Every preseason, on every team, there who are players on the bubble.
These players have about 4 weeks to prove why they are worthy of a spot on the roster. If they struggle, they’ll be looking for a new team to join in August or September.
Some guys come into training camp on the bubble, some come in as camp bodies and play themselves into a position to potentially make it. Then there are the guys who expected to make the roster but for a variety of reasons may have ended up on the bubble.
The guys in this article are going to need to do some extra work to make this roster. If they do make the roster, they have the ability to make substantial contributions.
Allen Hurns is a player who is coming into this camp on the bubble; however, that doesn’t solely have to do with this ability. There are probably WR rooms in the NFL that Allen Hurns can confidently make, Miami isn’t one of them.
Miami’s WR room is stacked with talent with the signing of Will Fuller and first round rookie draft pick Jaylen Waddle.
The emergence of Albert Wilson also strengthens the room. What was seen as a weakness in 2020 has turned into a
The Dolphins signed Hurns to a 1-year deal in the summer of 2019 and saw enough from him to give him a 2-year extension in mid-November.
In 14 games, Hurns had 32 catches for 416 yards and 2 TDs.
Hurns returns after opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. He hopes to return to the form he had earlier in his career.
On the first day of training camp, Hurns got open down the field quite a bit. He will need to continue to play like that to solidify himself a spot on this 2021 Dolphins.
It’s clear that Hurns has potential, but he will need to play to the best of his abilities to make this squad. With Parker, Waddle, Fuller, and Wilson all locks to make the team, Hurns needs to fight to make a spot in this dynamic WR corp.
Sam Eguavoen has taken decent snaps for the Dolphins in the past; however, the current LB talent on the team limits his role.
According to a recent article by Kyle Crabbs, Eguavoen was credited with 281 ST snaps.
Special teams play is important, but when you’re not able to get on the field to rack up more than 9 total tackles, you might be overtaken by someone else.
In 2019, when the team was regarded as the least talented in the league, Eguavoen had 6 starts. That season he had 40 total tackles and 3.5 sacks. He showed real signs of potential.
But in 2020, with the addition of Elandon Roberts and Kyle Van Noy along with the development of Andrew Van Ginkel, Eguavoen’s playing time significantly altered.
This season, Van Noy is back in New England; however, the Dolphins traded for LB Benardrick McKinney, signed Brennan Scarlett, Duke Riley, and Shaquem Griffin, and re-signed Elandon Roberts.
Andrew Van Ginkel also continued to show major growth in his game, and the Dolphins used their 18th overall pick in this year’s draft on OLB Jaelen Phillips.
Although Eguavoen has shown he can be a solid piece on defense, he may end up being the odd man out due to a potential lack of usage on defense.
A younger cheaper UDFA can play special teams instead of Eguavoen saving cap space.
The Notre Dame product has struggled to make a name for himself since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2018 draft.
Smythe has primarily been a blocking tight end while occasionally getting himself some touches in the passing game.
In 2020, he had 26 catches for 208 yards and 2 TDs. He has the ability to find himself success in the redzone, but mainly used as an in-line blocker.
In the 2021 draft, the Dolphins drafted TE Hunter Long out of Boston College. Long was regarded as potentially the most well-rounded tight end in the class.
Mike Gesicki has quietly placed himself in the top-10 pass-catching TEs in the league, and Long is a rookie with a plethora of potential in the blocking and catching phases.
The final spot in the TE room is likely to come down to Smythe and Adam Shaheen. Smythe had a more consistent role in the offense last season, but he’s in the last season of his contract.
Keeping Shaheen gives them the security of a solid third tight end through 2022, whereas Smythe could leave after this year.
The Dolphins signed Eluemunor last month as a depth piece/camp body. However, Eluemunor started four of New England’s first five games last year before suffering an injury in week 6. Obviously, he hasn’t been mentioned as a starter, as Miami has plenty of players to start ahead of him; however, he’s off to a good start.
With DJ Fluker failing the conditioning test, a door opens up for Eluemunor to move up on the depth chart. He will need to continue to play well, but if he does so and stays healthy, he could be a good depth piece to this offense.
About 4 months ago, Preston Williams was seemingly a lock to make this WR room.
After the signing of Will Fuller, drafting of Jaylen Waddle, return of Albert Wilson, and his injury still not being fully healed, Williams finds himself in a bit of a pickle.
Injury history has really held him back. Williams has only played 16 games over the last 2 seasons and has only a 50% catch rate.
He has shown great ability to go up and get the ball and get in the redzone over his short career. Last year in 8 games, he had 4 touchdowns on 18 catches, and plenty of big plays including a few in a big win in Arizona.
Plays like that are why Williams is so liked by the Dolphins. His injury history has hindered him from reaching his maximum potential. If he makes this team and stays healthy, he could be a force for this offense.
The depth of the WR room is what makes Williams a bubble candidate, but if he rehabs well this preseason, he should be able to make a backend spot in this WR group.
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