Dolphins' 53-man roster projection (2.0)

August, 23, 2013
8/23/13
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The Miami Dolphins have three preseason games in the books and it’s almost time for roster cuts.

Last week we provided our first 53-man roster projection for the Dolphins. But there have been some changes, including a key injury to starting tight end Dustin Keller (knee) and the release of cornerback Richard Marshall.

Here is our 2.0 version of where Miami’s roster currently stands:

Quarterbacks (3): Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Pat Devlin

Analysis: Same group as last week. The only question here will be whether Miami decides to keep two or three quarterbacks.

Running backs (4): Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Mike Gillislee, Jonas Gray

Analysis: I think there’s space now to keep four tailbacks. Miller and Thomas are locks. Gillislee is a rookie draft pick and Gray may be a risk for the practice squad.

Fullback (1): Evan Rodriguez

Analysis: Rodriguez is more versatile and that could be the difference in beating out Jorvorskie Lane. Rodriguez also adds value on special teams.

Receivers (6): Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Rishard Matthews, Marvin McNutt, KR Marcus Thigpen

Analysis: McNutt has had a good week of practice and his size puts him ahead of Chad Bumphis, who is only a slot option. Thigpen is stashed here because of his versatility and the Dolphins have enough running backs.

Tight ends (3): Charles Clay, Dion Sims, Michael Egnew

Analysis: Keller’s season-ending knee injury changes the entire dynamic of this group. Clay is now mostly a full-time tight end and the projected starter. Egnew’s roster spot also is safe after previously being on the bubble.

Offensive line (10): Jonathan Martin, Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey, John Jerry, Tyson Clabo, Josh Samuda, Nate Garner, Dallas Thomas, Will Yeatman, Lance Louis

Analysis: The Dolphins need a lot of players here to guard against injury. Samuda and Garner bring a lot of versatility as backups. Louis is the last lineman in and needs to a little show more.

Defensive line (9): Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, Randy Starks, Jared Odrick, Paul Soliai, Dion Jordan, Derrick Shelby, Kheeston Randall, Vaughn Martin

Analysis: This is the deepest area of the team. A.J. Francis also is making a hard push, but I’m not ready to put him on the 53-man roster just yet. Ten defensive linemen is a bit much.

Linebackers (6): Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler, Koa Misi, Jason Trusnik, Jelani Jenkins, Austin Spitler

Analysis: Two or three backup spots are still open with two preseason games remaining. Trusnik brings a lot of value to special teams, and the Dolphins are looking for more of that.

Defensive backs (8): Reshad Jones, Chris Clemons, Jimmy Wilson, Brent Grimes, Dimitri Patterson, Will Davis, Jamar Taylor, Nolan Carroll

Analysis: Cutting Marshall impacts the depth at cornerback. But that also opens up another roster spot, and I’m not sure Miami has another corner worthy of the 53-man roster.

Specialists (3): Punter Brandon Fields, long snapper John Denney, kicker Caleb Sturgis.

Analysis: This group won’t change, barring an injury.

Last five out: Francis, Bumphis, Lane, TE Kyle Miller, S Kelcie McCray

Last five in: Rodriguez, Louis, Jenkins, Spitler, Gray

Overview: Miami's roster is taking shape. Barring injuries, I do not expect a lot of change between now and cut day on Aug. 31st. Still, Saturday's fourth preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be important for Miami’s bubble players.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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