Miami Dolphins 53-Man Roster Prediction: Offense

With a new look offensive system, featuring plenty of new and exciting additions, which players will make the final 53 man roster? Dolphins ATB breakdown the key roster battles ahead of the final pre-season game.

Credit Miami Dolphins- Roster
Mandatory Credit: Miami Dolphins

In years gone by, Miami’s offense has been stagnant to say the least. While the likes of Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle attract all of the headlines, a team is only as good as the depth it has on the roster. We break down which players will constitute the much anticipated Mike McDaniel offense in Miami, and who we think makes the Dolphins final 53-man roster.

Miami Dolphins 53-Man Roster Prediction: Offense

Quarterbacks

  • QB1- Tua Tagovailoa- Lock
  • QB2- Teddy Bridgewater- Lock
  • QB3- Skylar Thompson One to watch

It is somewhat surprising how little we have heard about Teddy Bridgewater during training camp, with Tua taking all of the headlines, both good and bad.

Rather, the biggest surprise has been the emergence of Skylar Thompson. The Dolphins’ 7th round draft pick has been both impressive and consistent throughout the Dolphins’ first two preseason games. During his first two outings in the aqua and orange, Thompson has gone 29/38 for 347 yards, 2 TDs and no picks.

“He looks like he belongs out there. He looks like if he got a call, he would be ready to go…The skill set we saw on tape is what we really liked. The makeup of the guy and the work ethic he has, has enabled him to do what he’s doing. The skill set is there…His feet speak to him and tell when the ball is supposed to be out and where it’s supposed to go. He’s really buying into the details.”

Dolphins’ QB Coach- Darrell Bevell was full of praise while talking about Skylar Thompson during this week’s media availability.

Thompson’s impressive performances have led many to question Bridgewater’s value on the Miami Dolphins 53-man roster, seeing the former Saints QB as a tradeable asset. For the time being at least, Bridgewater is expected to stay with Miami, leaving the Dolphins with the very difficult question of what to do with Thompson.

Available roster spots are few and far between. Miami has not carried three QBs on their final roster since the 2018 season with Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler, and David Fales.

Thompson will not likely see the field during the 2022 season. However, if released, it is very likely that Thompson will not clear waivers, having shown enough to be picked up by another team.

In recent years, Miami has committed on average $6 million per year to their back-up QB. With cap space likely to be more of a concern from 2023 onwards with big deals for Hill and Armstead to account for, it may be that Thompson will be a cheaper alternative to acquiring a rental journeyman QB once more.

Running Back /Full Back

  • Chase Edmonds- Lock
  • Alec Ingold- Lock
  • Raheem Mostert- Likely Lock
  • Myles Gaskin/ Salvon Ahmed- Ones to Watch

Miami’s running back depth is perhaps one of the biggest questions heading into the final preseason game. The battle between Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed being the biggest unknown in relation to who makes the Miami Dolphins’ final 53-man roster. Gaskin was consistently the Dolphins’ best running back during the Brian Flores era; his productivity in an otherwise stagnant offense gives him the slight edge on Ahmed.

ZaQuandre White most likely will make it to the practice squad, and may feature during the season given Mostert’s injury history.

Wide Receiver

  • Tyreek Hill- Lock
  • Jaylen Waddle- Lock
  • Erik Ezukanma- Lock
  • Cedrick Wilson- Lock
  • Trent Sherfield- Ones to Watch
  • Lynn Bowden Jr- Ones to Watch

While the above players are locks to make the team for their contributions on offense, the remaining roster spots will most likely be influenced by a player’s contributions to special teams. Lynn Bowden’s all round versatility as a receiver, rusher, returner, and even in the passing game, ought to earn him a roster spot.

The Trent Sherfield/River Cracraft battle is likely to be fiercely contested. Let us not forget that Cracraft was an early recipient of the infamous orange jersey. However, Sherfield’s contributions during camp and overall explosiveness give him the edge.

Preston Williams is likely to be cut, with Braylon Sanders hopefully making his way to the practice squad following an impressive training camp.

Tight End

  • Mike Gesicki- Question Mark
  • Durham Smythe- Lock
  • Hunter Long- Lock

TE was one of Miami’s biggest strengths, now it is one of their biggest unknowns. One thing is for sure: Cethan Carter is almost an inevitability to be cut. Durham Smythe and Hunter Long have been quiet throughout camp. Undrafted free agent Tanner Conner has impressed, however his immediate future seems destined for the practice squad.

What Miami does with Mike Gesicki remains to be seen. It is likely that he will stay, however, one thing is clear: something is not right. Gesicki has been quiet all offseason and has featured long into preseason games, while other starters have been on limited snap counts. Check out fellow Dolphins ATB writer Tim Rodriguez’s article addressing the latest rumors surrounding the star tight end.

Offensive Line

  • Terron Armstead- Lock
  • Connor Williams- Lock
  • Robert Hunt- Lock
  • Liam Eichenberg- Lock
  • Austin Jackson- Lock
  • Michael Deiter- Lock
  • Robert Jones- Likely
  • Solomon Kindley- One to Watch

Here we go again… At least it can’t get any worse… yet! There is no disputing that the additions of Terron Armstead and Connor Williams have certainly bolstered an otherwise woeful offensive line.

With Williams repeatedly struggling with snapping consistency, Michael Deiter has to be a lock to make the final roster in the event that Williams needs to shift back over to LG. The biggest concern has to be at tackle in the event that Armstead goes down. The Dolphins have a lot of versatility on the interior offensive line — not so much at tackle. McDaniel and GM Chris Grier may elect for further depth at tackle in the form of Larnel Coleman rather than Solomon Kindley.

Tyreek Hill is the Stephen Curry of the NFL

Tyreek Hill is among the most unique players in the NFL, and his skills may be most comparable to one of basketball’s greatest players.

Tyreek Hill had his opening press conference with the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, and his confidence is contagious.

Among the topics of conversation, an appreciation for Mike McDaniel and his scheme was prevalent. It’s clear that, after having a falling out in Kansas City, Miami was a place Hill believed that he could succeed at — or past — the level he did previously.

While it’s unknown what Hill’s role will bring in McDaniel’s system, it’s clear that they can both elevate each other.

McDaniel brings a new scheme, centered around wide zone runs and timely play action. Hill, on the other hand, brings an element of speed the league has never seen before.

However, it’s his gravity, and how that plays into the entire offense, that’s so exciting for McDaniel and the Dolphins. That innate ability is rarely seen in football. It’s so rare, in fact, that his best comparison might be NBA superstar Stephen Curry.

The Gravity of Stephen Curry

For those unfamiliar with Curry, the three-time NBA champion has the most three-pointers made in NBA history, and is regarded as the greatest shooter of all-time. He has made a living on making defenders pay, and his other-worldly skill has brought fear into those tasked with covering him.

“If teams are going to throw the kitchen sink at Steph, they’re going to pay”

Steve Kerr (Warriors Head Coach)

Everybody knows that Steph Curry can score better than just about anyone in the NBA, but it’s how his play effects others on the team that makes him different.

Due to his ability to get such a high volume of points in a short amount of time (along with him being able to threaten any space on the court), teams instantly go for the double team (and sometimes more).

The ideology seems sound: stop Stephen Curry and, in turn, shut down the rest of the team. However, this is the exact opposite of the case.

Stephen Curry’s manipulation of leverage and gravity opens up opportunities for others.

By dedicating an extra defender to Curry, the rest of the court now has one less defender, leaving somebody open.

This now gives the rest of the offense an opportunity to be just as dangerous. Teams will go after the star with everything they have, which takes the ancillary pieces out of their focus. This allows said players to operate in a much less congested space and make big plays for themselves.

A Similar Effect for Tyreek Hill

This exact effect has transpired for new Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill during his time in Kansas City. Much like Stephen Curry, Hill has a generational talent, and while it isn’t three point shooting, it brings the same type of impact.

His speed, which has been brought up time and time again, brings the ability to attack any space on the field with maximum effectiveness. His long range as a deep threat is one of the most unique skills in league history. So much so, that it can only truly be compared to an athlete in a different sport.

A prime example of this can be found in the divisional round of last year’s playoffs against the Buffalo Bills.

Reaping the Benefits of Hill’s Gravity

This play, shown below, shows just how much explosiveness Hill has, and what can happen if he isn’t doubled. Buffalo comes out in a pretty balanced defense, not shading over to Hill’s side, which ends up being a big mistake.

As he comes over the middle, Mahomes puts a perfect pass between the numbers. After that, we see just how much of a game-breaker Hill is. When defenders believe that they have leverage, he finds a way to make them look silly and destroy their angles.

He does so right here and finds his way into the end-zone.

Tyreek Hill destroys angles and finds his way into the end-zone.

On the following possession, we see the effects of Tyreek’s big play potential, and how teams will give up big plays elsewhere to limit one from him. Due to his ability to make a home-run play at any point, Buffalo lines up way too deep.

Kansas City is running low on time, but this is too much room for Mahomes to work, and it’s clear that this defense was called in response to Hill’s generational speed.

The Bills’ fear of Tyreek Hill as a deep threat leaves Travis Kelce wide open underneath.

By lining up their defensive backs deep, Buffalo was unable to account for the middle of the field. Thus, Kansas City was able to take advantage of matchups, which left Travis Kelce with too much room to work. This put Kansas City deeper into field goal range and was a crucial play in pushing the game to overtime.

Without Hill’s speed and explosiveness, the prevent defense likely isn’t called. This begins a domino effect that likely ends with Kansas City losing this game. Thus, likely ending their playoff run a round early. It’s clear that the gravity Hill attracts is extremely important and brings great potential to Miami.

The Bottom Line on Tyreek Hill and his Gravity

Miami has one of the best young cores in the NFL now. Behind Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki, and Cedrick Wilson, there are several players capable of having big games.

The probability of doing so has just gone up. Tyreek Hill will continue to draw the best defenders, with teams often coming out in preventative defenses with two-high safeties or double teams. As it did in Kansas City, the surrounding pieces will be too much to handle.

The gravity that Hill brings simply isn’t matched by any NFL player, and his generational talent, similar to Stephen Curry’s, will do wonders for the Dolphins’ offense.

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