Dolphins Roster Projection: Mid-Training Camp Edition

August 16th, 2012
Roberto Wallace

(Photo Credit:

We’ve seen just over two weeks of practice and now exactly two Hard Knocks episodes, and things on the Dolphins roster are beginning to become more and more clear.

While position battles and roster spots are still very unsettled, this greater picture of performance, injuries, and cuts allows means we’re able to post out 2nd roster projection for the Dolphins in pre-season. Note that the order of the players is organized. their role in the offense and value to the team. Also, the “MISSED” players are organized by most likely to least likely to make the team.

1a. Matt Moore
1b. Ryan Tannehill
3/PUP. David Garrard
3/PS. Pat Devlin

Near impossible to pick the starting quarterback right now, something I would not have said a few weeks ago. With David Garrard out until the early part of the season, he won’t be an option. Matt Moore is still the favorite and my pick for the job, but the way Tannehill played in the pre-season game puts him right in the mix.

Running Backs
1. Reggie Bush
2. Daniel Thomas
3. Lamar Miller
4. Steve Slaton
FB/5. Jerome Messam

MISSED: Jonas Gray, Marcus Thigpen, Jorvorskie Lane, Ryan Mahaffey

No real changes here for the Dolphins, as things have mostly remained status quo. Slaton has been a favorite of the coaching staff since pre-training camp workouts, and they aren’t letting Thomas or Miller go quite yet. The only question that remains is who will get more carries between Thomas and Miller, and is their a roster spot for a fullback (either Jovorskie Lane or Jerome Messam). I’d say Thomas over Miller for now based on his power run ability and yes to the fullback (I’ll take Messam right now, but only based off of the fact they lured him from the CFL).

Wide Receivers
1. Davone Bess
2. Legadu Naanee
3. Brian Hartline
4. Roberto Wallace
5. Marlon Moore
6. Julius Pruitt

MISSED: Rishard Matthews, Clyde Gates, BJ Cunningham, Chris Hogan, Jeff Fuller

No question the most “fun” area of the roster to project, this list seemingly changes daily. With no Chad Johnson in the mix, only the top three spots are set with Bess, Naanee, and Hartline (in that order). After that, it’s really a crap shoot. Wallace has the ideal size and his performance in the game gives him the nod for now. Marlon Moore has been on this roster the past two years and has experience in a more west coast offense back in college. And finally, everyone seems to be pushing for Julius Pruitt to make the team, and if he can play well again in the pre-season games, he could get the nod as the 6th receiver. Four of the “MISSED” receivers (not Gates) will likely be targeted for the practice squad, but that won’t be easy to keep more than 2-3. My guess is they’ll hope to hang on to Matthews, then Hogan, then Fuller, with Cunningham likely going elsewhere and Gates moving on to another team as either a stashed roster spot guy or out of the league for a year.

Tight Ends
1. Anthony Fasano
2. Charles Clay
3. Michael Egnew

MISSED: Les Brown, Jeron Mastrud

It’s been made pretty clear that tight ends will be a substantial part to this offense, and thus far, they haven’t really exceeded expectations. Fasano is the clear cut starter for now, as he’s been the most consistent in camp. But the Dolphins know that to reach their ceiling as a passing offense, Charles Clay and/or Michael Egnew needs to step up. Clay is the likely “step-up” candidate and played well at times last year. Egnew has really struggled (a reach for a 3rd round pick), but will make the team based purely on his draft pick. Les Brown is a practice squad stashed hopeful, as he certainly isn’t ready yet to play in the NFL. And any injury to the tight ends means he’s the first guy in line to be called up. Also, he makes the team if they say no to Jerome Messam.

Offensive Line
LT. Jake Long
LG. Richie Incognito
OC. Mike Pouncey
RG. Eric Steinbach
RT. Jonathan Martin
6. Lydon Murtha (OT)
7. Josh Samuda (OG/OC)
8. Artis Hicks (OG)

MISSED: Nate Garner, Andrew McDonald, John Jerry, Will Barker, Ryan Cook, Ray Feinga

The actual starters on the offensive line seem pretty clear cut, so I won’t delve into that. However, it seems like a four man battle for 3 spots as the backup offensive linemen. Murtha has gotten high praise in the past from GM Jeff Ireland, and he’s the set swing tackle in this offense. Josh Samuda has been known for more than just his haircut at camp. He’s consistently impressed and is in line to be the back-up center with guard ability as well. And Artis Hicks was brought in thanks to his experience in the offense. Nate Garner is a worth choice as well, as he has both tackle and guard ability and has been adequate in practices. Still, I think they’ll value more center/guard help than the extra tackle after Murtha.

Defensive Line
NT. Paul Soliai

DT. Randy Starks
DE. Cameron Wake
DE. Jared Odrick
5. Oliver Vernon (DE)
6. Tony McDaniel (DT/DE)
7. Derrick Shelby (DE)
8. Kheeston Randall (NT/DT)

MISSED: Jamaal Westerman, Ryan Baker, Jarrell Root, Jacquies Smith, Chas Alecxih, Isaako Aaituu

Similar to the offensive line, the defensive line is all but set, barring injury. And Oliver Vernon and Tony McDaniel as the rotational pieces as defensive end and tackle are pretty obvious. Also, the 8th defensive line Randall is the only set nose-tackle experienced linemen on this roster that I’d trust, and I’d be surprised if he didn’t stick on the roster. As for Shelby, he’s been getting first team reps when Odrick was out, and he’s performed just well enough there. He’s not special and Westerman has a chance to pass him, but the team seems to really have taking a liking to Shelby this off-season.

MLB. Karlos Dansby
SLB. Kevin Burnett
WLB. Koi Misi
4. Gary Guyton (MLB/SLB)
5. Josh Kaddu (OLB)
6. Jason Trusnik (OLB)
7. Austin Spitler

MISSED: Josh Linam. Cameron Collins, Jonathan Freeny, Shelly Lyons

Despite my frustrations with Koi Misi, he played well enough in the pre-season game to keep his weakside starting job. However, Gary Guyton could be looking to pass him even though he’s not overly suited well to play the weakside spot. Josh Kaddu, the 5th rounder from last year’s draft, will make the team and could fill a pass rushing role opposite Cam Wake when they attempt to run some 3-4 looks. I’ve always liked Jason Trusnik’s active-ness, and his role on special teams plus consistency in the pre-season game makes him a safe pick. And finally, outside of Guyton (who is listed as a SLB), only Austin Spitler is playing the middle linebacker spot, and he makes it by default. Watch for Josh Linam to stick around, however. I liked him at the East-West Shrine game last year and his completeness as a linebacker could intrigue.

1. Sean Smith
2. Richard Marshall
3. Vontae Davis
4. Nolan Carroll
5. Jonathan Wade

MISSED: Quinten Lawrence, Trenton Hughes, Kevyn Scott, Vince Agnew, Marcus Brown

Seems pretty clear that Sean Smith has overtaken the rest of the group as the top cornerback. I actually had him ranked higher than Vontae Davis coming out of college, so I’m not overly surprised by that. The problem is that, with Marshall being slated currently as the #2 CB, Davis is set to be the 3rd cornerback, but not quite the ideal nickel. Curious to see how they use him if he doesn’t win a starting job. Carroll and Wade are both great inside cornerbacks and have special team values. Quinten Lawrence and Kevyn Scott both intrigue me the most, but neither seems to be passing Wade anytime soon.


FS. Reshad Jones
SS. Chris Clemons
3. Jimmy Wilson
4, Tyron Culver
5. Tyrell Johnson

MISSED: Kelcie McCray, Anderson Russell

Jones and Clemons seemed to be set the safety spots, but with Clemons injury, Jimmy Wilson has continued to thrive in practices and may actually be battling for a starting job. Regardless, Wilson should be used quite a bit in the defense at both safety spots and an inside cornerback role. Culver and Johnson seem like the logical FS/SS adds after Wilson. McCray was solid in college, but may be best suited for a year on the practice squad.
Kicker: Dan Carpenter
Punter: Brandon Fields
Long Snapper: John Denney

One Response to “Dolphins Roster Projection: Mid-Training Camp Edition”

  1. brightonbob says:

    great site, saw you from the new england thing. What sticks out to me as a Patriots fan from this
    1. The dolphins have some strong offensive line pieces which is probably the most important position area to have strength given what buffalo and the jets have and the patriots are trying to build.
    2. How much philbin and chad johnson have dominated hard knocks to the point that the only guys on this list that I can say we’ve seen extensively are the tight end street free agent. They always focus on a first round pick so it was a given we’d get to know tannehill, but a lot of these names aren’t familiar yet.
    3. This is a pretty unimposing defense, but given how unimpressive the jets and bills offenses are, it’s much less of a concern.
    4. Keep up the good work.

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