Shelby, A.J. Francis, Kheeston Randall
Cuts: Antwan Applewhite, Tristan Okpalaugo, Vaughn Martin, Tracy Robertson
Linebackers (7): Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler, Koa Misi, Jelani Jenkins, Jason Trusnik, Jonathan Freeny, Josh Kaddu
Cuts: Lee Robinson, Austin Spitler
Notes: The toughest position to project since all nine players on the depth chart are capable of being on an NFL 53 man roster. Despite not meeting expectations yet, Jenkins makes the team based on draft position and ability to contribute on special teams.
Cornerbacks (5): Brent Grimes, Dimitri Patterson, Nolan Carroll, Jamar Taylor, Will Davis
Cuts: R.J. Stanford, Julian Posey, De'Andre Presley
Notes: Stanford is the toughest to cut here but the feeling is that the Dolphins are quite confident in their top five corners.
Safety (4): Reshad Jones, Chris Clemons, Jimmy Wilson, Kelcie McCray
Cuts: Don Jones, Keelan Johnson, Jordan Kovacs
Notes: Kelcie McCray has played himself into a spot on this roster while I expect the team to attempt to stash Don Jones and Jordan Kovacs on the practice squad.
Special Teams (4)
Kicker: Caleb Sturgis
Punter: Brandon Fields
Long Snapper: John Denney
Kick Returner: Marcus Thigpen
Let us know your thoughts on the 53-man roster projection in the comments below.
@Phins_Phocus Cut Kyle Miller and keep R.J. Stanford. Need his ST value and CB depth. Evan Rodriguez can play TE if needed
@BrianEschler That's definitely a possibility especially if Clay, Sims and Egnew have a good game tonight.
I think they cut Kyle Miller and keep R.J. Stanford. He provides too much ST and CB depth value to cut. That way they only keep 3 TEs but have Evan Rodriguez who can line up there if need be.
@Baseball386 That's a move that would make a lot of sense as well and it wouldn't surprise me if it happened. However, if the tight ends struggle again tonight, I expect them to either keep Miller or explore trade options.
@Phins_Phocus Good job.