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.

Where does Lynn Bowden Jr. fit on the Dolphins roster?

Last year, Lynn Bowden Jr. did not play a single snap in Miami. Now, he can. The question is, what is his fit on the Dolphins roster?

With a new coaching regime in Miami, Lynn Bowden has a shot to make the roster, The question is, what is Lynn Bowden’s fit on the Dolphins roster?

Last year I wrote about how Lynn Bowden Jr, would be an X factor in Miami. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, Bowden was placed on season ending IR.

Fit as a wide receiver

Currently listed as a wide receiver in Miami, Lynn Bowden Jr. played only 10 games his rookie season. Of those 10 games, Bowden started in four games for Miami.

Bowden played a big role for the Dolphins offense down the stretch in the 2020 season, catching 27 passes for 212 yards (7.9 avg.) in the final five games.

In the Dolphins offense, Lynn Bowden Jr. is a rare talent. He can line up out wide, in the slot, as a running back, or a wildcat quarterback.

Within this new Dolphins offense; however, Lynn Bowden Jr. is not the rarity. Receivers like Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Erik Ezukanma can do everything Bowden does.

Frankly, the Miami Dolphins wide receiver roster is loaded with versatile talent:

  • Tyreek Hill
  • Jaylen Waddle
  • Cedrick Wilson
  • Erik Ezukanma
  • Preston Williams
  • Lynn Bowden Jr.
  • Cody Core
  • River Cracraft
  • DeVonte Dedmon
  • Braylon Sanders

While Bowden Jr. will see some snaps at receiver if he is kept on the roster, will it be enough to make a sizable impact?

In 2020, Bowden logged 9.6% target percentage when he was on the field. Player profile loggs it as the 99th best in 2020.

Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Cedrick Wilson are locked as the Dolphins first three receivers. Battling for the fourth receiver spot will come down to rookie Erik Ezukanma, Bowden, and Preston Williams.

Both Williams and Ezukanma are bigger than Bowden and can line up more on the outside. Williams has taken snaps at running back before. Ezukanma at Texas Tech did the same things Bowden did.

Financially, letting go of Bowden earns almost $1.04 million back to sign free agents in the middle of the season due to any injuries.

PlayerCap ChargeDead CapCap Savings
Erik Ezukanma$886,248$724,992$161,256
Lynn Bowden Jr.$1,038,128$0$1,038,128
Preston Williams$1,290,000$275,000$1,015,000

However, depth on the roster is like money, you can never have too much. Carrying more than six receivers on the roster is a necessity, especially in a pass-heavy league.

But…

Lynn Bowden Jr. as a running back?

We all know in 2020, the Las Vegas Raiders botched their plan for Bowden Jr. by slotting him as a running back. It never worked out.

But what if the Miami Dolphins tried it?

When the time comes Lynn Bowden Jr. will be a great case study in the value of versatility.

We’ve seen what Julian Edelman, Taysom Hill, Brian Mitchell, Antwan Randle-El, Hines Ward, and others back to Frank Gifford and Paul Hornung have accomplished, but staff matters.

This is where Lynn Bowden could thrive in an offensive staff and scheme assembled by Mike McDaniel.

Yes, we all have heard Mike McDaniel and his evolution of turning Deebo Samuel into an all-pro wideback.

Just the combination of running the ball and Bowden’s toughness minimizes the offense’s risk in the passing game.

A personnel of Waddle and Hill on opposite sides of the field with Bowden Jr. in the backfield will make defenses scratch their heads. There’s an advantage of lining him up in the backfield and as a running back.

Running Back Financials

PlayerCap ChargeDead CapCap Savings
Chase Edmonds$5,500,000$5,500,000$0
Raheem Mostert$1,936,765$1,000,000$936,765
Myles Gaskin$2,561,777$21,777$2,540,000
Sony Michel$1,750,000$850,000$900,000

Those are the four top guys at running back right now, and Gaskin has the least dead money and offers the most cap savings by far.

The Dolphins are also carrying Alec Ingold whose 2022 salary is fully guaranteed for a cap charge of $2,750,000 at fullback. Chase Edmonds and Alec Ingold are both locks for the roster.

Again, depth is money- but you become smart with money. Unless there’s an injury in camp at the position or Gaskin has a strong training camp, it will be hard justifying his cap charge as a running back.

The Miami Dolphins currently have the fourth-highest positional spending at the running back position. This is where Lynn Bowden Jr. comes into play.

The Dolphins can carry Bowden as the fifth running back on the roster while also stacking the deck at wide receiver on the roster.

Positions are given based on a core scheme. In contrast, the league is moving towards position-less football on offense and defense with players becoming more versatile.

NFL teams make roster and personnel changes each game based on the opponent and matchups dictated. There may be more receivers on a game day roster one week, more running backs another week, and potentially two fullbacks the week after.

This may be the most logical option of getting a talented and versatile player like Lynn Bowden Jr. on the field.

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Genius Move by the Dolphins to place Lynn Bowden Jr. on the IR

Credit: @NFLTrade_Rumors twitter

These aren’t your father’s Miami Dolphins. The old Dolphins would handle the Lynn Bowden Jr. injury like Neanderthals, trying to start a fire by waiting for lightning. They would sit him out and wait for him to return just so he can take multiple weeks to potentially feel like he’s in mid-season form. Meanwhile three quarters of the season would be over and Bowden Jr. coming back wouldn’t mean anything.

But like I opened up with, these aren’t your grandfather’s Miami Dolphins. The Miami Dolphins have moved on from barely bi-pedal creatures to savvy Jordan Belfort type humans. Minus the skiing with dancers because as we know they got rid of those type of guys.

This regime that runs the Miami Dolphins are taking an unfortunate situation and turning it into a move that could very possibly pay off major dividends next season.

Hopefully, Bowden Jr. doesn’t take an injury settlement and will be in training camp with the Dolphins to start the 2022 season. He’s a player who is young and still very much learning a new position. He showed upside last year, and will have a great opportunity to produce for Miami for years to come.

Why the Dolphins putting Bowden Jr. on IR is a smart move

The genius here is that Bowden Jr. has a hamstring injury, something that seems like a prerequisite to be a Miami Dolphin’s wide-receiver. A typical hamstring injury typically takes about 4-8 weeks pending severity and lingers around the whole season.

With putting Bowden Jr. on the season ending IR, he now gets to heal and to focus on next year. He doesn’t have to come back and get reacclimated to the team and slowly get worked in. Yes, it would have been fun to see him work back to playing this year. But with the amount of receiver depth the Dolphins currently have, he’s a guy that can sit out the year healing and learning and the offense won’t miss a beat.

We all know that the Dolphins, currently, house a loaded wide-receiver room. Even with the release of Robert Foster and Isaiah Ford, who lets face it will probably be on the team later on this year when the Dolphins have predictable injuries to other receivers and need a guy who knows what he’s doing to come in and play, the Dolphins have very good wide outs.

Parker, Fuller, Waddle, Williams, Wilson, Hollins, and either Grant, Merrit, or Perry will be their 7th receiver making the club.

What this means for next year

But next year, the wide receiver room, I expect, will look much different. I would think Parker will be gone. Fuller signed a one year deal so it’s hard to say if Miami would sign him to a long term deal. Preston Williams and Albert Wilson are two other guys that aren’t locks to be around for multiple years to come.

This means that having Bowden Jr., who has been immersed in the new offensive scheme, will be able to step in a pick up where he left off. He might even be thought of as a guy who needs to be one of the main receivers on the squad.

The important aspect here is that Grier and Flores are always looking ahead. Of course this season is paramount. But, they’re smart enough to know that next year is also important to consider right now. That’s why I love this move. There are adults running the show who will do things that seem weird but are actually in fact smart. Enjoy your Wednesday.

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Miami Dolphins Cut Down to 81

The Dolphins cut down their roster to 86 players last Tuesday. Today, it was cut down to 81.

Credit: Palm Beach Post

As of 4 PM EST today NFL league rules dictate rosters must be cut down to 81 players.

The Dolphins announced they released 3 players and played one on IR.

Jermaine Eluemunor, OL

Eluemunor came from New England during this offseason and was a depth piece for the team. After trading for OT Greg Little and seeing a slightly better OL performance on Saturday, the Dolphins released Eluemunor. 

This opens up the door for IPP player Durval Quieroz Neto.

Isaiah Ford, WR

This Dolphins released WR Isaiah Ford today. He’s had multiple stints with the team and always finds his way back to Miami. In a WR room with at least 7 guys who can make the roster, Ford had to show more over the last few weeks. 

Unfortunate for Ford, but good news for other WR’s like Kirk Merritt.

Robert Foster, WR

Robert Foster was released with an injury designation. He had shown some flashes of potential, but similarly to Ford, the WR was too crowded. His injury makes it an easier cut for Miami. 

This makes it clear that Mack Hollins will make the roster. He’s had a great offseason, and that isn’t a surprise.

Lynn Bowden, WR

The Dolphins placed Lynn Bowden Jr. on IR with a hamstring injury. This move is going to most likely end his season. Miami can release him with an injury designation and then choose to resign him. In that case, though, Bowden would be an FA and could sign anywhere.

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Miami Dolphins Training Camp Disappointments

Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The offseason is a little over halfway done. This offseason has been extra important because this was the first real offseason for second year players. Throughout this offseason, the Dolphins as a whole have looked up and down. Some days the offense looks light years ahead of the defense and other days vise versa. Below are some Dolphins who have been disappointments. These Miami Dolphins disappointments are either having a very quiet offseason, or players who just haven’t lived up to our expectations this offseason.

Matt Skura

When Miami signed Skura in the offseason, fans immediately thought he would be the starting center. Although he was the starter week one in camp, shortly after he lost the job to Michael Deiter. Early on in camp there were reports of Skura having bad footwork. To many Dolphin fans this was disappointing to hear. Skura was the Ravens starting center for the past couple years and last season had a shaky year due to injuries. It seems like Skura is not going to be able to bounce back this season with Miami as Deiter seems to have locked up the starting spot.

Skura had early camp struggles

Lynn Bowden Jr.

Bowden had minimal impact in the first preseason game, but this was a nice catch in trafffic.

Bowden is a Miami fan favorite, which is why it hurts to say his camp has been disappointing. After trading for Bowden last season, he became one of Tua’s favorite targets later on. His ability to make people miss and create yards after the catch is what separated him from other Miami receivers. That being said, Bowden has been invisible this camp. During the early stages of camp, we heard nothing about Bowden besides a few bad plays. This made some people think that he was moving down the depth chart. Others thought that the Dolphins could just be hiding Bowden so teams just “forget” about him. In preseason Bowden has been visible so maybe Miami is just hiding him and have plans for him when the season starts.

Solomon Kindley

Last season Kindley was one of Miam’s starting offensive lineman. This offseason, Kindley started with the third team. This shocked a ton of people especially because Miami did not focus on guard in the draft or free agency. People speculated that Kindley was over weight or out of shape but nothing has been confirmed. Kindley did work his way back up to the starting lineup. During camp, Kindley has not been blown off the line and has not looked like himself. He has shown flashes but it seems like his starting spot is not guaranteed. His pass blocking has been a big question mark since last year and Kindley has not shown any improvement to that. As the year goes on Kindley’s play and whether he wil remain a starter will be something to look at.

Kindley started camp on the third team and eventually worked his way back up.

Noah Igbinoghene

Iggy’s best play of his career. Stays on the hip of the receiver during the route and gets the pass deflection.

It has been quite the roller coaster for the Miami Dolphins cornerback room this offseason. Xavien Howard held out of OTAs and eventually requested a trade and on top of that had an ankle injury early in camp. This allowed both Nik Needham and Iggy to replace X in the starting lineup. While Iggy has shown flashes in both camp and in the first preseason game, he still looks like a very raw prospect. When Iggy was drafted we all knew it would take time for him to adjust to the NFL, but so far it seems like it may take longer than expected. Needham has solidified himself as the now backup corner behind Byron Jones and X while Iggy is on the outside looking in. I am not saying that Iggy will not develop into a good player, it is just disappointing to see no huge improvements from one year to the next.

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