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