Roster Cuts Preview

The final roster cuts to the NFL limit of 53 players are due by Saturday afternoon, and the Dolphins will

QUARTERBACKS

On the roster: 4: Chad Pennington, Chad Henne, John Beck, Josh McCown

Number likely to be kept: 3

Locks to make the team: Pennington, Henne

On the bubble: Beck, McCown

Almost no shot to make the team: Nobody

Prediction: Pennington, Henne, McCown

Analysis: Yes, it was Beck who followed Henne in the game the last two preseason games, but we're thinking that maybe it had more to do with giving him more looks and perhaps showcasing him for a trade than anything else. Based on the way Henne performed late in the preseason, it actually wouldn't surprise us if the Dolphins ended up letting both Beck and McCown go.

RUNNING BACKS

On the roster: 7: Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Patrick Cobbs, Jalen Parmele, Lex Hilliard, Reagan Mauia, Boomer Grigsby

Number likely to be kept: 5

Locks to make the team: Brown, Williams

On the bubble: Cobbs, Parmele, Hilliard, Grigsby

Almost no shot to make the team: Mauia

Prediction: Brown, Williams, Grigsby, Cobbs, Hilliard

Analysis: We're thinking Cobbs will make the team because he's a better special teams player than either of the two rookies, Hilliard or Parmele. Hilliard beats out Parmele because he also can play fullback and because of Parmele's fumbling issues in the preseason. Mauia has no shot because his pass catching is just too weak.

WIDE RECEIVERS

On the roster: 7: Anthony Armstrong, Ernest Wilford, Jayson Foster, Ted Ginn Jr., Greg Camarillo, Davone Bess, Derek Hagan

Number likely to be kept: 5

Locks to make the team: Ginn, Wilford

On the bubble: Armstrong, Camarillo, Bess, Hagan

Almost no shot to make the team: Foster

Prediction: Ginn, Wilford, Hagan, Bess, Camarillo

Analysis: In case you're surprised to see Hagan on the bubble instead of a lock, just look at his preseason performance. Bess actually outplayed him, and by a lot. Foster never showed good enough hands to make up for his lack of size.

TIGHT ENDS

On the roster: 5: Anthony Fasano, David Martin, Justin Peelle, Sean Ryan, Matthew Mulligan

Number likely to be kept: 3

Locks to make the team: Fasano

On the bubble: Martin, Peelle, Ryan

Almost no shot to make the team: Mulligan

Prediction: Fasano, Martin, Peelle

Analysis: It actually wouldn't shock us here to see the Dolphins keep four tight ends because they will use a lot of two-tight-end formations, and there's also not much separating Peelle and Ryan.

OFFENSIVE LINE

On the roster: 12: Mike Byrne, Matt Spanos, Samson Satele, Donald Thomas, Shawn Murphy, Justin Smiley, Trey Darilek, Ikechuku Ndukwe, Pedro Sosa, Daren Heerspink, Vernon Carey, Jake Long

Number likely to be kept: 9

Locks to make the team: Long, Carey, Smiley, Satele, Thomas

On the bubble: Murphy, Darilek, Ndukwe, Sosa, Heerspink, Spanos

Almost no shot to make the team: Byrne

Prediction: Long, Carey, Smiley, Satele, Thomas, Darilek, Ndukwe, Murphy, Sosa

Analysis: Among the backups, Darilek probably is the safest bet because of his versatility. Sosa was signed this week and has promise, which is why the Dolphins might not want to risk waiving him to then sign him to the practice squad.

DEFENSIVE LINE

On the roster: 9: Kendall Langford, Phillip Merling, Lionel Dotson, Rodrique Wright, Randy Starks, Paul Soliai, Vonnie Holliday, Anthony Toribio, Jason Ferguson

Number likely to be kept: 7

Locks to make the team: Langford, Merling, Starks, Holliday, Ferguson

On the bubble: Dotson, Wright, Soliai

Almost no shot to make the team: Toribio

Prediction: Langford, Merling, Starks, Holliday, Ferguson, Wright, Soliai

Analysis: Matt Roth actually is listed as a defensive end on the roster, but we're going with him at outside linebacker since that's where he's been playing. If seven seems a lot number of defensive linemen, keep in mind you don't need as many playing a 3-4 defense.

LINEBACKERS

On the roster: 13: Kelly Poppinga, Junior Glymph, Rob Ninkovich, Matt Roth, Akin Ayodele, Channing Crowder, Titus Brown, Joey Porter, Maurice Fountain, Quentin Moses, Charlie Anderson, Reggie Torbor, Edmond Miles

Number likely to be kept: 9

Locks to make the team: Roth, Ayodele, Crowder, Porter, Torbor

On the bubble: Glymph, Ninkovich, Brown, Moses, Anderson, Miles

Almost no shot to make the team: Poppinga, Fountain

Prediction: Roth, Ayodele, Crowder, Porter, Torbor, Miles, Anderson, Ninkovich, Brown

Analysis: This is going to be a tough decision for Tony Sparano and company because little separates guys like Ninkovich and Moses.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

On the roster: 11: Nathan Jones, Joey Thomas, Michael Lehan, Will Billingsley, Andre' Goodman, Will Allen, Chris Crocker, Jason Allen, Yeremiah Bell, Courtney Bryan, Renaldo Hill

Number likely to be kept: 9

Locks to make the team: Will Allen, Goodman, Bell

On the bubble: Jones, Thomas, Lehan, Billingsley, Crocker, Jason Allen, Bryan, Hill

No shot to make the team: Nobody

Prediction: Jones, Thomas, Lehan, Goodman, Will Allen, Crocker, Jason Allen, Bell, Hill

Analysis: The fact that we're considering only three players as locks in the secondary tells you about the depth here. Unfortunately, what the Dolphins are lacking is a difference-maker back there.

SPECIALISTS

On the roster: 3: Brandon Fields, Dan Carpenter, John Denney

Number likely to be kept: 3

Locks to make the team: Fields, Carpenter, Denney

On the bubble: Nobody

Almost no shot to make the team: Nobody

Prediction: Fields, Carpenter, Denney

Analysis: Unless the Dolphins surprise everyone and decide to go outside the organization, all suspense ended here with the release of Jay Feely.


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