Start, Keep, Cut for Miami Dolphins: All Offensive Positions Edition
The Miami Dolphins currently have 43 offensive players on their roster. Expect that number to be reduced to 25 on August 31.
The standard formula would include 25 players, each, for the offense and defense, one kicker, one punter and a long snapper. While an NFL general manager can do whatever he wants with his roster, 25 will be the magic number for our purposes.
Which 25 offensive players will be Miami Dolphins when the 2013 regular season kicks off?
Who will start alongside Ryan Tannehill?
While there are still three preseason games left for the Dolphins, I will attempt to predict who Miami will start, keep and cut.
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The quarterback position is etched in stone.
The second-year signal-caller from Texas A&M, Ryan Tannehill, will be the starter for the Miami Dolphins.
Matt Moore, who signed a two-year contract worth $8 million, will be one of the league's top backups. Rotoworld's Nick Mensio ranked Matt Moore as the third-best free-agent quarterback in the 2013 class, behind only Joe Flacco and Kevin Kolb.
Speaking of Flacco, another Delaware field general, Pat Devlin, will be Miami's third quarterback.
- Tannehill: Start
- Moore: Keep
- Devlin: Keep
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The Miami Dolphins are looking for a starting right guard. Tyson Clabo (right tackle), Mike Pouncey (center), Richie Incognito (left guard) and Jonathan Martin (left tackle) will be the other four starters on Miami's offensive line.
Josh Samuda appears to have missed his opportunity in the exhibition game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. After being manhandled by the Jaguars' Sen'Derrick Marks and allowing a sack, Samuda was pulled earlier than expected for a player in the midst of his first audition as a right guard.
According to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman claimed that Samuda was pulled because he had suffered a hand injury. Despite Sherman's defense, Samuda was able to practice on Sunday and was relegated to the second team in the latest practice, according to Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel.
Once Lance Louis' knee is fully healed, he will challenge John Jerry. As of now, Jerry is the favorite to start at right guard when the regular season begins.
Nate Garner: Keep
Dallas Thomas: Keep
Will Yeatman: Cut
Jeff Adams: Cut
Chris Barker: Cut
Jeff Braun: Cut
Sam Brenner: Cut
Chandler Burden: Cut
Andrew McDonald: Cut
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According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Mike Sherman claims that Daniel Thomas is still in the running to be the Dolphins' starting running back.
Yes, that Daniel Thomas. The 2011 second-round selection from Kansas State that has been a bust at best, rushing for 906 yards in two seasons, averaging a sickly 3.5 yards per carry. Jackson also points out that, "no NFL running back with as few carries as Thomas fumbled as much (three times in 91 attempts)."
Lamar Miller is clearly the starter in Miami despite Sherman's smokescreen. Mike Gillislee will be kept because he was drafted, and Marcus Thigpen will be Miami's return specialist.
In my opinion, Jonas Gray, who scored twice against Jacksonville, is competing with Thomas for the final running back spot. Sherman's words force me to give Thomas the benefit of the doubt.
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The Miami Dolphins signed Evan Rodriguez and courted Vonta Leach, per the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero, for a reason. Last year's starting fullback, Jorvorskie Lane, is limited.
Salguero reported that Rodriguez was receiving all the first-team snaps in the latest practice.
Rodriguez is a better athlete than Lane, capable of running the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds with his large (6'2") 245-pound frame, per NFL.com. If he can keep his off-field issues at bay, the Chicago Bears' 2012 fourth-rounder will have a home in Miami.
Charles Clay will serve as a backup fullback and part-time tight end.
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The Miami Dolphins have drastically improved Tannehill's wide receivers in 2013. Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson will be a formidable group.
Armon Binns' season-ending injury has opened the door for a surprise newcomer. Because he was a starter last year and because of his special teams play, I will give Rishard Matthews the benefit of the doubt. Matthews returned to practice recently, as reported by Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel.
Kelly also believes that Brian Tyms, Marvin McNutt and Chad Bumphis are fighting for the final wide receiver spot.
As the Sun Sentinel's Chris Perkins points out, Bumphis has been impressive in camp. Even after Perkins' report, Bumphis has shown more consistency than Tyms and McNutt.
Keenan Davis: Cut
Jeff Fuller: Cut
Julius Pruitt: Cut
Andrell Smith: Cut
Kenny Stafford: Cut
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Dustin Keller and Ryan Tannehill are developing a chemistry as evidenced by their 22-yard touchdown connection versus the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Dion Sims and his giant frame (6'5", 262 lbs) will be Miami's blocking tight end and potential red-zone specialist.
Michael Egnew has had a fruitful offseason. Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel recently claimed Egnew's "play is light years ahead of last season."
As mentioned in an earlier slide, Charles Clay will serve as a part-time tight end.
Kyle Miller: Cut