This is it folks! Last game of the 2021 Preseason. Coach Flores has already put it out there most starters will sit so this is the opportunity for all those players on the roster bubble to make their case to be on the 53. It’s also a good chance to see what the depth looks like because during a season, injuries always rear their ugly head and you need solid depth to stay ahead during the season.
Jacoby Brissett will most likely see a fair amount of action and it’s important for him to show he knows the offense and can run the team in Tua’s absence. There’s always the question as to whether the Dolphins will carry 2 or 3 QB’s, my guess would be just 2. Reid Sinnett will end up on the PS and give the Dolphins another precious roster spot. Recent moves have made the WR depth much clearer. The Dolphins placed 2nd year WR Lynn Bowden Jr. on IR ending his season. The Dolphins also waived WR’s Robert Foster and Isaiah Ford. Veteran Allen Hurns was placed on IR earlier so the only bodies left are Will Fuller (Inactive Week 1), DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, Jaylen Waddle,Preston Williams, Mack Hollins, Jakeem Grant, Kirk Merritt and Malcolm Perry. 9 WR’s , 6 for week 1. One has to go and I feel it will be Malcolm Perry. WIll the big bodied and oft injured Williams hold off equally as large and ace ST’s player Mack Hollins? I don’t think so. Merritt has had a strong preseason so he has a leg up, but there is still game 3 for Perry to change that. However, it looks very much like we’ll have Parker, Wilson, Waddle, Hollins, Grant and Merritt for the first game against the Patriots.
I expect us to carry 4 TE’s, Gesicki, Shaheen, Long and probably Smythe due to his blocking abilities. Myarick could steal his spot, and who knows, maybe it’s Shaheen that gets cut, but it sure seemed like they like Shaheen. Cethan carter also earn as a spot as an H-back/FB/TC, or maybe Long goes on IR because of his injury.
At RB, I think we’ll carry 4 into the regular season, the clear choices right now are the first 3, Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed and Malcolm Brown. After that it’s a real tossup as to whether 2021 7th RD pick rookie Gerrid Doaks makes it, or veteran Patrick Laird or a surprise like Jordan Scarlett. Game 3 will probably have a lot to say about which guy makes it!
On the O-line, still not decided (as far as we know), but I’m sticking with my prediction of Jackson-Kindley-Deiter-Hunt-Eichenberg. Still possible that either Eichenberg starts at LG over Kindley and Jesse Davis starts at RT but I believe it will be the former. Jermaine Eluemunor has also been released. You have to figure we carry at least if not 9 OL so the aforementioned 5 plus Davis, Skura, Little and either Coleman or Pankey.
On defense, despite not seeing a lot of Jaelan Phillips, I still think he’s going to be a major part of our defense. AVG looks ready to be right where he left off last season, and that’s a good thing. I really love our depth at LB with AVG, Baker, McKinney, Phillips, Roberts, Eguavoen, Riley, Biegel. Not sure if Griffin makes that final cut, especially since Roberts has been activated.
On the DL we have the usual Wilkins-Davis-Ogbah, followed by Sieler, Jenkins, Butler and Strowbridge. More than likely that last spot will be up for grabs between Jason Strowbridge and Jonathan Ledbetter, unless we carry 8 DL, which is possible. Benito Jones is still in the mix but Tyshun Render was moved to LB where he faces tough odds against the previously mentioned group.
The Dolphins strong secondary will be led by All-Pro Xavien Howard and Byron Jones at CB along with Nik Needham who refuses to give ground to 2020 1st RD pick Noah Igbinoghene. Good on Needham, who just keeps working hard! The safety group looks Rowe and impressive rookie Jevon Holland, followed by vet Jason McCourty, Clayton Fejedelem (ST’s ace), Brandon Jones (2020 3rd RD pick), Jamal Perry and Nate WIlliams. Probably 4 will make it here among the safeties with 6 CB’s. Perry and Williams are as good as gone leaving perhaps a battle between Fejedelem and Jones or we carry 5 safeties. CB’s should be Howard, Jones, Needham, Igbinoghene, Coleman, McCourty who can play both CB/S
Special teams will be standout PK Jason Sanders as well as newly acquired P Michael Palardy. Jakeem Grant and Jaylen Waddle as well as Noah Igbinoghene will handle the return duties. Long snapper Blake Ferguson returns.
There will always be some surprise cuts, some of the players I have making the roster won’t and some I have being cut won’t get cut. It’s fun to see how things shape up, let’s just hope that injuries don’t make these decisions for the team.