Posted: 5:00 am Thursday, August 29th, 2013
By Andrew Abramson
It’s Game Day (Dolphins vs. Saints, 7:30 p.m.) but there’s not much to see here in this fifth and final preseason game aside from the bubble guys getting one last shot to make their case.
So here’s my projected 53 man roster heading into Saturday’s final cuts. Tonight’s game could make a difference but you can feast on these current projections as you get ready for some Dolphins preseason football.
Quarterback Pat Devlin was one of the toughest calls. If Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore go down, Coach Joe Philbin might feel more comfortable going with a veteran free agent rather than starting Devlin. Then again, if Tannehill and Moore go down the season is lost anyway. Cutting Devlin could mean he signs with the quarterback-starved Jets or Bills, so maybe in this paranoid game of football Philbin wouldn’t want to risk Devlin going to a division rival. I kept Devlin on the roster, but he could easily be gone by Saturday. If Devlin is cut, my last guy in would be safety Kelcie McCray.
Initially I had Austin Spitler on the roster and not Josh Kaddu. But Kaddu comes at a much more affordable price tag. Spitler is a quality special teams player, but do the Dolphins want to pay him $1.32 million when the team is loaded with linebackers? Maybe they keep both, but I don’t see it — I already have them keeping seven linebackers including Jelani Jenkins and Jonathan Freeny. And Dion Jordan could play some linebacker as well.
I kept Evan Rodriguez on the roster because even if the Dolphins rarely utilize a fullback, you’d think they want to have one. And Rodriguez is that versatile H-Back-type that Philbin likes.
I went Marvin McNutt and Chad Bumphis as the last two receivers although I could definitely see Rishard Matthews making it, while Brian Tyms has a shot too. After a hot start, McNutt slowed down in the middle of training camp/preseason but has picked it up again. He has good size but has had trouble holding on to the ball. It looks like he’s improving there. Bumphis would give the Dolphins help in the slot. With Dustin Keller gone, Bumphis could be another weapon down the middle.
53 MAN PROJECTED ROSTER
Locks: Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore
Bubble: Pat Devlin
Projection: Tannehill, Moore, Devlin
Locks: Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas
Bubble: Mike Gillislee, Jonas Gray
Projection: Miller, Thomas, Gillislee
Bubble: Evan Rodriguez
Locks: Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson
Bubble: Chad Bumphis, Rishard Matthews, Brian Tyms, Marvin McNutt, Keenan Davis
Projection: Wallace, Hartline, Gibson, Bumphis, McNutt
Locks: Charles Clay, Dion Sims
Bubble: Michael Egnew, Kyle Miller
Projection: Clay, Sims, Egnew
Locks: Mike Pouncey, Jonathan Martin, Richie Incognito, Tyson Clabo, John Jerry, Nate Garner, Josh Samuda, Dallas Thomas
Bubble: Will Yeatman, Sam Brenner, Chris Barker, Andrew McDonald
Projection: Pouncey, Martin, Incognito, Clabo, Jerry, Garner, Samuda, Thomas, Yeatman
Locks: Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, Dion Jordan, Paul Soliai, Randy Starks, Jared Odrick
Bubble: Vaughn Martin, Derrick Shelby, Kheeston Randall, AJ Francis, Tristan Okpalaugo, Antwan Applewhite
Projection: Wake, Vernon, Jordan, Soliai, Starks, Odrick, Martin, Shelby, Randall
Locks: Philip Wheeler, Dannell Ellerbe, Koa Misi
Bubble: Jason Trusnik, Austin Spitler, Jonathan Freeny, Jelani Jenkins, Josh Kaddu, Lee Robinson
Projection: Wheeler, Ellerbe, Misi, Kaddu, Trusnik, Freeny, Jenkins
Locks: Brent Grimes, Dimitri Patterson, Nolan Carroll, Jamar Taylor, Will Davis, Reshad Jones, Chris Clemons, Jimmy Wilson
Bubble: R.J. Stanford, Julian Posey, De’Andre Presley
Projection: Grimes, Patterson, Carroll, Taylor, Davis, Stanford, Jones, Clemons, Wilson
Locks: Brandon Fields, Caleb Sturgis, Marcus Thigpen, John Denney