Summary: The Dolphins have added more big names along the defensive line than anywhere else on the roster since the end of last season, the additions including veterans Kevin Carter, Vonnie Holliday and Keith Traylor as well as rookies Matt Roth and the latest, supplemental draft selection Manuel Wright. The Dolphins defense is expected to feature different looks this season, with both the 4-3 and 3-4 alignments being used. That means that the defensive linemen will have to handle different roles. For example, Jason Taylor will be lining up at defensive end in the 4-3 on one play, then could find himself at outside linebacker in a 3-4 on the next down. One thing is certain, the Dolphins certainly appear to have enough bodies on the defensive line (19) to come up with a pretty good rotation.
The battles: Oh, there will be some fun battles here, both for starting jobs and for roster spots. Let's start with the starting jobs. Assuming the base defense will be a 4-3 -- and there's no guarantee of that at this point -- it would figure that the two ends would be Taylor and Carter. The two tackle spots, however, aren't quite as settled, with Larry Chester, Keith Traylor and Vonnie Holliday three solid options inside. And veteran Jeff Zgonina also could be in the mix at tackle. As far as roster spots, the six previously mentioned players should make the roster and the Dolphins figure to keep three or more additional linemen. Among those with the best chance to make the 53-man roster are Wright, second-round pick Matt Roth and returning starter David Bowens.
Projected starters: Jason Taylor, Kevin Carter, Larry Chester, Keith Traylor
Projected on the 53-man roster: Taylor, Carter, Chester, Traylor, Jeff Zgonina, Manuel Wright, Dario Romero, Vonnie Holliday, David Bowens, Matt Roth