Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins: Immediate 53-Man Roster Cut-Predictions Post-Rams Game

Thomas GaliciaContributor IIAugust 29, 2014

Miami Dolphins: Immediate 53-Man Roster Cut-Predictions Post-Rams Game

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    The Miami Dolphins have completed the preseason 3-1 after defeating the St. Louis Rams 14-13, and now comes the toughest part of any preseason: who to keep, and who to release. 

    The Dolphins had some great positional battles filled with hungry players looking for their shot to make noise in the league. Some players will have to be released due to the depth at their positions, with Miami's hope that they can clear waivers and wind up on the Dolphins' practice squad. 

    So who's staying, who's going and who's starting? Let's predict who will fill each of those roles. 

Quarterback

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    J Pat Carter/Associated Press

    QB1: Ryan Tannehill QB2: Matt Moore

    Practice Squad: Seth Lobato

    This was never a race, despite what a small contingent of Dolphins fans would've wanted. 

    The non-battle between Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore was never interesting. Tannehill is Miami's best quarterback. 

    However, there is the question of a third quarterback. Miami has had one for the last few years, but this season with depth needed at other positions, the Dolphins will more likely choose to go with only two quarterbacks, relegating Seth Lobato to the practice squad. 

    If you've seen Lobato play at all this preseason, you'd understand why you wouldn't want him being two heartbeats away from being Miami's starting quarterback. 

Running Back

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    RB1: Knowshon Moreno

    RB2: Lamar Miller

    RB3: Damien Williams

    IR: Mike Gillislee

    Practice Squad: Orleans Darkwa

    Cut: Daniel Thomas

    I could see why Miami would keep four running backs on the active roster, and had Daniel Thomas turned in a good performance on Thursday night, I could see why they'd keep him. 

    Unfortunately for Thomas, his performance was a typical performance for him. He ran for 38 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown. It's not what I would call a job-keeping performance. 

    Orleans Darkwa wasn't much better, as he only had 22 yards on 11 carries. I could see him getting a spot on the practice squad based off of the upside potential that he has. 

Wide Receiver

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    David Goldman/Associated Press

    WR1: Mike Wallce

    WR2: Brian Hartline

    WR3: Brandon Gibson

    WR4: Jarvis Landry

    WR5: Rishard Matthews

    WR6: Damian Williams

    Practice Squad: Matt Hazel

    Cut: Marcus Thigpen, Kevin Cone

    It was a tough battle for the six wide receiver spots Miami will keep, one that already claimed Armon Binns, who was released last Tuesday, per Andrew Abramson of The Palm Beach Post

    Damian Williams' ability to return punts and kickoffs gives him a lift over Matt Hazel, Marcus Thigpen and Kevin Cone, as well as the fact that he has the most experience out of anyone. 

Tight End

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    J Pat Carter/Associated Press

    TE1: Charles Clay

    TE2: Dion Sims

    TE3: Gator Hoskins

    IR: Arthur Lynch

    Cut: Kyle Miller, Evan Wilson

    Gator Hoskins showed the most out of any tight end on the Dolphins this preseason, and not only will he make the team, but he will likely at some point this season replace Dion Sims as Miami's second tight end due to his ability to find the end zone (he led the NCAA in touchdowns the last two seasons). 

    Arthur Lynch was hurt for most of training camp, which is why Miami is starting him on injured reserve, while Kyle Miller and Evan Wilson haven't shown anything this offseason. 

Offensive Line

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    Alan Diaz/Associated Press

    LT: Branden Albert

    LG: Daryn Colledge

    C: Samson Satele

    RG: Shelley Smith

    RT: Ja'Wuan James

    OT/C/G: Nate Garner

    OT/G: Billy Turner

    OG: Dallas Thomas

    OG/C: Sam Brenner

    C (soon to return as starter): Mike Pouncey

    Practice Squad: Even Finkenberg

    Cut: David Arkin, Jason Fox, Tony Hillis

    Jason Fox may be the veteran, however, Billy Turner can serve the same role (and has more upside), as does Sam Brenner. 

    In a perfect world, I'd get rid of Dallas Thomas, who has had a horrible preseason. This isn't a perfect world, though. 

Defensive Line

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    RDE: Olivier Vernon

    RDT: Jared Odrick

    LDT: Randy Starks

    LDE: Cameron Wake

    DE: Dion Jordan

    DE: Derrick Shelby

    DE: Terrence Fede

    DT: Earl Mitchell

    DT: Anthony Johnson

    Practice Squad: Kamal Johnson, Garrison Smith

    Cut: Isaako Aaitui, D'Aundre Reed

    This is one of the toughest position groups to predict on the Dolphins due to the depth involved, as well as the great development of these players. 

    The toughest decision will be choosing between Anthony Johnson, Kamal Johnson and Garrison Smith. All three would be helped by a good game against St. Louis, and they each delivered. 

    I'm giving Anthony Johnson the nod over Smith and Kamal Johnson, as Anthony Johnson has been much more consistent throughout training camp and the preseason. The Dolphins should hope that at least one of those two players can clear waivers and get put on Miami's practice squad. 

Linebacker

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    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    WLB: Dannell Ellerbe

    MLB: Koa Misi

    SLB: Philip Wheeler

    LB: Chris McCain

    LB: Jordan Tripp

    LB: Jelani Jenkins

    LB: Jason Trusnik

    LB: Jonathan Freeny

    Practice Squad: Andrew Wilson

    No linebackers cut despite this being one of Miami's weaker units, but the fact that they only had nine on the roster to begin with is probably a mistake on Miami's part from this offseason. 

    Wilson could develop a bit on the practice squad, while Freeny, Trusnik and Jenkins will make it based off of their special teams play. 

Secondary

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    CB1: Brent Grimes

    CB2: Cortland Finnegan

    Nickleback: Will Davis

    CB: Jamar Taylor

    Safety: Louis Delmas

    Safety: Reshad Jones

    Safety/Cornerback: Jimmy Wilson

    Safety: Michael Thomas

    Safety: Jordan Kovacs

    Practice Squad: Walt Aikens

    Cut: Kevin Fogg

    Jordan Kovacs' special teams performance against the Rams might have given him the spot on the final 53-man roster over Walt Aikens. 

    Aikens has a bright future as a boundary corner, but he could use some further development. Miami's practice squad might be the best place for him to do just that. 

Special Teams

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    K: Caleb Sturgis

    P: Brandon Fields

    LS: John Denney

    Cut: Jake Rodgers

    Not too many changes here, Miami will go in with the same special teams unit as last season. 

    Keep an eye on Sturgis, who is recovering from a groin injury that limited him during the preseason. He had some issues with leg strength against the Rams on Thursday night, and if this extends into the season, Miami could be shopping for a new kicker come Week 2. 

     

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